Your life is full with a job, a significant other, children or responsibilities. You’ve got no time to pursue a creative activity. Perhaps you despair of ever finding the time. There are 3 secrets to creating the time for your creativity: Find Your Truth, Recognize Your Limits, and Assess Yourself. Follow these three keys (okay, five), and you’ll find the time you need.
Find Your Truth
When you say, “I don’t have the time” you are lying to yourself. You make time for many activities. Uncover the root of why you don’t have time for your creativity.
Have you found your passion? If you aren’t passionate about the creative activity you’ve pursued, you’ll never find the time. So take a self-inventory. Discover your true passion. Your passion will drive you forward despite obstacles in your life.
Some people use the “no time” phrase to avoid failure. Are you afraid to try because you might fail? Rethink that. Face your fear. Of course you’ll fail a few or many times. But with each failure you’ve learned something. Figure out what you learned and try again. Find a mentor. Take a class. You can do it when you decide to act.
Try to eliminate one or two activities. Look for the “should dos” or the “only I can do it right” chores and other people’s demands on your time. Learn to delegate or let go or say no.
When you find your truth, you’ll follow your creative passion. You’ll face your fear even if you have to take baby steps. And you’ll create time for your creativity in your own day and life. It doesn’t matter if it’s fifteen minutes a day or a couple of hours one day a week. Once you find your passion, you’ll find time. And when you find the time, your passion and your skills will grow.
Recognize Your Limits
A long time ago, I read a post about productivity. It explained that all of us have limited time, energy, and attention. You also need to recognize these limits if you want to create time for your creativity.
You’ve heard it before. Like everyone else, you have twenty-four hours each day. The problem often is that you fill those twenty-four hours with everything else first.
To create time for creativity, you must value your time. You must value your creative endeavors. Schedule your creative time. Take baby steps. Designate fifteen minutes a day or two hours once a week. Get up half-hour earlier each day or postpone certain activities or delegate or even give up one or two activities. Decide what’s doable this month. Write your creative time on your schedule, FIRST, then schedule holidays and other activities around it.
Don’t fill every minute of your schedule. Allow yourself some wiggle room. Prioritize your creativity and everything else will fall into place.
You’ve only got a finite amount of energy each day. To get your maximum amount of energy, make certain you get enough rest, drink enough water, and exercise regularly. If you have to schedule those activities, do so.
Energy levels change over the course of the day and based on your life situation. Discover which hours of the day you have the most creative energy. Some people are morning people. Some work best in the middle of the day. Still others work best at night. How do you do that? Try one time for two to four weeks, then try another time for another few weeks. Don’t rely on your memory, record the time of day and how much time you spent, and what you accomplished. Compare your results and you’ll know what works best.
Plan to use your energy so that your creativity gets a good share of it. If you have young children or are a caregiver, that may be difficult. If life situations keep you from giving your creativity your best energy, give it your second best. Don’t wait to tackle your creative endeavor with your last bit of energy. You’ll end up not doing well or give up entirely.
Today’s world is full of distractions. Key to creating the time for your creativity, is protecting your attention.
Respect your creative time by finding a distraction-free environment. Or at least as distraction free as you can make it.
That means turn off your phone. Don’t get on the internet. Shut the door. Teach your family and friends that you will give them attention when after you finish your creative time. Then do it.
When I was alone with my young son, I couldn’t shut the door. So I taught my son to respect my creative time. When he tried to interrupt, I’d ask him-Is it:
- on fire?
If it was an emergency, I’d stop and take care of the problem. If it wasn’t, I redirected my son and refocused on my creative work. It took months, but he learned to respect my creative time.
Some creatives I know use music or sound cancelling headphones to help them focus their attention. Brainstorm how you can decrease or eliminate distractions so you can give your creativity your full attention.
Record your use of time. Make a record of your progress. It’s impossible to know how much you’ve grown or learned without records. Use a spreadsheet, an organizer, a calendar, or photographs.
Make a regular date to assess yourself once a week or once a month. How did you use your time and energy and attention? What progress did you make? Did you keep your creative time as planned? Why or why not?
As regular readers of my blog know, I assess myself at least monthly. Based on what I’ve learned works for me, I record my time spent and what I accomplished in that time. At the end of each month, I evaluate my activities. What worked and what didn’t? Based on what I recorded, I make adjustments. I write my intentions (goals) and my schedule in my planner for the next month. Rinse and repeat.
Use the 3 Secrets to Creating the Time for Your Creativity
Over time, you’ll learn what works best for you. You’ll change what you record or how you record it because of changes in your lifestyle or in your skill level. But keep assessing yourself and you’ll find you’ve mastered the 3 secrets to creating the time for your creativity. Do you know other ways to create time for creativity? Please share in the comments below.