One of the most comment complaints I hear as a Creativity Coach is that people would love to create more but they simply don’t have time to fit it in their busy lives.
At first that seems like a fair argument, especially in our ever increasingly demanding modern lifestyles.
But just by saying “I don’t have enough time”, we’re immediately putting ourselves in a position of being a powerless victim, of not being in control.
We’re saying it as if time is a precious commodity that is handed out incredibly sparingly to very few, and if you’re not lucky enough to be chosen and bestowed with such gifts, it’s tough luck, you’ll just have to accept that you’ll never have time to create the things the matter to you.
So let’s begin giving you some of that power back.
Let’s start taking apart that damaging myth that you don’t have time to create, piece by piece.
First, we’re going to reframe what you tell yourself about not having time to create.
What if instead you say: “I’m choosing not to make time to create. I have a choice in how I use my time, and creating is not a high enough priority in my eyes right now for me to devote more time to it.”
That’s the reality. You have chosen to spend your time doing other things ahead of creating. I’m not making a judgement on whether that is good or bad or right or wrong. It’s just the truth. If you wanted to create more, you could make time for it by doing less of other things, by reprioritising.
Second, how much time do you really need to be creative?
If you imagine that you can only possibly create when you have a whole day free of other commitments, then it’s easy to never get around to creating.
Because you’re looking for huge blocks of time, you’ll never find them, and end up creating nothing.
This is like running a charity campaign where you need to raise say £10,000, and going round to 1000 people and asking if they would individually be willing to donate the £10,000. Because no-one is likely to have that kind of loose change in their pocket, you don’t get your donation and give up on raising money completely, without a penny.
But what if you went round those same 1000 people and asked for a donation of £5 or £10 or £20? It’s likely you’d get an average donation of £10, and overall make the £10,000 you needed comfortably.
Converting this analogy back to making time to create, you can make 15 mins free each day to create. Maybe you could get up a little earlier, go to bed a little later, watch 15 minutes less TV, fit it in while you’re waiting for someone. You can easily find 15 minutes a day to be creative.
We all have 24 hours in a day, which is 96 of these 15 minute chunks of time. Devoting just one of these to creating can be done by anyone. Yes even you.
It’s like saying for every £96 you earn, can you invest just a measly £1 into a savings account? Of course you can, it’s a tiny fraction in the large scheme of things.
(By the way if you don’t think you can commit just 1 of your 96 chunks of 15 minutes you have each day to creating, you might as well stop reading here. I can’t help you.)
Third, creating is far more important to you than you realise or remember.
When you’re lost in creating, when you’re in that amazing flow where you lose track of time and place, it’s like nothing else you can ever feel. We’ve all felt this way creating, even if only fleetingly. And we all want to return. It feels good, it feels right, it feels natural.
Going back to priorities, you haven’t been making creative time enough of a priority because you’ve forgotten how vital it is. And feeling good through creating isn’t about some self indulgent ego massage that benefits no-one on the world other than you.
When you enjoy creating, you feel better, happier, lighter, more positive. Which radiates into other areas of your life, and out to the people close to you. This can only be good for everyone. It would be selfish for you to NOT create!
So let’s recap.
1. You’re far more in control of your time than you think. It’s your choice how to make use of your time, and what to make a priority. You can choose to devote time to creativity, to prioritise it, to make it more important.
2. Creating can be done for a tiny amount each day. The momentum builds and makes you more and more creative. It’s far more valuable to create for 15 minutes each and every day than have a chunk of a couple of hours once a week, because of this cumulative creative effect, this momentum.
3. You’ve lost touch with how important creating is to you. It’s an essential part of your life it is, and needs to be. When you create you feel better, everyone around you feels this positive effect to. This radiates out further and further, as you inspire others to be creative too.
So, as you look around and see that myth you’ve been carrying around about not having enough time to create shattered and laying in tiny pieces all around you, how about starting your new daily creative habit with 15 minutes of creating right now?
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