Optimize Creative Time

Getting the Most out of Your Creative Time

You’ve started a habit of writing and scheduled your creative time, but are you getting the most out of that time? Here are some things you can do to optimize your creative time. These describes ideal situations. While you may not be able to have all of them (I’m typing this sitting in my car at a grave yard – not an ideal space), each of them can help you make the most of your time.

Before You Start

Whether or not you’re coming out of an atmosphere that promotes creativity, you need to get in the right mindset before starting. Find some inspiring music or a podcast that helps move you in the right direction. Spend some time stretching, doing yoga, or meditating. Clear your mind of anything that will distract you from your creative endeavors. Write down or type out anything that you need to remember and are afraid you will forget. Get anything out of your head that isn’t necessary for now. Do all of this BEFORE you start your creative time.

Have a Goal In Mind

This is where it starts. Without a goal, you may not accomplish anything. Maybe you want to start or finish a chorus or verse for a song. Maybe you’re creating topical lists or doing a random word writing exercise. Your goal could even be to come up with a list of goals for your next creative time. Having a goal will help keep you focused.

Silence Distractions

Speaking of staying focused, turn off phone notifications, notifications on your computer, even block social media sites and apps if you have to. It’s so easy to watch that one YouTube video your friend sent you, it’s only 2 minutes long, and then look at the clock an hour later having done nothing but get lost in YouTube. You can’t focus when there are so many things that can hijack your time so get rid of as many as you can.

Be Alone

Unless this is a collaborative creative project or you’re looking for feedback, having someone else around can easily get you off track. Work alone or only with people you know won’t distract you.

Be Comfortable

If your creative project is about being uncomfortable, be uncomfortable, otherwise there’s no reason to work in those conditions. Make sure your space is a comfortable place to get your ideas out.

Have a Creative Space

Make your own musical creative space <- read that post for ideas on what to put in a creative space. Depending on what you’re doing, have background music playing. Sometimes you may want to change your setting, but having a space where you consistently create can help prep you mentally to be creative.

The object isn't to make art, it's to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable. - Robert Henri Click To Tweet

Have your tools ready

Evernote, LyricWell, a pen and notebook, recording software. Whatever you need, have all of your tools ready to use so you don’t have an unnecessary pause in the middle of your work.

Take Breaks

If you’re creative time is a half hour or less, then you probably won’t need a break. For longer periods of work, try the Pomodoro Technique as a way to increase productivity. The basic ideas is to work for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break. After four 25 minute sessions, take a 15-30 minute break. For a more detailed description, read the primer on the Pomodoro Technique. You can use any timer, Tomato Timer, or any of the many phone apps available that track time using the Pomodoro Technique.

This is your time to create, make it the best it can be!

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