It can be hard to find time for creative pursuits when you have a full-time job, but it’s not impossible! Here are a few tips for making time for your creativity.
1. ‘Pay’ yourself first
One of the best pieces of financial advice out there is to pay yourself first. This means putting aside a fixed amount of money every payday as savings. Once you do this, you compel yourself to live off the rest. This is a psychological tactic that many people use.
And it works because when you earmark a fixed amount for saving vs. spending, you automatically spend within the boundaries you created. This is way more effective than saving at the end of the month when you’ve already spent all your money.
Similarly, you can ‘pay yourself first’ with time. Every day, carve out some time for yourself, even if it’s just 30 minutes. And do this first.
This is time that you can use to pursue your creative interests. Use this time to brainstorm ideas, work on projects, or simply relax and recharge.
The idea is that by paying yourself first, you make time for the things that are important to you. And no doubt, you’ll find yourself able to find the time or manage the rest of your available time to cater to the demands of work, home life, or other things that often prevent you from taking the time you need for creative work.
2. Get organized
One of the best ways to make time for your creativity is to get organized. Make a list of the things you want to accomplish and prioritize them accordingly. Then block off time in your calendar for working on these projects.
When you have a plan and you know what you need to do, it becomes much easier to find the time to do it. Trying to wing it and just ‘finding time’ as you go is usually not effective.
3. Set boundaries
In order to make time for your creativity, you need to set boundaries. This means saying ‘no’ to things that don’t support your goals. It might mean saying no to social plans so that you can stay home and work on your project.
It might mean setting a strict bedtime so that you can get up early and have some quiet time to work on your project.
This could mean shutting out social media or having a ‘no electronics’ rule for an hour a day. 27% of people go right to social media as soon as they wake up. It’s a pervasive issue and critical for your personal betterment to manage your social media consumption.
Whatever it is, setting boundaries will help you to make time for your creativity.
4. Simplify your life
Another way to make time for your creativity is to simplify your life. This means decluttering your home, getting rid of unnecessary commitments, and streamlining your schedule.
When you have less things to take care of, it frees up time for you to focus on the things that are important to you.
5. Outsource and delegate
One of the best ways to make time for your creativity is to outsource and delegate. This means hiring someone to do the things that you don’t have time for.
And this doesn’t have to be an expensive or elaborate undertaking. I know people who hire virtual assistants to clear their inboxes, organize meetings, or just handle the little things that take up their time.
You can also delegate tasks to family and friends. Ask your spouse to take care of the dishes while you work on your project. Or ask a friend to watch your kids for an hour so that you can have some uninterrupted time.
Outsourcing and delegation can be a great way to make time for your creativity.
6. Reframe your creative passion as an important aspect of your life
One mistake I see people make is that they downplay the importance of their hobbies and creative outlets.
They say it’s ‘just reading’ or ‘just baking’ or ‘just painting’. But the truth is, these things are important. They make you who you are.
And if you want to make time, it’s essential to voice the fact that these things matter to you.
One way to do this is to reframe your creative passion as an important aspect of your life. For example, you could say,
‘My love for dancing is an important part of who I am and it’s something I need to make time for.’ Just saying it to yourself creates a sense of power. And when you talk about your interests to your friends, family, and coworkers, don’t be afraid to be vocal about how this creative act is important to you.
When you respect your hobbies, others will too. And they’ll help you make room in your life for them.
7. Embrace the ‘joy’ of missing out
Whether we like it or not, we have limited time in this world. Roughly 4,000, according to author Oliver Burkeman.
So it’s important to use our time wisely and choose between different important things.
We simply cannot do everything we want and this knowledge can paralyze us and create the fear of missing out.
However, if we shift our focus and look at the ‘Joy of Missing Out,’ it can liberate us.
The ‘Joy of Missing Out’ is the happy realization that we cannot do everything and that’s okay. It’s the joy of choosing one thing over another. It’s the joy of having the ability to make a choice at all that should thrill us.
So, whenever you’re faced with a conflict when it comes to your creative work, don’t be afraid to choose.
Remember the ‘Joy of Missing Out’ and use your limited time to focus on the things that matter most.
Making time for your creativity doesn’t have to be complicated. Start with these six simple tips and you’ll be well on your way to a more creative and fulfilling life.