If you are a creative like me, you know how difficult it can be to always be “on”. There are days where you need to create something and you’re surrounded by distractions! Or, you’re just simply not feeling creative. We don’t always have the luxury of waiting until we’re inspired, motivated, or in the zone.
So…how do you get your creative juices flowing? Here are tried and true tips that work for me and I’m sure will support you as well:
What time of day are you most creative?
You have to know what times work best for you to get things done. What is your energy like? What are some tasks that need to get done first thing in the morning, and which can you leave for later at night? For me, I need to get writing done in the morning. Making writing my first task for the day, I avoid allowing distractions to get in the way. There’s usually less stress in the morning, and I’m more open to new ideas because my mind is clear. It’s more likely to get done and not put on the back burner because of urgent things that may come up during the day. I am also a sunshine lover, and I get my best work done when the sun in full blast.
But, that’s just me…what works for you? You have to honor yourself and how you work naturally. Working against your natural way of doing things only depletes your energy further and makes things harder to get done. And, when you’re doing something creative, you want to feel as relaxed as possible. This isn’t a mindless task, so you have to be sure you’re placing yourself in an environment that truly supports your mind and spirit.
Be careful with social media and email
Social media is great! There’s no need to list the pros of this great invention here. However! Social media and email can be a HUGE time and energy drain, for real. So, turn off all the notifications on your computer and phone. Instead, schedule a time to check email and schedule a time to check social media…and stick to it! Seriously, the bigger your network, and the more you’re interconnected, the more messages you receive a day and it can become a full-time job just keeping up with it all. Take control of the internet…don’t let it control you.
Also, I have to mention that keeping up with social media can sometimes pull you into the comparison game. It’s hard to avoid getting sucked into everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives and think that everyone is so much further ahead than you. This is a major creativity destroyer. You want your motives in creating to be pure, not because you’re trying to compete. So, to avoid the comparison game, save your social media and email check in for later in the day. Do not check email and social media first thing in the morning! <—Yes, that’s a hard one…but, try it and thank me later! 😉
Be prepared for the ‘I don’t wannas’
When you’re feeling down in the dumps, be prepared. It’s easy to cheer someone else up when you’re feeling good. But, cheering yourself up while you’re feeling down can seem impossible. So, have a list of things that you will do no matter what when you feel this way. Here are some ideas: make up your bed, take a shower, get dressed, take your vitamins, journal, put on makeup, go outside, EAT!, drink water or chamomile tea, clean something, do yoga, turn OFF the television and social media, phone a trusted friend or mentor.
Doing some or all of these things usually help to get me going when I’m feeling stuck. You gotta move to get the momentum going. It’s okay if you fall down, but get back up and keep moving!
Commit to just 15 minutes
If sitting down for 4 hours feels impossible at the moment, just commit to 15 minutes. Seriously. By the end of the 15 minutes, you’ll more than likely feel yourself getting in the zone and want to keep going. If so…great! If not, it’s okay. Give yourself a 30 minute break and then do another 15 minutes. Keep repeating. You’ll either finally get into the zone or if not, at least you will have gotten something done. Getting something done is better than getting nothing done simply because you didn’t feel like it.
If you’re patient with yourself and have compassion…these moments will not occur everyday. If they do, then that means something deeper is going on here. Consult a mentor or coach to work through this. There’s nothing wrong with you, it may just mean you’re going about things in a way that’s not natural for you, or maybe you’re forcing yourself to do something you really don’t want to do. Either way, it’s okay, allow this to be a learning tool for you.
Just write! (or sing, design, etc.)
If you’re trying to create something, whether it’s writing, making music, creating art, coming up with a new idea of some sort. Move. Don’t just sit there, you have to get it out somehow. For example, when I sit down to write, I don’t wait until I have my topic or bullet points to start writing. I just sit down and start typing…anything! I just type and type and type until all of a sudden a great idea comes and then I go with it. But, I never hit delete. I just let it all out. After I’m done, I’ll go back and delete what doesn’t belong and make corrections. It works for me, every time.
The magic starts by just letting out everything. Get it moving. It’s kinda like turning on the hot water and letting the cold water run out until the water turns hot. You have to wait for the water that’s been sitting in the pipes to get out. And then, voila! Allow yourself to warm up and you’ll be good to go!
Give yourself a block of uninterrupted time
Turn off your cell phone! Or, at the least silence your ringer. You need a block of uninterrupted time. But, don’t think that just because you schedule 4 hours to do something that it means you’re going to have 4 hours of work at the end. A lot of that time is going to used simply getting started, so don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s totally normal. So, schedule more time if necessary. If you want to have 4 hours of work at the end, maybe schedule 5 or 6 hours to allot for getting in the mood, so to speak.
These are tips that work for me…do you have other tips that you’ve found work well for you to get your creative juices flowing? Let me know in the comment section below!