The one thing I don’t have enough of is TIME. I never, ever, have enough time. The day is just too short and my “to do” list too long. But even though I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do, I have to find time, somewhere and somehow, for creativity. As a designer I need to do this for my business, so in some ways it’s probably easier for me to make drawing and sketching a priority than it would be for someone who works in say, accounting. But even if you don’t work in a creative field, creativity is still important. Making something new, with your hands, is good for the soul. I believe strongly creating something relieves stress and makes us happier. So I find time. Here are five tips to help you find time for creativity.
Do what you love
I love clothing, putting together outfits, and writing about the experience. For me, this blog is a huge creative outlet. Even when I have a ton of work I always find time to post something. It seems counterintuitive, but I honestly believe that blogging makes me more creative and improves my freelance work.
I also love to draw. I sketch for a living but even when I’m not working I need to keep up my illustration skills so I don’t get rusty. Loving what I do makes it easier to find the time for creativity. So make sure that whatever you do for creative time it’s something you enjoy.
Go easy on yourself
Sometimes a creative project can be daunting. You might need to learn new skills, and the learning curve is not always fun. It’s easy to get frustrated and drop the whole thing, but I promise that if you do it once the second time will be easier, and the third time even easier than that. I’ve realized that sometimes the learning process is part of the creative process, and I have to allow myself to fail so I can learn and improve.
Give yourself permission to do something fun
I spent this week working on my taxes. As a freelancer they’re complicated and every year I try to get more organized, but all those spread sheets of invoices and expenses are exhausting. I have no problem telling myself it’s important to get ready for tax season, but I have a hard time giving myself permission to do something for myself. Usually, the things I really enjoy are at the bottom of the list, but feeding my creativity is just as important as accounting. Moving the “fun” stuff into the “important” list is key to making time for creativity.
Put creative projects on your “To Do” list
My “to do” list is pretty much endless. Every day I tidy the house, I exercise, I check my e-mail and do a ton of other things as well. Blog posts and sketching are on that list, and there are many days that other things don’t get done because the blog and the sketches get priority. Just writing down the task makes it easier to do because if it’s on The List, it’s official.
If you only have 30 minutes, take 30 minutes.
I would love a whole day to work on my creative projects. Unfortunately that’s not my reality. Sometimes I don’t even have a few hours to devote to a creative project, but often I have thirty minutes. It’s not perfect, but I’ll take it. It’s better to start a project and put it aside for the next day than to not start it at all. If necessary I will break a project down into small steps and try to get one step done every day.
How to you find time for creativity in your life? What do you think of my suggestions? Have any tips you’d like to add?