Finding Slices of Time for Creativity


Finding Slices of Time for Creativity

If you're like me, you feel like you're running a marathon from the moment you wake up to the moment it's time for bed. All of us are being run off our feet these days; we're so darn busy, and we're so darn good at filling up our days with activity. All that ceaseless activity can rob us of our creative time, our thinking and daydreaming and producing time. But when we get to the end of the month, we regret and wonder where the time went. The secret, though, is that you have more time than you think.

Time and productivity experts (yes, there are scientists and researchers who study this stuff) have found that people think they are busier than they are. That is, they're actually wasting huge swaths of time without even being aware that their time can be used more wisely. Just think about your typical weekday: you might have classes, but there are breaks, study periods, times before and after each class. There's the time waiting for the bus and time when you get home and goof off for a bit before you start homework. There's time before dinner and after it. There's time before bed. Our days are filled with slender slivers of time, time we usually spend waiting or staring at our phones or eating when we're not hungry. There's time when we visit Facebook for the nth time that day; time spinning in our chairs procrastinating before we get to work. And let's be honest; there's time watching a little too much television.

It's impossible to productively use every moment of the day, of course. Sometimes we need that time; we need to zone out or chill or take a break. We need to eat and sleep and flop on the couch. But if just one of these times were used for creative work, you'd be amazed by how much more you could accomplish. It's up to you to figure out which slice of the pie you can convert into creative time.

Think about it this way: do you really need to watch two episodes of your favorite show, or can you watch one and then do a little writing? What if you did a bit of your homework while you were at school, so you could use homework time for writing time? When you start to make deals with yourself, you'll be amazed at how much time starts to open up. What if on weekends you took half the time to eat lunch? What if you gave yourself a Facebook-free day? Just think of all the creative space you'd carve out in your day!

As we all grow up and become adults, we have to figure out how to use our time wisely as more and more time obligations crowd their way into the day. Suddenly there's a job to go to, more chores to do. There's laundry and meals and social time, too. But is there a way for you to save half an hour for sitting in a chair with your notebook? If you prioritize your creativity, you'll be able to find time for it. There's always a little more time hiding in the corners of your daily life.