THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING TIME TO CREATE
Why You Should Make Time To Create
Some weeks feel like those wading through treacle weeks. You know the ones. You begin with the best laid plans, a carefully crafted To Do list and a new found balance (finally!) between completing your immediate priorities and getting around to some tasks you've been meaning to do. Forever. And then some of that bad juju happens… the kind that for me, generally goes a bit like this.
The tasks you think you can complete in a day ended up taking over twice as long. On top of that, unexpected freelance deadlines might land in your lap - with approximately 48 hours to complete them. By this point you might not have created any blog content for over a week and the jitters might be starting to set in. One such week was when I was Imminently supposed to be launching a rebrand for Online Stylist blog as was and had been advised that it was not good practice to disappear off the face of the content earth just ahead of this momentous event. Let alone there were still the admin, organisation tasks and new content planning that was all piling up and that I was hoping to get through before launch.
Oh yeah. And then there’s that other thing called family life. Let’s not forget that. Having somehow made it to Friday, I swear that my frown lines were a lot deeper than they were on the Monday. I wasn’t sleeping well and felt like I’d completely lost my mojo. What the hell had happened to my skipping to the desk in the morning humming the "I love my job" mantra in my head?
My light dawning on marble head moment finally appeared whilst chatting on the phone to a journalist about why I love Instagram so much. Wait. That’s it! I Missed Instagram!
I mean I had been Instagramming those past few weeks, but I hadn’t actually created the kind of imagery I truly loved to create when the moment strikes. And I hadn’t allowed myself any browsing with no real agenda time either - to sit and let myself be inspired by all the imagery on Instagram and Pinterest. Just time to scroll and discover stories and photos that might spark off an idea or two for some of that much-needed content. Or time to get into that glorious writing flow that comes with writing a L O N G blog post. Although it’s fair to say, I think you're probably getting one of those now!
What I’ve just described above are some of the ways in which I like to create. This strange and wonderful digital world that I inhabit for many of my waking hours has reached deep down to my core and unleashed a form of creativity in me. One I didn't even know that I had. I used to think that being creative had to mean painting, drawing, cooking, writing a book, sewing, knitting etc. Or actually making a physical, hold it in your hand thing. But I've come to realise that creativity comes in so many other forms too.
Without Words There Are No Blogs And Without Images There’s No Instagram
Regardless of what you do and whatever you consider that form of creativity to be, if you don't take the time to do it or soak up inspiration to store in your creative bank for later, life can suddenly feel pretty darn dull. In particular, if you work in a creative field and you haven't felt that buzz for a while, how can you expect to give your best efforts to your job and achieve some really soul-satisfying results? For me that translates as without words there are no blog posts. And without images, there's no Instagram.
Recently on Instagram I mentioned this revelation and lots of you were in agreement. My friend Laura from Hero mentioned that she actually worked far more productively and efficiently once she'd taken some time out to take some pictures for Instagram. Her other point here about dropping a deadline where you can makes perfect sense too.
Sometimes the deadline belongs to someone else so you have no choice but to meet it but what about those we impose on ourselves?
And I loved the analogy from @the_vintage_home about how, whatever form it might take, your artistic output allows you to dwell longer in those small lovely moments that you're capturing. If ever there was a time when we all need to dwell longer in life's lovelier moments, surely thats now?
One of the most challenging things I’ve found since working for myself is how to divide up my time so that all aspects of the business receive the right amount of focus. I found this theory on Jen Carrington's blog on the importance of being both CEO and Employee in your own company to be so on the money - I urge you to read it now!
I definitely fall too far into the Employee camp too often and need to devote more time to CEO mode. Jen suggests scheduling a CEO day each month to plan and strategize so this is what I’ll be doing from now on. To all of that I would definitely add a third component - creative time. And whilst creativity probably feels like something you should be able to do on impulse, perhaps we should be scheduling in time for that too. Maybe that’s where the right balance lies?
This blog post from my friend and yep let’s face it, all round guru, Monica, about how going with the flow can help you to take the stress out of work was another revelation for me this week.
I swear she knows when I'm flipping out and writes something to send out into the universe to restore my levels of calm!
Have you ever found yourself "stuck" in this situation and if so, what was it that made you realise you'd been lacking the time to create? Also, what do you do to unleash your creative energy? Enquiring (creative) minds want to know!
p.s. Biscuit asked me to let you know that she is available for all of your flat lay photobombing requirements should you require her services!
Photography: SarahLou Francis