Making time to create
At the blog Abundance, I came across an interesting post on making time to create. Marelisa, the Abundance blogger, includes many good ideas for getting yourself to show up and be effective — although you may find that many of the ideas are not altogether relevant to someone at home with little ones.
Children or no children, the author points out the necessity of prioritizing your creative time — and references that guru of business/life organization, Stephen Covey, with a reminder that we need to spend time on the important things in our lives, not just the most urgent ones. A significant distinction. While taking care of all the things that “need” to be taken care of, it’s easy to lose sight of the creative work that is important to you. This work is important not only because it satisfies you and moves you closer to realizing your creative dreams, but also because spending time being creative has a positive ripple effect in so many other areas of your life.
In helping to increase one’s focus on being creative and making the most of creative opportunities, I was intrigued by the following suggestion:
Establish a Clear Purpose for Every Creativity Session
When you sit down to create make sure that you have a clear sense of what you aim to accomplish during that particular creativity session. For instance, your goal could be to spend forty minutes researching an article on the effects of stress on creativity, to spend fifteen minutes creating an outline, and to spend the remainder of the time allotted to get started writing the article.
I really like this idea, and I don’t think I’ve thought about it quite so concretely before. Sometimes just “spend time writing” is a little too open-ended for me. Sure, it feels good to actually meet that goal and do some writing, but it feels even better if my goal is “finish chapter four” and I actually finish it.
Attaching a specific goal to your anticipated output also helps to raise its importance. It’s not just that you need to spend some time painting this week, you need to finish a sketch for a new still life you’ve had in mind. I think that this level of specificity helps to legitimize your work — which is vital in the battle of finding time for what’s important, not just the things that are urgent.
What do you think? Do you like working for something specific, or do you feel like that squashes your creative spark? When you’re working on a larger project, does it help to break that project into manageable pieces, and then focus consciously on each one?
And while we’re talking about time management for domestic life, here’s a nice refersher course for moms, from Simple Mom, if you need a little mentoring.
[Photo mosaic courtesy Leo Reynolds.]