Detours, drama, and draining day jobs can put a serious damper on our creative output. It’s a recipe for a disastrous downward spiral, yet the cycle continues to run its damaging course.
Finding the time to make our artistic pursuits more daily requires a bit of grit, self-reflection, and thinking outside the pre-printed boxes in your personal planner. Here are some tips for finding a formula that feeds a little creativity into your schedule.
1: Challenge Yourself
If you don’t enjoy putting time into something unless there’s a purpose or finish line, find a way to add incentives to the mix.
~enter a contest
~look for groups that run informal challenges
~create prompts for yourself or do a study
~hold yourself to a self-inflicted deadline
2: Limit Yourself
If you’re renowned for starting tons of new projects and never finishing any of them, you need to try reigning in your abundant creativity and focus.
~commit to one or two ideas and see them through to the end
~keep a list of your other cool ideas for later
~learn to say ‘no’ to distractions (creative or otherwise)
~challenge yourself to work for at least one hour every day
3: Surprise Yourself
If your life doesn’t allow for set times or solid due dates, it’s time to look for some creative solutions. You might be impressed by how much can get done during stolen moments.
~embrace short bursts of creative time when you can fit it in, rather than large blocks all at once
~try creating multiple things in batches, by stages, for efficiency
~find tools that help you multitask, get things done faster, or make the work more pleasant
~ask for help if you’re struggling to get enough creative time into your week
4: Motivate Yourself
If your problem is a lack of self-motivation, your biggest struggle will be to kick the procrastination habit.
~set a timer for yourself and get started even if you don’t feel like it
~share your progress publicly for accountability
~keep a weekly To Do and a To Done list to track your progress
~remind yourself why you enjoy creating, and stay positive about your artwork
5: Don’t Do It Yourself
If you’re taking on more than you can handle on your own, learn to ask for the help you need.
~partner up with another individual so you can bounce ideas off each other, provide feedback and encouragement, and build community
~train younger or less experienced creatives as interns and learn to delegate or share the workload in exchange for lessons, consultation/critique, work experience, or exposure
~find or form a group of creatives with similar interests and tackle larger projects together as a team
~go to classes, enter contests, or attend local events to meet new people and continue to grow in your craft
How do you make time to stay creative?