Making time for creativity can be hard. Despite our best intentions our creative dreams and projects can fall to the wayside. Life happens. We get busy. Life can race by. And all of a sudden we turn around and we haven’t done what we meant to do.
So here are three simple tips that you can use to make more time for creativity in your life.
What is your creative dream? What creative project would you like to start? Whatever it is, the first thing you need to do is to decide that it’s important enough to make room for in your life. So pick something that you’d love to do, that makes you excited, rather than what you think is good for you or you should do, but you really don’t want to do. And it’s different for everyone. For instance, you’ve always meant to get around to creating those family photo albums. Does the thought of putting these together make you squeal with delight? Or does it feel like another drag on your ‘to do’ list? It’s going to feel harder to make time for something that feels like a drag. So for greater success pick something that you’re enthusiastic about.
Your life is already super busy. Extra free time won’t miraculously appear. You need to make time. You have to decide that your creative project or dream is worth making changes for (but this doesn’t mean that they need to be big changes 🙂 ).Throughout your day you have to make choices and trade-offs. Will you wake up a little earlier to find time to write? Will you book into a yoga class every week? Will you give up watching some telly at night to turn on your sewing machine? All you have to do is decide – to say ‘yes’ to spending the time on your creative project or dream compared to something else.
Keep it small
It’s easier to commit to and put aside small chunks of time (say 5mins-15mins every day) to work on your creative project, rather than a large investment of time (say 1-2hrs every few weeks). We get duped into thinking that small amounts of time are inconsequential. But if you add up 10 minutes a day over a month – that’s a little of over 5 hours spent in total. What would be the chances of you finding 5 free uninterrupted hours for yourself on a weekend? But 10 minutes? A lot easier.
The trick here is consistency. You need to put in that 10 minutes in every day (or weekday) to see the results of your small efforts, build your momentum and sustain your dedication. Ten minutes every week won’t yield the same tangible results.
If you don’t think it’s possible to spend such a small amount of time on your project, then make this ‘creative’ time allocation a minimum time. That is, every day you have to spend 5 minutes on your project. When that 5 minutes is up, you get decide if you want to keep going or stop. This is a great way to take advantage of those times when you’re raring to go and to still make some progress when you couldn’t care less. Just beware of starter’s high. Don’t over do it when you start, unintentionally creating unrealistic time expectations for you to maintain.
Set yourself up for success
Do whatever you can to make yourself successful.
What’s worked for you in the past? What helps you achieve your goals? Find what works for you and harness it to your advantage.
For example, are you motivated by keeping promises to yourself or to others? If you are highly motivated by challenges you set yourself, then a simple tick sheet that you mark off each day after your project time will be enough to keep you motivated. But if you find that you drop your own commitments to do something for someone else; perhaps, getting a buddy, or publicly announcing your project and then checking into social media once you’ve done your set time will keep you more honest?
If you’re interested in what other work preferences or characteristics you have that you can harness to be more successful, then sign up to the Inner Creative mailing list for your instant free eBook on Harnessing Your Creative Characteristics.
While these tips are simple, they’re not exactly easy. Otherwise we would never have a problem achieving our dreams and goals.
The main thing is to keep trying. Forget to do your 10 minutes one day? OK. No biggie. Don’t be harsh or critical with yourself. Reflect on what you can you do to prevent it happening again, recommit, and make sure you do your 10 minutes the next day.
The saying “Done is better than perfect” helps me work towards my dreams. So stop dreaming, ‘one day-ing’, and start doing!
If you’re interested in learning more about making regular time for creativity or realising your dreams, then read these blogs:
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