7 Ways to Carve Out Time for Creativity as a Small Business Owner
By Ella Nobre-Watts of whimsicella
It’s not always easy to carve out creative time, but when the basis of your business is creativity, time equals money. So, how do you find more time (and motivation) to engage in creative work every day?
Many creative business owners also lament the lack of time they have to pursue their creative passions outside of work. Finding balance can be tricky, but we’ve come up with a few ways you can make adjustments to the way you work.
So without further ado – here are 7 productivity hacks to help get those creative juices flowing:
1. Pay attention to your routines
Take note of your daily routines, paying special attention to the times of day when you feel most productive, so that you can block them out to do your creative work. Avoid using these times for meetings, appointments, or errands. For example, if your peak creative time is in the morning, try not to take any meetings before lunchtime so that your flow is not interrupted.
2. Map out your week on a Sunday night
Steve Jobs was onto something when he wore a turtleneck to work every day; our brains can get clogged up with thinking about mundane everyday details. If you want to start eliminating decision time, sit down for a couple of hours on a Sunday night and make those decisions ahead of time – from meals you’re going to eat to even the outfits you wear.
3. Take regular breaks
Non-stop creating for hours on end won’t always produce the best results (and often are a one-way ticket to burnout). Make sure you take breaks throughout the day – even for just 10 minutes at a time – to provide your mind with some mental rest.
Bonus points if you incorporate gentle movement into these breaks, or take time to quiet the mind with some meditation.
4. Use project management tools to your advantage
Having a dedicated space to store and track your projects, instead of keeping it all in your head, will do wonders in freeing up time for creativity as you’re not manually keeping track of things.
There are lots of options to choose from – Asana, Notion, Trello, and ClickUp, to name a few. Whatever you go with, use it to manage your projects, centralize your materials, and track what’s needed when. If you have people on your team, you can even assign them tasks to help relieve the pressure and keep your focus on doing what you love.
5. Turn repetitive tasks into SOPs
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are sets of written instructions describing a step-by-step process to perform a routine activity. If you notice yourself doing a repetitive task, write it down. This works for tasks, but also for emails you send out regularly.
Having your processes written down not only frees up brain space (therefore allowing more time for creativity) but it also becomes helpful when you start hiring team members.
6. Set timers while working
If you’re someone prone to overthinking or procrastinating, try adding a sense of urgency to your creative process. For example, the Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management system where you break up tasks into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks.
Adding timers to your routines can help you stop thinking and start doing, and worry about refining later.
7. Don’t forget non-monetized creativity
When your work involves being creative for other people, it’s important not to forget to carve out creativity time that is just for you. Even if you’re only engaging in these activities once a week, make sure you take some time for some low-stakes creative projects that only serve the purpose of sparking joy.
BONUS: Schedule time to do nothing.
Never underestimate the power of simply being. If we want to be our best and most creative selves, we need to embrace the act of doing ‘nothing’ from time to time. To shut off our engine, rest, and just be. When we wind down, re-charge, and allow ourselves to daydream – sometimes called active procrastination – we create an incubation period for future bursts of creativity.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Share this blog post with your other creative friends and small business owners who may need a hand in boosting their creative time.
And remember that the Daisy Made community is always here on hand to support you as a creative business owner! If you haven’t already, check out our Magnetic Makers membership, where we get together for brainstorming sessions, send out dozens of creative resources, and host monthly entrepreneurial trainings to provide you with clarity and guidance.
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Daisy Made is our “creative happy place” a space to gather and grow collectively. Where no one feels left behind, stuck, or alone in the process of pursuing their craft - because we’re not meant to go at it on our own!