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Creating A Productive Habit

Do you feel like you don't have enough time for your creative projects? The right habits can offer a sense of fulfillment when we have time for our own projects.

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Unfortunately it is very easy to ‘go with the flow’ day in and day out. Starting the day and getting ready for work after which we can do the shopping and mentally prepare for the next day. On the weekends we could have some refresh time with friends and family but it’s usually not enough and we want to pursue our hobbies to write, read and create. Years can pass in such a state but there is a habit to focusing on the things we want to do even though we might have a full time job.

That is, if we create a schedule and plan for the week with time blocks in our calendar (physical or digital). By creating our time blocks for the week, it reinforces what we want to spend our time and mental bandwidth on, that makes it more likely that we will actually accomplish working on the projects we want.

While having a full time job, I started to explore opportunities and projects in which I can do what I wanted. Start writing online and publish articles, blog posts, publish eBooks, do some DIY gardening and home decorating. All in all to let my creativity take charge and spend time on what I really wanted.

I started to schedule these ‘recreational’ time blocks in my agenda from usually after work until early night. Just a couple of hours was enough almost every weekday. After a rather short period of time I started to experience frustration during the day. I felt like that If I spend 8+ hours at work, I might not have enough energy to accomplish what I wanted in my recreational projects because it is hard to write and publish blog posts on a regular basis if our minds are sort of already exploited during the day and it is exhausted to think. It could also happen that work did not finish on time and some extra hours were needed at the office that meant delaying on working on my projects. This also made me anxious.

The best practice I found was to schedule creative time blocks to the morning when my mind is still fresh. Before going to work. This turned out to be working great! I could finally work on my projects as long as the allocated time and it also provided me with a great feeling of accomplishment in the start of the day for the whole day. A feeling like “I already done what I wanted for the day so no matter what comes next, I already won.”. Such a feeling gave me an ease of mind for the remaining time of the day that also made me perform better at my job.

Ever since, I plan time blocks in my calendars and stick with them. By having the goals and to-dos written down on a piece of paper, we establish a basic form of commitment and create accountability for ourselves to work on our dreams. It is a little ‘self-push’, or ‘self-motivation’, but it is well worth it if we want to have the time to utilize our creative side and feel accomplished.

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