MAKING CREATIVITY A PRIORITY.
Making your creative projects a priority can be an important step in building tangible progress and that helps hugely with motivation and staying power. It shifts your mindset into taking your art more seriously and makes it less of a battle to squeeze time for creativity into your day-to-day.
Prioritising a project above the rest of your daily tasks helps to drive focus and can make it easier to cut out that distracting mental noise while you work. By making your art first thing in the morning, or by saying no to a draining social activity; you can give yourself the best possible chance of having high creative energy. This can create a much more focused attitude when you sit down at your desk and a better quality output as a result.
This is something I've found personally as I was reflecting on a bit of a slow writing period recently. It turned out that I wasn't blocked or stuck or lacking in inspiration - I just hadn't been making those writing sessions a priority.
The difference in focus and energy when I put my hour of writing first - before everything else - was huge. Instead of squeezing it in wherever I could in a day full of work and other distractions; instead of rushing through it and resenting the time it was taking from other things - I was able to really enjoy it. My flow returned, my output was higher (and better quality), and in turn my mood was happier and more content.
Sometimes, if you feel a little stuck or blocked with a project; or maybe frustrated that it's not progressed as fast as you'd like, reassessing your priorities can be a strong first step in finding your flow again.
Ask yourself, honestly, am I making the time to work on this in a calm, focused way? Or am I rushing through it or pushing it to another day because I'm putting other tasks before it?
If the answer is the latter, how can you shuffle things around in your routine to help refocus things?
Some different ways we can prioritise a creative project.
- Do it first thing. Get your hour of writing or sketching or painting out of the way before you've had chance to get distracted and when your creative energy is at it's highest.
- Say no to doing something else that will drain your energy before you've had chance to create.
- Block out one evening or weekend day a week to pour into your project (and protect that time). Get efficient about the things that tend to take up that time, and see if you can batch cook/clean/do laundry in advance so that you don't have any other pulls on your time or attention.
- Invest in it. Money is a great incentive, and booking a class or an accountability call can help boost that project further up in your priorities.
- Set yourself a goal or a deadline.
I think it's also worth thinking about the times when your creativity isn't a priority, and why that's okay too.
Sometimes we just need a day, a week, a month, to put other things first. Life, work, family commitments, health - are all things which can get on top of us, and sometimes it's just not possible to make the space to create alongside all of that.
We need to learn to be okay with shifting and bending our priorities in order to make room for creativity when we are able to do so. Listening to yourself, leaning into your intuition, and generally being more flexible allows you to start recognising when you need to prioritise other things, and when you're just making excuses for yourself.
There's no point in forcing yourself to stay in and work on your creative project if it's making you miserable or if you really are missing out on something, but equally, if you're consistently putting that project to the bottom of your to-do list, you might need to look at why that is.
If you find that making your creativity a priority is a chore instead of a joy, it's probably for a reason. It might be that you're putting it off out of fear, or because you're bored and need to refresh your inspiration.
Whatever that reason, a little bit of investigating and reflecting can often help to put you and your creative project back on track again.
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