25 Ways to Find Time to Create

Freelancers are creative people. It can be difficult to find time creative play when you’re faced with looming deadlines and various administrative minutiae. Here are twenty-five ways you can find time for creative play.

  1. Schedule time for creativity.
  2. If your projects allow, create in the car while you’re waiting on your kids at ball practice.
  3. Plan your projects for creative play in short bursts of time so you will have time to make progress.
  4. Get up 30 minutes or so early.
  5. Go to bed 30 minutes or so later.
  6. Work on your creative project on your lunch hour.
  7. If you have a day job and if your project allows, go in to work 30 minutes or so early to work on it.
  8. Stay at work 30 minutes or so late to work on it. (This has the added benefit of helping you miss the worst of rush hour.)
  9. Take advantage of built-in holidays and devote those days to your creative project(s).
  10. Take a look at how much TV you watch in the evenings. Cut out a program or two to free up time for creative play.
  11. Practice delayed creative play. If you’re in the car or at work and can’t stop to work on your project, make notes to yourself so you don’t lose the inspiration/idea when you have time later.
  12. If you can’t make notes (such as if you’re driving), use a microcassette recorder or the voice record option on your mobile phone to leave verbal notes for yourself.
  13. If you don’t know how to use the voice record option, call your house and leave a message on your answering machine.
  14. Keep a notebook & pen by your bed to jot down ideas in the middle of the night and remember to work on them the next day.
  15. Keep a notebook & pen in the bathroom to write down ideas that come to you in the shower and remember to work on them later in the day (or the next day, if you shower in the evening).
  16. On weekends or when school is out, put a movie in for your kids and use that time to work on your creative projects.
  17. When the weather is nice and you have a transportable project, take your kids to the park and spend that time working on your project (while also, of course, keeping an eye on the kids).
  18. If your kids are small and take naps, use their nap time to work on your creative projects.
  19. Invest in your creative projects. When you spend money on something, you generally hate to feel like it’s wasted, so you make time to use the supplies you’ve bought.
  20. Instead of turning the TV on, put a music CD in or turn on your iPod with motivational music (whatever you find motivational, whether rock or classical or country) and work on your creative project while it plays.
  21. Start a blog to talk about your progress on your creative projects. You probably won’t like going too long without posting an update with actual progress, so you’ll be more motivated to work on it.
  22. Take pictures of your progress to post to your blog as additional motivation.
  23. Find a group of like-minded people that meets regularly. Meetings require updates, which will also get you working on your creative projects.
  24. Join an online community devoted to your area of creativity and answer questions about technique. Talking about what you do and how you did it motivates you to keep doing it.
  25. Give yourself deadlines that you have to meet. You schedule time to work on projects with deadlines. Give your creative play the same level of importance.

Some of these tips might seem silly. The idea is that you can find time for creative play throughout your day, even if it’s in small increments of time.