Being creative isn’t a problem for most of us.
However, actually finding time to be creative -is a completely different matter. We’re busy, terribly busy today. It’s no secret that even in a world of modern conveniences and timesaving amenities, somehow we still manage to fill up every minute of our day, and by the time we finally find that we do have a spare moment –we’re usually too zapped, and just don’t have enough creative energy to bring those ideas to life.
This reality today, unfortunately, is true for many of us. The good news though, is that there’s a way around this. Scheduling time to be creative is a great way for those us with great ideas but busy schedules to find time to be creative. While this may sound counterintuitive (scheduling creativity?!) blocking out portions of your time will give you a much-needed timeframe that you can look forward to, during which you can let your creativity run rampant!
If you’re looking for some ways to break out of the rut, and claim back some time here’s how you can get started….
“If only I had time to….” If you’ve ever found yourself saying this, take heart in knowing that you’re not alone. With today’s schedules packed to the hilt with activities, work, family time, errands, and the occasional hour or two set aside for a social life, finding spare time to be creative may seem like it would require a monumental effort.
The key to scheduling in creative time though, isn’t trying to make time in an already packed schedule,
it’s all about prioritizing right from the start. This means that you need to remember that yes, your creative time deserves a timeslot and is just as important as the kids’ jujutsu classes or after school soccer. It’s important to make time to things that are important to you, and prioritize the most important activities. Don’t have time to volunteer for the bake sale? That’s fine! That main thing is that you have time to do the things that matter most, and that means putting you, and your family’s needs to the forefront.
Block Out Time
At the beginning of each week, sit down and lay out your priorities for the week. Pick one or two creative projects you want to work on that week. It’s important to ignore the desire to spread your time out among too many projects, and instead to focus on one or two projects at a time. If you are looking for high-quality work, you must focus all your energy on your primary tasks, and don’t be tempted to spread yourself too thin.
Next, it’s important to block out time in your schedule for these projects. When you block out these increments, you must be sure to treat them like any other appointment, there should be no pushing the times around, or allowing other things to come in the way –the importance of blocking out time is so that you have that time to devote to your creative project without interruptions of any kind. Allowing your schedule to flood in around these scheduled moments will lead to frustration, and lack of accomplishment. Work around these scheduled times, not against them.
It is often thought that discipline can ‘kill’ creative juices, and no one is arguing the spontaneous moments of creativity where all good ideas flow from –but discipline is also important for scheduling out time where you will be free to be spontaneous and creative.
Put a ban on all unnecessary disruptions. Send the kids to grandma’s for a few hours, or have dad take them out. Avoid the temptation to tidy, do laundry, check the email, or get on Facebook. Ideally, try to have a specific place where you go during this block of time. A place where everything is already set up so you don’t have to think about what to do next, you just do it. Shut the door, turn the phone off, and take opportunity to release your inner creativity!
Remember, creative work is a process, not a goal to accomplish, or to mark off the ‘to do’ list. Focus on the process of being creative, and decided exactly what you hope to accomplish -you will be much happier with the end results.
Set aside time to be creative! You will find that during your busy week, your creative ideas will have time to simmer in the back of your mind, and when it comes time for creative work, those ideas will come to the surface and be ready to execute!
Take the time to schedule out some creative space in your busy schedule and you will be amazed at the results. No matter how small the amount of time you allow yourself, even if it’s just one hour per week – devote it entirely to being creative, and see what great ideas you discover along the way.
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