Recently I’ve been exploring many facets of creativity on this blog. Last week, I even discussed how you can get started on a creative endeavor. This week, I’m moving into making time to pursue creativity. Not only must you have the desire to be creative, and take action on that creativity, but you must also make it a priority and actually make it a regular practice.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, maybe not for some people. Maybe you’re one of the people that’s like “I can’t possibly do one more thing!” I used to be one of those people. Oh yes. I was that person for a very long time. However, I’m not that person anymore. For me, it’s now all about having spaciousness and margin built into my life. I have no desire to be so busy that I can’t enjoy myself. For so long, that was me. But now, I take a different approach to life.
I’d originally titled this post “finding time for creativity,” but as I wrote, the notion struck me as too passive. Instead I decided on MAKING time for creativity. If you just “try to find” some space in your schedule and busy life, you probably won’t find any. However, if this becomes about making space and making deliberate choices, then that’s coming from a much more powerful position. That’s the difference between one more obligation and actively choosing what you will do with your time. I’m tingling just thinking about it.
The truth is you may never find the time to be creative. However, you can absolutely make the time to be creative. This means that you’ll first have to be crystal clear that being creative is a priority in your life. I’m not saying it “has to be” for everyone in this world, but if you desire to be creative and it’s something you truly feel called to do, then you’ll need to make it a priority. You’ll have to make the choice to carve time in your schedule and in your life to take that space for yourself.
Where to start? My suggestion is to start simple and as painless as possible. Maybe it’s giving up some TV or internet screen time in the evenings or at night. That’s the easiest place to start. You’re swapping a passive, consuming activity for an active, engaging one. To me, that seems to be a trade up. If you’re serious about your creative endeavor and the time you make for it, then it’ll probably sound the same for you. It comes down to choosing how you want to spend your time and being deliberate about what you aim to do with yourself.
Other solutions, which are more involved to implement because they either require a bigger habit change or a monetary investment, are listed here below. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but these are still some pretty easy ways to make time to be creative…
Ten ways to make time for creativity:
- Wake up an hour earlier and use that time to practice your creative pursuit.
- Use your lunch break at work to practice being creative.
- Hire a housekeeper and use the time you would have spent cleaning to be creative.
- Enlist the help of older children and/or your spouse to help with household tasks or errand running. Let them know why this is important to you. If it’s older children, consider offering financial compensation as a carrot.
- Organize a carpool with other parents living near you for after school activities and sports. Do you really need to be at every soccer and swim team practice? (Hint: the answer is NO!)
- Hire someone to mow your lawn and do your landscaping. Use that time to enrich your life. You’re also creating income for someone else at the same time. Generosity!
- Organize one evening a week with your family where everyone goes off and does something on their own. Ideally, everyone would be pursing something meaningful and enriching. Afterwards, you can all share what you learned along the way.
- Drop any commitments that aren’t serving you or that don’t light you up. If you don’t like baking for the PTA bake sale, pay someone else to bake for you or bring something store-bought. Or you could offer to simply donate money to the cause. If being a board member for a local non-profit is more of a drain than a source of joy, get out of there! Spend your time doing what you want: not what other people expect.
- Devote part of your weekend to your creative pursuit. Whether it’s Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, be deliberate about setting aside a couple of hours to create and give yourself peace, quiet, and space.
- Take a serious inventory of where and how you’re spending your time. Be honest with yourself. Make deliberate choices. Try carving out 2 to 3 hours per week for things that you want to do like your creative pursuit.
Frankly, I could go on but you get the gist. The idea is to be deliberate and intentional about how you use your time. If creativity is really a priority for you then it should be evident in how you spend your time. Start slowly and be deliberate about the time you spend being creative. Do it at a sustainable pace, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly it’ll feel like a natural part of your routine. You’ll also be happy with the way it lifts your mood and your overall quality of life.