Though many of us complain we don’t have enough time to create, the reality is, if you were given a whole day free, or even half a day, would you actually spend it in a full flow non stop gushing outpouring of creativity?
Or would you have to first make sure you were up to date with your emails, then get on with creating?
Oh, but only after you’ve checked you favourite creativity blogs, just in case someone had posted that article on being more productive and overcoming procrastination that will finally help you create? Then you’d begin creating…
But only when you made sure all your materials were perfectly organised, pens in line, paints in colour order, and so on. Then you could begin creating.
After you’d made a snack, because by now, with all this preparation you’ve worked up an appetite. So once you’ve made something to eat, and eaten it, then you can get on with creating.
Oh but maybe while you were eating you’ve received a new email, or someone has posted some great new tips on being more creative, or you feel that having your materials lined up in colour order is not so conducive to creating and you’d rather have them strewn randomly to make the process more exciting?
And suddenly three or four hours have disappeared.
You can see the idea. I know this kind of procrastination well, I’ve done it myself many a time.
In my own experience, given an almost unlimited time to create, it becomes overwhelming. There are so many things you could do, and you have all day to do it, so why rush? Surely if you take your time, ease yourself into it gently, something will come?
But before you realise, half the day has gone. And all you’ve added to your life is even more information about how to create, a beautifully organised and reorganised set of materials and a bit of food in your tummy.
This is why actually giving yourself a specific, shorter chunk of time to create is far more productive. And satisfying.
When you set yourself, say, two hours only, to create, it instantly encourages you to be more focused.
Here are some additional tips to help you create more than a day’s worth of creativity in two hours (or even less):
– Pick one thing. It doesn’t matter what it is, you don’t need to spend another two hours choosing the “perfect” creative project. That doesn’t exist. The best projects evolve into something wonderful and unexpected. For that to happen you need to actually get stuck in and create. Choose one idea, and start to explore.
– Have your creative space ready. You don’t have to have every possible tool and material available, or an elaborate studio set up. But make sure that you have somewhere you feel comfortable and free to create in, whether it’s the kitchen table, a study, or in the middle of a field somewhere!
– Eliminate all distractions. One of the biggest creativity killers is distraction. We’re so connected and wired up these days it’s SO easy to procrastinate. Unplug all distractions. Tell people who need to know where you are and politely ask them not to disturb you. Offer them the same opportunity and courtesy at another time.
Then, start a timer for two hours, and just create whatever comes, without analysis, without judgement. Just outpour, just create.
Getting focused in a short space of time like this a very powerful way of creating.
What tends to happen is one of two things. Either you become incredibly focused on one project, and create more in a couple of hours than you have in the last couple of months.
Alternatively these kind of focused sessions become like a huge creative brainstorm, and given this opportunity, your creative mind generates enough new ideas for months worth of future creative projects.
Either way, the key is getting focused, and just creating. When you do, you’ll find that you too can create more in two hours than you’ve done in a whole day.
So, when are you going to try this technique yourself? Make a date with your creativity, write it down in your diary, let people know if anyone needs to know, and stick to it. Enjoy your creating…
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