John's GET STARTED Series: "The Write Time"
So, I've told you to just DO your project.
Easy for me to say, right? The only problem is you don’t have time to create that thing you want to create.
I’m not going to lie and say it’s going to be easy to find time to write or work on that creative project. Most of us have our schedules pretty packed already. But who knows, maybe you feel you have plenty of time, but you just don’t know HOW to start, or WHEN to start.
Here are 4 ideas that may help you find the time you need to create:
1. GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT
I’m going to quote some people in this piece. And the first person is Dwight D. Eisenhower. That’s right. He said, “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”
The truth is, we’re all busy, but most of us probably can find time in our days if we take a good hard look at what we’re actually doing.
Eisenhower came up with a simple tool to help him make decisions based on what was important and what was urgent. You can use Eisenhower’s matrix to help you figure out if you’re using your time the way you want to and rearrange your priorities if you’re not.
2. MAKE TIME
Second quote. Mark Twain. “If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.”
The truth is Twain probably didn’t say that, but it sure seems like something he could have said. And I’m not saying that your creative project is the same as eating a frog, but the sentiment makes sense.
First off, our energy is highest first thing in the morning. Our batteries are fully recharged. Second, the further into our days we get the more likely it is that other things will pop up unexpectedly.
Here’s another quote that says pretty much the same thing. “You always have time for the things you put first” No idea who said that either, but it’s true.
Caveat - not everyone can do this. For a variety of reasons. If you can’t schedule your creative project first thing in your day, find some other time to schedule it. But put it on your calendar or your to do list. Make the time.
3. STICK TO YOUR TIME
You want to start a new habit - making time to work on your creative project. It takes time for a new habit to stick. Research has shown that it takes a minimum of 18 days to establish a new habit.
You may have heard of the 21 day challenge. This is where it comes from.
Now, you’ve decided you wanted to make this project a priority and you’ve set aside a specific time to work on it. Just work on it every day for three weeks. It can be just 10 minutes a day.
Remember, you’re not focusing on finishing your project, not trying to make something perfect or even profound. You’re trying to start a new habit of creating.
Next quote, this time from the Buddha: “Drop by drop is the water pot filled.”
4. IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Another quote! This time it’s an African proverb about raising children, but we can look at your project like a child you’re trying to bring into the world.
Humans are social creatures. We crave contact with others. And we have accomplished our greatest feats when cooperating with one another.
How can other people help you find time for your project? Reach out to someone you think would root for you and your project, maybe another creative type, and ask if they’ll give you 10 minutes a week to talk about it.
This will help keep you on track, motivate you, and who knows, maybe this person might have ideas that can help you on your way!
We’d love to hear about how you deal with finding time to create. Are you struggling? Do you have other ideas about how to find time?
Tell us about it in the comments below: