Let’s face it, we are busy people. Life has a tendency to get in the way, responsibilities pile up and time flies by. It’s not fun, but it happens. What we want to do doesn’t always match up with what we have to do. However, if we play our cards right, we may be able to pull one over on reality and have our cake and eat it too.
This month, we are talking about planners and one of the things I have found through our interviews and by personal research, is sometimes you can combine your want with your need. Between work, kids, the house and family, we don’t always have time to sit down and work on the project we want to do. But what if you were able to combine some creativity with something you HAVE to do? As busy responsible adults, we should have a calendar or planner to help us keep our life in order. Instead of seeing the weekly job of figuring out what life has in store for everyone as an annoyance, use it as a time for simple creativity.
Decorate Your Planner
Even if it is as simple as color coding your routine with fabulous pens.
- Green for bills.
- Blue for kids.
- Purple for you.
- Orange for birthdays.
- Black for work.
It may seem silly or simple, but your brain is being stimulated by the color and it gives you time to enjoy an otherwise mundane task.
Perhaps you have empty days when, thankfully, you don’t have squat going on. Fill in those spaces with stickers, washi tape or fun doodles. It may not be much, but it does allow some simple creative time for you to relax. To make it easier, put together a little Bunkie Bag with your planner supplies; your special pens, stickers, washi tape or colored pencils.
Instead of thinking of your planning session as a chore, use it as some quiet time to play.
Same goes for bills. If you still have checks to write, don’t be afraid to use your pretty pens. Decorate the bill envelope with stamps, stickers or washi tape. If nothing else, the company receiving your bill will think it’s cute or will be annoyed. Either way, it’s a win – win. It is a great way to combine something you love with something you would prefer not to do.
These are quick enjoyable ways to get a pop of creativity in your otherwise responsibility filled days. It can also help you implement a routine for practice.
Routine for Practice
I recently joined Kelly Klapstein, from Kelly Creates, Facebook Group for brush lettering. She has been doing these daily letter practice posts. Where she posts a new short video featuring a letter. She shows you how and then you are to practice that letter and post it. That’s it. One letter. Seriously, who doesn’t have time for one letter? I found myself grabbing my pen and bullet journal last night before I closed up for the day. I went through and practiced my letter a and then before I knew it, I was practicing b and c.
Her daily letter practice videos are a convenient way for me to practice my brush lettering.
Which, until this week, was not happening.
These short bursts were extremely convenient since there was nothing to print. It was just me, my Rhodia and the pen I can’t pronounce. And for the record, the Rhodia paper is great for brush lettering practice. There was very little ghosting with my pen or with my Tombows. If you are into brush lettering or are in the Kelly Creates Facebook Group, I highly recommend using a Rhodia bullet journal. Not only is it easy to grab and practice, but you will be able to see your progress as you practice.
What made this a success for me is the fact it is one letter. I don’t feel the pressure of time, I don’t feel overwhelmed before I even start, because I know it is one letter.
Need More Time for Projects
As wonderful as these pops of creativity can be, sometimes we need more time. We have projects, deadlines and commitments. We need chunks of time to work with versus small pops. If you are short on time available to you, think about your creative flow and crafting habits.
- Do you need time to gather supplies?
- Does it take you 30-45 minutes perusing Pinterest for inspiration?
- Is your craft space needing some major clean up before you start?
All of these normal actions take away from your time to create leaving you feeling rushed, stressed and frustrated. What we need to figure out is how do we really maximize your “creative time” vs “set up” to help you step into your groove to make the most out of your precious time.
If you do not have a dedicated space to craft or have room for one, consider using a cart, tote, hutch or cupboard to house your supplies in. The benefits of using a cart or tote is you can grab it and take it to where you plan to create. It simplifies set up and allows you more time to play.
For those of you who need and enjoy searching for inspiration on Pinterest, consider creating a hidden inspiration board. Instead of wasting 30 to 40 minutes perusing Pinterest at the beginning, pin cards whose layouts or designs inspire you throughout the week. If you are working on birthday cards during your free time, pin birthday cards. If you plan on using the stamps you just got in from The Ton, pin inspiration cards of the stamp set you just purchased. By pinning in advance, those cards will be front and center on your board and your ideas are still fresh.
For those of you who are like me and have a messy space to create in, ideally, we should clean up our work area after we are finished playing, but come on, that ain’t gonna happen. However, we could do a quick tidy up the night before or while we make dinner. It’s incredible what you can accomplish while you wait for toast to pop or water to boil.
By cleaning up our space during a time that is NOT our special “me” time, it frees you up to create more and walk into a semi tidy space. There is no time wasted, you can just dive in and create a new mess.
Find the Right Time
The other piece of this creative time equation is finding the right time to do it in. My biggest pet peeves are interruptions. I am in the zone don’t even think about throwing off my groove. I work from home and even though no one is home during the school year, making cards or other creative endeavors are nearly impossible to accomplish. People are calling, emails need answering, social media must be addressed and there is work to do. However, when my husband is at a late-night show, that is my ultimate time. The world is asleep, no one is calling, my email is closed and I have peace and quiet.
Perhaps you are the exact opposite. Maybe your quiet time is Saturday early morning while the hubby and kids sleep. Let the dog out, grab coffee and enjoy the time for you. Just make sure that the time you choose for yourself works with you, not against.
Create on the Go
If having that concentrated “me” time isn’t going to happen, because you’re always on the run, put together a special “go bag”. My girlfriend, Flora, is rarely home and is always working or attending an event of some sort. Not only did she realize it was nearly impossible to craft at home, but she started to see how not having that down time was affecting her. If she was home, her time was fair game to others, which is why she made time for herself outside of the home. By taking card classes and setting herself up to create on the go.
When her grandson was in wrestling, Flora would put together a special Bunkie Bag with her Copics and bring a clipboard with stamped images to color. The little images were perfect to color in-between matches, she had instant gratification and when she had time to make a card, they were ready for her to cut out. This also came in handy when she was spending time with her husband watching TV at night. She could color, relax and sit with Larry. It was a trifecta of amazingness.
This system works great for all of you who are constantly running, waiting for kids to get out of school, karate class, football games, even on your lunch hour.
Sometimes the convenience is more important than the desire.
The “go bag” with your personal craft projects may just be what you need to make life easier and more convenient.
What Serves Your Needs and Time?
If you are struggling to find time to get your creative mojo going, think about what would best serve your times and needs.
- Do you need pops of creativity?
- Would you prefer large chunks of time to create?
- Are you constantly on the go and need something portable?
Once you know what you need, you can then put together your how and what.
As soon as you have your personal time to craft figured out, let us know in the comments. We would love to hear your personal craft hacks.
Until next time,