5 Ways to Find Time to be Creative


Every day has twenty-four hours, and many of us struggle to get things done much less find the time to create. Deadlines, meetings, interruptions, personal business, and a plethora of other challenges keep us away from crafting new ideas. What can we do? I want to suggest five ways we can protect our time and find the space for creativity.

  1. Make commuting a sacred time. I get some of my best ideas when I’m driving to a client meeting. I use the time to solve problems, think through rough ideas that I don’t typically have time to complete, and often, do some new thinking. I don’t talk on the phone unless It’s an emergency, or I need to catch up with a family member, and I know there is a good chance they can take the call.
  2. Make air travel an idea time. When I fly, I watch harried business people fervently downloading email or working on endless spreadsheets. While I have worked on a plane, I find the time is much better spent decompressing. I choose to read and learn how other writers do their craft, or I read books that spark some creativity that I can use later.
  3. Manage your meetings. I know this is a tough one especially if you’re boss uses meetings as an extraverted exercise. However, learning to control what you can control, do some different things with the meetings you schedule. For example, if It’s a half-hour meeting, schedule it at the half hour, not on the hour, so people assume it has to last an hour to fulfill your need. If you think it’s only fifteen minutes, schedule it on the :45. A friend of mine schedules staff meetings as “stand up” meetings. With no chairs to sit on, the weekly updates go quickly, and everyone’s time isn’t wasted. Always have an agenda and always have a purpose clearly stated—no purpose means to cancel the meeting.
  4. Don’t wait to be creative. Many of us think we have to set aside time to be creative and that’s false thinking on our part. We need to learn to toggle back and forth between our creative thinking and that opioid of administration (a time stealer for sure). I find it very useful to use small chunks of time to focus on creativity, even if it’s just one rough idea.
  5. Find a creative place. I find several places where I can create. The funniest is the shower. I developed a concept for a bestselling product in the shower and had other remarkable insights and ideas there. I also find being out in nature is stimulating as well as a coffee house (only ones with high-quality coffee). My office is often a haven for creativity when I turn off my phone and email. I have low music, often a diffuser going, and I find I can turn off the pile of tasks and be creative.

My latest book, 7 Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them, is available on Amazon.


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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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