How to Make Space for Creativity

You know those types of days—the ones when you’re sure you can’t do anything more than you have already done. Your feet hurt (leave the dishes) your eyes hurt (turn down the brightness on that computer screen!) and you’ve exhausted everything in yourself and can’t possibly move on! Okay everyone, hold on a second.

Is where you are in your career and life right now where you want to be next year? Humans thrive on forward motion, so I will assume you’re working to make next year’s you an even better version of who you are now.  My last post was about vision planning.  The key to getting to the extracurriculars is to set aside time to get them done, and this post is going to tell you just how to do exactly that.  yellow2016-184 The business extracurriculars are the essential ingredients to you and your business’ growth. That thing you’ve been meaning to get to is the thing that will propel you beyond where you are today.

1 — Create and honor space

Don’t over do it. 1-2 extra hours is plenty of time to create a dent. Plan the time the same way you would plan your work and from there honor yourself and the precious time you set aside to execute.

For example, if I decide that I absolutely need to take a Saturday morning to write an extra blog post, I better do it instead of procrastinating the day away. This is harder than it sounds and takes a creative habit to help productivity.

Hot tip: Use a timer or set a lunch date to put pressure on yourself to get it done. Humans are funny creatures and we respond well to pressure and limits. Use that to your advantage.

I also acknowledge that I’m coming from an already busy and hectic life / business. Sometimes those extra hours are the most productive hours of my week (or at least the most fulfilling because I’m creating for myself) and sometimes they’re extra hard to create focused energy.

2 — The “second shift” is magic

I saw Miranda July speak at City Arts and Lectures last year, and an audience member asked for advice about how to handle being a creative with a job, and what it meant to pull a second (or third) shift? I think this question was was implying after taking care of your personal life/family. Her response (which I pulled from this article ) was:

“Most humans are in some kind of bind, some kind of challenge. That’s why we need art …and that’s why we need to write and start in that place. It’s also the rightful place from which the best art can come from. Embrace where you are and the struggle.

There will always be more to do, more creativity to pull out of yourself and sometimes that means it will be from 7pm-11pm (or 9pm-1am, or 5am-7am. You get it.) Be tired, let your adrenaline kick in and stay off Facebook.

3 — Perfection is the enemy of production

“If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything.” — David Foster Wallace

I am telling you right now that if I wanted this article to be “perfect” it wouldn’t ever publish. I am also telling you that I have a full-time consulting practice, currently writing and promoting a course , have a large family that loves phone calls, friends I want to keep, a partner I like to spend time with AND I set aside the time to make this post a priority. All of this knowing that next week I will want to add a thought or word a sentence differently.

So instead of focusing on what could be, I decided to win the game … Twice

  • First I set aside time to make this post a priority (and it was fulfilling and enlightening)
  • The second was that I accepted that this article is perfect in its imperfect glory
  • Extra credit: I am meeting my goal of getting my name and thoughts in front of more people. & like magic I’m achieving forward motion and growth.

4 — Hire

The copywriter, accountant, business consultant, or therapist you hire will be the best investment in your time and business’ growth.  The copywriter will ensure that you’re meeting deadlines, your accountant will free up time, your business consultant will force you to take time out of the daily grind, and a therapist will make sure you’re taking the moments to reflect and feel.  These are just a few among many other wonderful people who can help you make more time to think and work on your goals.

Sarah’s 2017 business strengthening course starts February 13th ! She is opening applications for YellowCo. readers through February 8th . You’ll get four months of course materials and time with her. You won’t regret it! Click here for more information.

Photos by Cacá Santoro featuring the Created Co.


Sarah Schulweis

Founder at Anchor & Orbit

Sarah Schulweis is the founder of Anchor & Orbit Consulting based in Oakland CA. She works with business owners and professionals who consider themselves creative whether they’re artists or doctors. Sarah and her team of experts help uncover goals, set timelines, complete special projects and implement forward motion all in the name of long-term happiness and sustainable businesses.