7 Strategies to Find More Time for Creativity
It's just a fact: if you're building a creative career, attempting to sustain yourself with a day job and not giving up on having a life, the way you manage your time is paramount. But for creatives and entrepreneurs, time management is one of the biggest problems we face. The problems are usually some version of:
Between working all my day jobs, I have no time to create.
When I do have time for my own work, I'm so exhausted that I don't do it.
I have a lot of potential projects, but can't find the time to dig into even one.
I can't devote a lot of time to my work, so I might as well not start something I can't finish.
My family and friends say I'm overworking, but I feel like I'm getting nowhere.
To get anywhere significant with my projects, I'd have to devote 40 hours a week to them.
When I'm not creating, I feel guilty.
It's easy to get paralyzed by the lack of time, but there are several ways to find more time for your creativity.
Here's how to shift your mindset and find more time to be creative:
1. Prioritize first, then act.
If you have a ton of inspiration and no time to enact it, you're probably not prioritizing. Write out every single creative act on your to-do list. Choose your favorite project first. Next, write out all the steps you need to complete that project and prioritize what should come first. Then, do one of those actions each day. Accomplishing one priority will give you the feeling of progress and you'll have more clarity on just how much time you actually need.
2. Be honest about where you have wasted time.
Everyone wastes time in little ways that add up: trolling Facebook, getting caught in pointless email exchanges, subReddits. It happens. Time management can be as simple as intentional attention. What you focus on grows. But you can't know where to refocus if you don't check in.
3. Stop working all the time.
Oh oh! We know this is a tough one. If you aren't sectioning off your days, you'll probably be constantly working but getting nowhere. Instead of sneaking in time to work here and there, getting distracted and feeling like you have stay up late to "really put the time in," batch your creative hours. And only work during your creative hours. You'll be more focused and productive, and hopefully, you'll get your life back.
4. Know where you're going.
If you don't know what you're working for, your work becomes arbitrary. Maybe you just want to create for your mental well-being. Maybe you want to finally write your novel. Maybe you're not sure exactly what you want to make, but you want to commit to finding out. Your goal doesn't have to be monumental, but know the why behind your creative time and you'll feel more committed to it. Tweet this.
5. Clean up.
A clear physical space makes for clear mental space. Aligning the outer and the inner is huge for creatives. To make more, make more space. What can you get rid of? Clean out? Unpack? Throw away? Give yourself ten minutes to clean and 50 minutes to work. Those 50 minutes will be 500%* more productive.
6. Reset your week.
Take time on Sunday night (or whenever feels like the natural end of your week) to reset for the week to come. Make it a ritual. Instead of giving into the blues, get into being intentional. Burn the palo santo, clear the desk, pack the bag. These little intentional movements will keep you ahead of your own schedule.
7. Be part of a community.
Hands down, there is no better way to find time to be creative than to have an accountability partner. You can hire a coach, take a class, work from a co-working space, or make a date with a friend who has some work to do as well. Putting yourself in the space of those who are fighting the same creative fight gives an urgency to finding time.
*Not a real statistic. But you should still do it.