The Terrifying Dizziness Of Too Much Time

If only you had more time, you’d be able to be so much more creative. Right?

Actually, having too much time can be more crippling to being creative than not having enough.

The thought of having a whole morning, or a whole day, completely yours, completely free to create to your heart’s content, sounds at first like a wonderful prospect. And some of us would grab the opportunity with both hands and not waste a second in getting down to creating.

But many of us, and I include myself here, can equally find any chunk of time more than three or four hours kind of overwhelming.

With that vast canvas in front of you, (a canvas of time, as well as a literal canvas for you to create upon), stretching out almost indefinitely, suddenly you feel a little dizzy with the freedom of it all, as if you’re standing at the edge of a great desert with nothing in sight in front of you.

image: ecreyes

How do you start, which project do you choose when you have so many that you COULD be creating? Maybe just checking your email, or browsing a few websites, or rearranging your books or creative supplies for a while will help while you get focused.

The danger is you then spend most of the time you had available surreptitiously finding ways around getting down to creating, simply because you’re overwhelmed with where and how to begin.

Then before you know it, your time is up and you feel like it’s completely wasted.

“If I can’t be creative when I DO have a big block of time, what hope have I got when I only have half an hour here and there?” may be the kind of thoughts that rattle around inside your head, as your inner critic bounces up and down whooping and rubbing his hands with glee…

In fact you have every hope, and quite probably a far better hope, when you instead create more often, for shorter periods.

All of us – however creative we are, however unconventional we believe we are – need routines and habits in our lives to be at our most creative, and most productive.

The key to being consistently creative, and reaching an effortless creative flow, is to create regularly, to build habits that mean you set down to create as easily and regularly as you eat and sleep.

Any structure needs it supporting pillars, its foundations, the framework that greatness can be built upon.

When you create for just a short time every day, this forms exactly those kind of pillars. By committing to just small blocks of time, it’s so much easier to form these daily habits.

Fifteen minutes is a great time to start with. It’s long enough to get something meaningful done, but not so long that you feel that overwhelming dizziness of not knowing what to create and panicking that time is slipping away and you’re wasting it.

When you create every day, you summon almost magical powers.

Try this for fourteen days and you’ll start to feel the benefits. You can then either expand the length of time you create for each session to thirty minutes, then an hour, or add another session each day.

Little and often works so much better in laying those foundations for a whole life of abundant creating than a big chunk of time once a week.

Try it yourself, create a little every day, and banish for good that overwhelming dizziness of too much time.

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3 thoughts on “The Terrifying Dizziness Of Too Much Time”

  1. Wow, this post speaks to my soul!

    This is why I find myself procrastinating big projects. If I start early, with lots of time, I feel overwhelmed. Like staring into the desert, as you say.

    I’ll try your method of a little bit each day.


  2. Damien, thanks for your comment. I realise I work best that way too. In most of my creative writing of the last year or year and a half I’ve written many short stories and poems, that have been part of larger collections.

    It’s just gone that way, and I’ve just realised having read your comment that I’m far more creative that way than trying to tackle something huge in one go.

    Thanks. 🙂


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