Posted by: Cathy | March 12, 2018

Finding time vs Making space

To really fit creativity into your “real life,” it’s not about finding time but rather making space.

Time is elusive and expandable. When you’re doing something you don’t like, it can seem to last for hours. When you’re doing something you enjoy, it can seem like just a few minutes have passed. “Finding time” is unreliable.

Say you want to write a novel. That could take many hours over many months to complete. You could carve out 30 minutes per day to write, but that’s not enough. You also need to make space to write, mentally and emotionally as well as physically and temporally.

If you’re stressed about a challenge at work, you don’t have the mental space to write. If you had a fight with a friend, you don’t have the emotional space to write. If your desk is a mess and you need to clear it off before you can put down your laptop, you don’t have the physical space to write. If your schedule is overbooked, you don’t have the temporal space (aka “time”) to write. All of these kinds of space are important to your creative work.

So, how do we make space?

“The secret to your success is found in your daily routine.” John C. Maxwell

Mental and emotional space can be made by journaling and meditation. Have a regular practice to release stressors, process strong emotions, examine unhelpful habits and patterns, brainstorm solutions, and focus on gratitude.

Physical space can be made with regular chores and clutter clearing. It’s tough to get started, but easier to maintain if you work on it weekly.

Temporal space can also be made with clutter clearing. Notice how you prioritize your time; schedule in the important things (like your creativity!) and let the less important things contract to the remaining time available. Try doing important things in the first half of the day, when you still have some semblance of control before life happens.

Notice where you can make different kinds of space in your life. These types of space are important for our health and sanity. “White space” is an important concept in marketing; too much visual information is overwhelming and diffuses the key messages. Make space for yourself and your creativity.

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