[box] This is a post by the new Creativity writer here at asmithblog.com, Vincent Russell. Vince is a blogger with a passion to inspire creativity and pursuit of one’s dreams. Read more from him at his own blog, thevincerussell.com. [/box]
Can you relate?
Do you ever feel like you cannot make time for the things you really want to pursue? Good. I was hoping I was not the only one.
Even as I sit here on my couch, typing away on my MacBook Pro, I’ve found myself distracted by a commencement speech video on Facebook, another blogger’s website, and of course, my iPhone.
Distractions can become time-vampires and along with the added weight of obligations or commitments, these things begin to eat away at our valuable time like a bad Twilight saga.
Hi! My name is Overcommitment. It is nice to meet you!
Consider overcommitment for a moment. Does it not distract us from our creative projects?
For some of us, we have a problem with saying “no”. We overcommit ourselves. We often feel bad if we tell someone we cannot do something. This can present a problem for creatives as we feel we can take on the world one task sandwich at a time.
We find ourselves trying to tackle so many things at once or so many things during a regular week that the things we are personally passionate about get pushed to the wayside. Because of that, we often have feelings of insecurity. Insecurity that tells us we are not good enough to do the things we want to do. Insecurity that may tell us we cannot complete something our heart desires. You get the idea.
There comes a time when you will have to simply say “no”. That does not make you a bad person or a bad friend or coworker. It just means you are trying to avoid pulling out all of your hair. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Let that last sentence sink in for a moment.
Make time for what matters most.
“You can’t wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club” – Jack London
So how in the world do we make time for creativity? It’s actually quite simple.
Here are two things that I have found that work for me. I understand everyone may have different opinions or different approaches, so please take the following advice with an open mind.
1. Replace something unnecessary with something necessary.
For me this was television shows. I got rid of cable television almost a year ago. I used to spend so much time watching TV shows that were doing nothing to better myself as a person. I can recall countless hours spent wasting away in front of the TV. I won’t lie, I still have one show that I watch on regular programming, but it is only once a week, for one hour. Now my goal, even after a year, has been to replace that television time with reading. I feel that reading keeps our minds active and helps us become more knowledgeable or even more creative.
What is something you could replace?
2. Find the will to make the time.
Do you enjoy writing, video editing, photography, graphic design, blogging, et cetera? Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, but keep putting off, you must make time for it. When, during the day, are you most aware and productive? Some people find themselves most aware in the early morning. If that’s you, can you sacrifice 30 minutes of sleep to tackle those creative ideas? I think you can, but you have to think you can.
For me, I am indubitably, undoubtedly, without question not a morning person. The time in which I feel I am most creative is in the afternoon and that works for me. Once you find that time that works for you, do whatever you possibly can to be productive during that time frame. If you have to sacrifice sleep, do it. Whatever it is, make time for what matters.
“In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” – John Lubbock
Finding time to be creative presents itself as a difficult task; however, if you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. I challenge you this week to find 30 minutes out of the entire week to be creative. Do you love to paint? Head on over to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, buy a canvas, and slap some paint on there. Do you love to shoot photos? Grab your iPhone or Android and snap a picture of a classic car or the flowers in your yard.
Then just get creative with whatever it is that you are doing or making. You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel knowing you accomplished your goal.
What goal do you have for this week?