Prioritize Your Creative Growth
Think you don’t have time for that creative idea? Think again. The moment you decide to prioritize your creative growth the better off you’ll be. It sounds like a lofty ideal but it’s more attainable than you might think. I’ve found that the benefits of valuing your personal progression are limitless and it shouldn’t only be experienced by those with an ample amount of free time.
Now I know that you’re probably thinking, “Monika, I simply don’t have time.”
Maybe you . . .
regularly take a double shift at work
were recently promoted
launched a side hustle
tend to your household
care for the elderly or sick
or maybe it’s all of the above?
If you’re a blogger you might wear ten different hats at once with a to-do list that never ends and barely enough time to squeeze out that extra post each week. All of these things are possible but the importance of your creative and personal growth doesn’t change.
You can’t give 100% to your other responsibilities if you don’t take a moment for yourself to feed your core. It’s like being in a relationship where you’re always going above and beyond for the other person but never checking in with yourself. No one wants to live a life where they’re just getting by, where they’re always giving but never refueling.
Easy To Say, Hard to Do
I get it. Saying you need to find time to grow creatively is easier said than done.
Recently, I planned to finish work early and spend the rest of the afternoon painting. I’ve gotten pretty good at realizing when I need a moment to decompress.
This tension builds up and slowly with each brushstroke my anxiety lessens. Over time it’s become a form of therapy for me. It’s not only an emotional release but it also feeds and sustains who I am at my core. I’m an artist and making art is what helps me to grow in all aspects of my life.
You may not be an artist. Maybe you’re a musician or a blogger. For you, there might not be an emotional shift. Instead, when you create fearlessly and prioritize your creative growth you might hone a skill or strengthen your spirituality. The benefits of taking your development more seriously are endless and, as you know, your dreams only work if you do.
Finding the Time
Alright, now you know that growing creatively is essential. You’re aware that you should give to yourself as much as you give to your other responsibilities but you still don’t know how to find the time. There are, after all, only 24 hours in a day. How are you supposed to squeeze in some “me” time if you don’t even have enough time to clean out your inbox?
You’re right. There are only 24 hours in a day and there isn’t anything any of us can do about that. We can, however, change the way in which we spend those hours. If you’re working a 9-5, need an hour both ways to commute, another hour to make dinner, and another few hours to help your kids prepare for the next school day when exactly are you supposed to do this?
It’s not like you can take a long lunch on a whim or tell your boss you’re heading out early so you can “prioritize your creative growth.” At least, not if you don’t want to get fired.
So what can you do? You can start small. Even if it’s a 10-minute break once a week to experiment with journaling or a 5-minute break to run outside and take some pictures you should do it. You have to give yourself a chance to evolve and, trust me, your next big creative epiphany isn’t reserved for hour-long studio sessions.
My FREE eCourse delves into this subject deeper. It can happen during a short walk around the block, or during your evening commute, or even in the bathroom!
The next step is to be flexible! I hope that knowing you don’t have to square away a big chunk of time all at once lightens the load. In order to keep heading in the right direction, you need to get into the habit of always being on the look out for extra time.
Some days visiting your creative space and diving head first into your process just isn’t in the cards. Remember the day I mentioned earlier when I wanted to paint in the afternoon? Thankfully I was still able to paint that day but it didn’t actually end up happening until much later. Like, somewhere around 8 PM that night.
Of course, I was frustrated but my other responsibilities were calling and I couldn’t look the other way. Having an abundance of free time lying around would be fantastic but unless it’s a Saturday or I’m on vacation that most likely isn’t the case. That’s part of life and honestly, that’s okay.
I made do with what I had and I squeezed in time at the end of my day to paint. Maybe on Monday, you had an appointment that ended sooner than you expected but then you were slammed on Tuesday. Use that extra time on Monday, even if it’s only 15 minutes or less, and keep a look out for the next time you might be gifted with a little more time.
Consistency Breeds Benefits
Don’t put pressure on yourself to always find the time. There will always be days where you can’t do it all. Still, you have to make a conscious effort to try to be consistent. Repetition is where the true benefits lie. In order to develop positive creative habits, you have to really integrate your passion into your life. It can’t just be something you do every other month and you can’t only reach for it when you’re already feeling like you might explode.
Those who consistently create what lights them up strengthen their skills, decrease their stress, find their center and lead more fulfilling lives. When you do what makes you happy you are happy. Period.
The Bottom Line
I’m not asking you to toss your responsibilities out the window in favor of prancing in a field. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine and I understand that the amount of time I’m able to wrestle up might be more or less than what you can manage.
All I’m asking is that you start small and work your way up. Ease into a creative routine that works for your busy lifestyle and don’t see this as yet another stressful thing to add to your to-do list. The moment I made my creativity a priority everything changed for me and I know when you chose to prioritize your creative growth it will for you too!
How do you prioritize your creative growth? What will you try next?