3 Secrets to Creating the Time for Your Creativity

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.

Electronic Sign hanging from a room says "Too Busy"

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.


green clock faces of different sized in a green swirl on a black background creating the time for your creativity means prioritizing creative time

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?
  • bleeding?
  • dead?

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.

Assess Yourself

a cartoonish image of a paper, pencil and a magnifying glass represents part of creating the time for your creativity by assessing yourself

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.

Why You Should Fail People Pleasing

When your friend calls and asks a favor, do you say yes even when you’re too busy? Do you agree to whatever your friend or date or partner suggests you do for the weekend? Or when you boss asks you to do a little something extra, do you put aside your plans and do it? Are you failing at what’s most important in your life? Chances are that you are a people pleaser. And this is why you should fail people pleasing.

A stack of cards with the word yes on them--say yes too often? that's why you need to fail people pleasing
Said yes too often?

Identify Your Priorities

Most of us have multiple priorities: an education, a family, a home, a job, a vocation, a dream. Add the things on our to-do list and the list can go on and on and on. Welcome to the land of overwhelm.

Stop. Focus. Choose up to three primary priorities. Seriously.

But how, you ask? 

Use a hierarchy of needs. 

A Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Harold Maslow was a psychologist who created a theory of psychological health. It’s called Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. (Here’s a detailed explanation.)

Represented by a triangle, his theory of motivations starts at the base with fulfilling basic human needs. Once you meet those needs, you move up on the pyramid.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid--Make your own hierarchy of needs so you can fail people pleasing.
Saul McLeod [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Am I suggesting you get a degree in psychology so you can understand his theory? Heck, no. What I’m suggesting is that you use it as a model. 

Make three categories of the things you consider priorities. Perhaps it’s home, faith, and work. Or it could be the family, creativity, and economic stability. You choose your categories to suit you.

  • For example, if the family is one metaphorical level or bucket, that’s where you put being a chaperone for your child, attending all her soccer games, and pizza and movie night. 
  • If creativity is one of your categories, that’s where buying art supplies, time to create art, and activities that enhance your skills in this creative endeavor of yours. 
  • In the faith bucket, you might put daily devotionals, Sunday Services, and attending church socials. 

Get Picky

Here’s the tough part. For each of your three categories, choose ONE thing that you can NOT give up. Not because you’d feel guilty. Guilt is the worst reason to make something a priority. Choose the thing that would hurt you deeply to give up. The thing that is so integral to who you are that you’d feel broken without it. Go on. It might take some time. 

Those three things are your top priorities. 

Start Saying No

You thought the last part was tough? If you’re a people pleaser, this next part is even harder. 

Look at your to-do list, all the commitments you’ve made, and all the activities and must-do’s in your life. If an activity doesn’t fit in one of your three categories, say no. Cross it off your list. 

Saying no is hard for people pleasers. (Ask me how I know.) It’s a skill. But it’s more than that. It’s a protective device. Saying no protects your priorities. 

Politely Fail People Pleasing 

You don’t have to be rude when you say no. Blame your schedule— “I just don’t have time right now.” Plead exhaustion. (It’s not a lie. You know you’re exhausted all the time from constantly doing.) Use your spouse/job/family as an excuse. Or, confess that you over-committed yourself and are trying to do a better job of taking care of yourself. You don’t have to explain. Say no with a smile. 

And the next time someone asks for a favor or a commitment to do one more thing, stop. Protect your priorities. Think about the empowerment of saying no. Think about how much more will you be able to be present and real for the things that really matter. 

Still stumped? You might want to read (or re-read) How to turn I can’t into I can.

Should you fail people pleasing? What is one thing you haven’t said no to yet? If you’ve mastered saying no, what’s your best tip for protecting your priorities?