Finding Time For Creativity When You're Always Busy
It’s so easy to push creativity aside because it’s not always related to our ‘important’ stuff (this is especially true if like me you work in a 9-5 environment and you are a teeny tiny cog in a huge machine) but we forget that whatever form our creativity takes it can bring a real breath of fresh air and clarity to our day. Whether we enjoy our jobs or not we all need a full stop to our day. It’s effortlessly smooth to fall into the trap of doing everything and leaving the things that bring us joy for ‘when we have time'. Making time in a day can be a tall order especially as we’re all incredibly busy but there are some ways to find an extra half an hour for you and only you.
Here are some ways I squeeze some allotted time for me and my creative outlets …
Sometimes we’re all too ready to focus on the more negative side of things and punish ourselves with anxious thoughts. What we’re less likely to do is give ourselves a truly guilt free treat just because we can, normally a reward comes with a justification but often when we ease up on our own self-imposed restrictions it can open up new possibilities and mindsets. Putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves can be detrimental to so many personal life aspects but it can also affect our confidence, motivation and routines. We all need a treat every now and again.
Redesign Your Business / Schedule / Creativity
Our working week can take up so much of our time in our routines that fitting anything else in can be a tough one, as often we work around our jobs not the other way round. It’s no secret that I make no money from this site but it does have a huge impact on my happiness - however it takes up a surprising amount of time (from admin, planning, social media to photography etc). Building a timetable that sets aside realistic expectations for your tasks and energy levels can take a while to refine but doing so means you can hit a happy medium for you and your workflow. For example I work best during the afternoons and evenings but the majority of my days are spent at work, from the early morning, meaning my energy levels will be used up. In order to get the best out of what is available I’ve had to re-jig my timetable so I prescribe to more of a slower pace - it’ll take me longer to complete my goals but it takes some of the ‘hustle‘ away from my schedule plus allows for play. There are other factors that are immovable when establishing your calendar but understanding what you have, what you’re prepared to accept and what you want your life to look like you can create steps to put a plan in place.
Shrink The To-Do List
Feeling overwhelmed is something that can creep up on us without notice, this is especially true if our energy levels ebb and flow with the seasons (but can be affected by so many other factors). During the Winter months I find productivity and motivation very hard to come by meaning that all my stamina goes into my work day leaving nothing for afterwards - naps are more frequent too. Just looking at a big to-do list can be intimidating let alone attempting to work through it, when time is short instead of setting ourselves lots of little goals I find it more effective to focus on 3 goals that will move you forward and give you those good vibes when the job can be ticked off. When my energy levels are at their worst I find it easier to set 3 goals for the week and when I’m ready these become 3 tasks for the day then in the warmer months my checklists become bigger plus ‘more productive’. It can be an annoyance but being intuitive with our side hustles / creativity / releases can benefit us in the long and prevent the build up of a burnout.
Batch Your Tasks / Short Intervals
Batching tasks is not a new concept but on occasion when we’ve got so much to do it’s effortless to flick between tabs / actions / jobs with out much consideration or concentration. Creating time for 1 singular task means you’re putting more focus and thought into it, for example a bane of a batch task for me is scheduling social media links. It’s a necessary element that I’ve yet to perfect but I find I’m much more productive (and complete faster) when my mind is solely concentrating on the thing in front of me. This ideology can be applied to most things and it’s a great way to stock up those minutes be it including but not limited to making the families’ pack lunches, photographing multiple blog posts, fixing clothes, planning out the month etc.
There is also a system to play with called The Pomodoro Technique, which is a way to complete a given task by focusing solely on 1 task for a short amount of time e.g. 40 mins. What I’ve started to do is set a timer for 40 / 45 mins, set up my Forest app (a way to build different digital trees depending on how long you leave your phone alone - it’s a cute alternative to keeping yourself on track) often I find after those 40 mins I’ve not only gotten further than 1st imagined but am also happy to continue for another 40. Allowing for short bursts of dedicated time rather than thought of forcing yourself for a whole day isn’t so intimidating and much more palatable.