I get things done.
I write the article, braid her hair, work all day, give the bath, make dinner, walk the dog, attend small group, volunteer my time, drop off kids, pay the bill, call a friend…you understand, I know you do because you live like this too.
Sometimes, our productive lives are packed because we overschedule, but more often, life is full because that’s life, full.
The problem with productivity is it leaves very little room for creativity. If our brain focuses on the next task and then the next, followed right up by the next, we sacrifice downtime, and downtime is required to create.
Newsflash: You need time to think in order to create.
No getting around it.
I know you understand this because when your schedule finally allows you a glorious seventeen minutes to create, you stare at your computer (or maybe your camera, kitchen, or canvas). You will the good stuff to show up.
Ok, amazing ideas, show up because I only have seventeen, wait, sixteen minutes before the next must-do task in my life starts.
As you know, this does not work. Again, I understand. I, too, like to boss around my thoughts, and it’s disappointing when they don’t listen.
When you realize your thoughts aren’t paying attention, you may decide to spend your precious minutes checking Facebook, sending out tweets to your peeps, or organizing your digital pictures. These three things are known as squashers of all things original. Listen closely, these time wasters will never, ever, ever, amount to anything original. Fight them off. Use a stick if you must.
At this point in the creative process, you may want to bang your head against the nearest wall. I ask you to hold off on all headbanging (unless it’s to Skid Row’s “Youth Gone Wild”, then go to it). Back to the point, you can salvage your last few minutes.
Stop everything you are doing. Go outside. I know it’s cold. Get over it. Put on your sassy, knit hat or as they fondly refer to it in the South, your toboggan. Find a place to sit or if snow covers your front steps, walk (but not for exercise, no way, don’t try to squeeze in exercise). Now, here’s the important part: Do nothing. I mean it. Not one thing.
Resist the temptation to shoot out a text or bring up the garbage cans from the bottom of the driveway.
Trust me on this one.
Ignore productivity for a bit, and creativity will come calling.
You just need to make room for her.
Tell me about the last time you tossed the to-do list, and allowed creativity to find you.
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