Hello friends, Happy Monday! Today I wanted to talk about something that’s been very close to my heart lately (well, it’s always been important, but the time constraints of a new mom to an ambitious toddler has made this topic much more important to me 🙂 ). Today I want to talk about finding time for creativity.
We all know the old motto of practice makes perfect, but I feel like a much more important question is, how much practice is needed to improve? What can we do if we’re feeling like our entire day consists of tasks and responsibilities that constantly pull us away from our easels, sketchbooks, and journals? You may start to feel like you just don’t have time to pursue your creative interests, but I’m here to tell you that yes, you do.
How Much Time Is Enough?
So first let’s talk about how much time, exactly, is enough to get better at whatever it is we want to do? Well, at the risk of sounding cheesy and cliche, I’m going to tell you that whatever time you can make is enough. Do what you can, with what you have. If all you have is 15 minutes while you’re waiting for dinner to finish up in the oven and your kids are content playing with their toys for the moment, then use that time. Open up your sketchbook, sit at the dining table, and draw a little sketch while your kids are content. If that’s all you can do that day, then that’s enough.
The most important question isn’t how much, but how often. Skills aren’t developed by devoting a ton of time to them at once, but by devoting a ton of time to them in succession, over a long period. After all, we’re trying to become better artists here, not binge-watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix (cough).
Let’s think about how much time we can create for ourselves in a day, and then look at the big picture. Maybe you can devote half an hour per day to yourself to work on your creative outlet of choice. This could be art journaling, drawing, painting, or even just reading a good book. Perhaps you can find more time on the weekends, but let’s not worry about that for now. 30 minutes, 7 days per week. That’s an extra 15 hours per month. Bascially a week’s worth of hours at a part-time job! Think about those 15 hours. A whole lot can be done in 15 hours! And you get that every month to do your thing. That could be a couple books read, an art journal filled, a painting or two created! And you can do that much per month. This means you could paint 1-2 paintings per month, for a total of 12-24 paintings in a year. That’s certainly enough paintings to improve your painting skills! That’s enough to fill a room with paintings! And you can do that with just 30 devoted minutes per day. Now think about what you could do with an hour a day! Or 30 minutes per weekday, and 90 minutes on weekend days!
How to Carve Out The Time For Creativity
I hope I’ve inspired you with a look at what you can achieve if you put a little effort into something every day. Remember, it’s not the amount of time per session that’s important, but the frequency of those sessions. Now let’s brainstorm some ideas for finding that time.
First, the time has to be right for you. When are you most creative? In the morning? Try waking up half an hour earlier to have some “you-time” before the rest of your day begins. Are you more creative at night? Maybe stay up half an hour later, or start multi-tasking. Instead of sitting on the couch and watching your favorite show in the evening, have your sketchbook or notebook beside you, and do some doodling or writing while watching your show, or even just during the commercials. An hour-long show has about 20 minutes worth of commercials, so that’s almost your entire half an hour right there, and you won’t even miss any of your show!
Aside from adding extra time to your day, look at your daily routines and try to find some down-time where you’re not doing anything productive, and instead of having that be “dead” time, try to insert some bursts of creativity. Maybe you have to commute to your job, so do some writing or drawing on the train/subway/taxi/carpool. Maybe you’re meeting a friend for lunch/coffee and they’re running a bit late. Pull out your sketchbook and do a little doodle for the extra 10/15/20 minutes you’re waiting for them. This is one reason I love having my Midori notebook in my purse at all times. It’s got my schedule and a mini sketchbook in it, complete with drawing inspirations, so I’m ready to grab my pencil and do a little drawing whenever I find myself with unexpected downtime.
These little opportunities and pockets of time really add up, which is something I’m becoming more and more aware of as a new mom. At first I felt like I had no more free time, as my little guy kept me busy all day long. But then I started noticing that there are little chunks of time here and there when he can be on his own and drink his bottle, play with a few toys, have a snack, and he doesn’t need me to be devoting 100% of my time to him at that moment.
And if all else fails, these little humans can’t stay awake forever. Bedtime is coming.
What do you do to find time in your day for creativity? Share you tips in a comment below, and thanks so much for stopping by! Till next time, keep creating!