Three Steps to Scheduling Creativity
One of the things that has really vexed me in the last year is finding time to be creative. I want to be a person that creates stuff, and while I’ll use the term creativity loosely (because I am certainly not artsy) what I have realized is that in some form or fashion we all can be creative.
You might be creative in accounting (not sure if that is ideal or not, but you know what I mean), you might be creative in writing, or you might be creative in parenting (that feels really important). What I have wrestled with is that all that creativity takes time! Time to start thinking about what you are going to create, time to produce it and time to make it look good.
How do you find the time to be creative?
Well, in a recent podcast interview I sat down with one of the most creative guys I know, James Keith Posey (podcast drops on Friday – you can subscribe here), and he said something that has really stuck with me: You have to schedule your creativity.
I feel like those statements live in opposition of each other, but as he began to flush out what it meant it became clear: If you don’t schedule your creative time, you’ll never have enough time to be creative. He would go on to say that he schedules everything; from dates with his wife, to working on simple graphics.
Scheduling the time gives you permission to create the necessary space for the ideas to come. And the other thing that came up in my conversation with James Keith is that you don’t want to give the creative stuff the leftover time!
So, here are three things you can do to schedule creativity:
1. Find what part of the day you work the best. All of us have a natural rhythm. Some want to work in the morning (like me), and others do their best stuff at night (like James Keith). Find what works best for you and block that time off from other distractions. In my case I do my best arduous tasks in the afternoon.
2. Physically put it on your calendar, even if you don’t know what you are going to do yet. It can be so tempting to eliminate blocks of creative time when you don’t know exactly what you are going to do. Sometimes, just creating the space is enough. When you create that space your eyes will become fresh, and the vision you have been looking for might appear.
3. Schedule a nap. I have been a big fan of this for years, and I nap 3-5 days a week. A good 15 minute nap for me is like giving my creative juices a jolt. It reminds me of taking a shot of espresso. If you aren’t rested it becomes increasingly more difficult to do good creative work. Naps are important!
I recently found a quote by Tanner Christiensen that says, “Creative isn’t something you become, it is a process developed over time.”
So I wonder: What are you developing?