3 Tips for More Creative Time
A popular blogger recently surveyed her readers to find out what prevented them from doing the creative or enjoyable projects they really cared about. Can you guess the clear winner?! Lack of time.
It’s something I hear often from my clients too, they have such amazing gifts and beautiful creative dreams that they’d love to offer the world… if only they had more time. If lack of time feels like an issue for you, too – here are 3 simple ideas to play with, designed to help you enjoy a happier, more spacious relationship with your timetable and calendar.
One thing I advise my time-starved clients to do – before making any changes to their commitments and schedule – is to get really clear on why they want more time. It’s a really valuable exercise and I highly recommend it if you also long for more creative time. Aim to get crystal clear and as specific as possible on the details of what you want to make room for in your life.
Do you want time to paint, write, play music, invent or plan a new venture? If so, how much time do you want or need? Half an hour a day? One afternoon a week? Or do you simply crave a more relaxed pace, spaciousness and free time – some soul-soothing empty space on your calendar? If so, what would that would look like for you in your life?
Getting clear on why you want more time will help you begin to imagine how these meaningful projects and activities might fit into your life. And imagining is the first step to making things happen… There’s also another bonus doing of this exercise: If your goal is to make more progress with your creative work, getting clear beforehand – on which projects or the tasks you want to focus on – will help you make the most of your time when you do get some creative space. This way, you’ll maximise any opportunities to do the work you love, and not waste these precious times by spinning in confusion, dithering between projects or doing menial prep tasks.
Stop saying “I’d love to but…I just don’t have time.”
How often do you say that? It’s a very common claim in our busy modern world. I know I’ve used this as a reason many, many times in the past. And often, it does feel very valid and true – we really do believe it! Though, if we’re honest, there may be other times when it’s more of an excuse – it’s a polite way of saying we don’t want to do or prioritise the activity in question.
But either way, saying this over and over reinforces the idea that we are short of time. It’s an affirmation. We reinforce it as a truth in our mind and our life every time we say it. It’s a powerful, repeated focus on the opposite of what we actually want – more time.
So to boost your sense of time, try this for a week or two: Ban the words, “I don’t have time.” This will highlight how many times you’re in the habit of claiming it as true. And if you’re wondering what you’ll say instead…?
Start saying this
Get creative with alternatives. If you need to explain to others, you might say “I’d love to but…I’m currently focusing on my health/career/family/creativity and I don’t want to take on too much.” Or perhaps, “I’d love to and would definitely like to schedule that when I have time available.” Or if you’re using lack of time as an excuse to decline an invitation, you could be diplomatic-yet-honest and say, “Thank you for the offer, but do you mind I pass this time?”
If you’re worried about hurting other people’s feelings, you may actually find that they appreciate your honesty -many people respect those who are confident in their boundaries. But what about when it’s yourself that you’ve been telling you don’t have time? You can practice reframing those old claims to something more empowering, positive and supportive. For example, “I am choosing to spend my time on this rather than that.” Or, “I have decided not to prioritise that yet.” This approach may reveal that your issue is less a lack of time and more a lack of priority, focus, urgency or meaning.
But this is also helpful, as it helps you understand more about your self and your behavior. Plus, it allows you to let go of the unhelpful and disempowering idea that you’re strapped for time.
So, will you spend some time playing with these ideas?! I hope you’ll find them a worthwhile investment and that they spark some helpful insights into how you spend your time and what matters to you. Because in reality, it’s impossible to create more time in our days. All we can do is get better at managing the 24 hours we have available.
When we get clear on our priorities and align our time with what matters to us, we naturally feel that we have more time for ourselves. And when we adopt a more proactive and positive approach to our sense of time, we get to enjoy an empowering feeling of control over our minutes, hours and days – the precious units of our lives.
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