This week I have not been dancing, not writing, not painting, not anything that uses my creative brain for the joy of it. Instead I have been crafting plans for my new business. With 5 weeks til D-Day, I feel its extremely important to make progress each week.
Consequently, I have two unfinished art projects that look forlornly at me every day and I haven’t posted anything of note to this space in over a week. I say to myself “I will finish these, once I give an hour to business planning first”.
I also want to feel like I am not scheduling my creative time, but setting aside hours in which I can be completely absorbed and in the moment. Guess what? Those hours never come. Leaving things to later is a misnomer, when later arrives, it turns out that later isn’t a suitable time either. I tell myself that it’s still not an ideal time for letting my mind wander into that space.
The only thing that matters is what is happening in this moment.
Lets be honest, some things are always feel more pressing. The things we must to do first, otherwise we will fail (or so we tell ourselves). For me, my business (and how I will generate an income in June) seems more important than anything else.
But should it be?
This week two events made it abundantly clear that leaving creativity to later is not the way to go.
Put Creativity First
First a story about a friend of mine. He just changed countries and is now on the job hunt, a potentially soul-destroying hunt. It really can suck the life out of you. My friend is also very creative and writing a really cool book. He loves the research, the story and character development, and of course the writing!
We were talking about how he could break up his day to avoid getting sucked into the spiral of despair. He identified some things he could do and then said “…and I will leave the book to the evenings”. Like a reward that he would earn after he had survived the onslaught of the day.
That’s when it hit me. As clear as day. Putting creativity last is a wasted opportunity. Creativity isn’t a reward for bravery and surviving, it is the catalyst for a great day. For happiness. It can help us be more resilient to make the tough times seem that little bit easier.
Happiness begets Creativity begets Happiness
Yesterday I watched a talk given by creative agency Running With Scissors about how they set out to create happiness at work and how they maintain that. Watch Here.
Something they said struck a chord with me.
“Happy people solve problems more creatively which makes them happy and so the cycle continues until people believe that anything is possible and the sky is the limit.”
So happiness is the key.
Hence putting creativity first is going to make you happier and set you up for a better day that you would have had otherwise. Leaving it to the end, may mean it doesn’t happen. Excuses start to flow – too tired, its been such a long day…you know the deal. Putting it first could have tremendous impact on your day.
In my heart I know that starting my day by being in my creative brain, will allow me to thrive.
What I don’t know, is how on earth do I can make that happen. How can I start my day with creativity? How can I put it first? Whether its 10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour as long as I activate my creative brain.
Putting It Into Practice
- Identify your creative activity. The one that gets the neurons firing with ideas and solving cool problems, where time is irrelevant and your are completely absorbed. Doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are in the moment. Find it.
- Assess yourself. How often are you doing your creative activity? Are you actively scheduling it in your diary? Does it take priority? Is it something you plan on squeezing in but never quite get around to?
- Commit – Is this something you want to do more of? If the answer is yes, then its time to act. Its time to make the most of your creative opportunity.
- Put your creativity first. Find a way to start your day with your activity. It doesn’t matter how long for, as long as you are in the moment and using your creative brain you are on track to setting your day up right. Work through the blocks that are getting in your way.
- Start today. There is no later or tomorrow. Only this moment.
So today I am making a commitment to you. For the next 7 days I will put creativity first. While I am worried I will run out of canvases, I commit to starting my day with creativity. I will write a short note on my progress and how it makes me feel.
Send me good vibes!