Creativity Time Management

Most creative people struggle with finding time to let our muses soar and still meet all our work, family and life responsibilities. I’ve tried so many different ways of organizing my schedule over the years. But what I always come back to, both when I worked in an office and with freelancing at home, is putting my creativity first. Doing something creative before I start writing for my clients, or paying bills or tweeting.

I found that getting up an hour earlier and writing first thing worked best for me when I had to commute downtown. Now that I freelance at home, I divide my work day into three blocks: creativity first, urgent work second and everything else third. These blocks can expand and contract depending on the day. On a busy deadline day, I may only spend 15 minutes journaling or sketching before getting to my freelance writing work. If I’ve just met a deadline and don’t have another one breathing down my neck, I may spend half a day on my writing. (Love those days!) I also make a point of sprinkling moments of self-care throughout my weeks: yoga, meditation, walks, 10-minute crazy-dancing breaks when I need them.

I don’t always succeed in organizing my day this way, but I often do. And I find the “Creativity First” model is the only schedule that keeps my creative mojo flowing. What works for you?

For some wonderful insights and advice on this topic, download Mark McGuinness’s free e-book, Time Management for Creative People. I highly recommend it.

Copyright @ Sandy Ackers, Strangling My Muse: Struggling to Live a Creative Life in a Stressful World,


4 Responses to “Creativity Time Management”

  1. 1 Mark McGuinness March 18, 2010 at 1:50 am

    “creativity first, urgent work second and everything else third”

    Brilliant. Just Tweeted it!

    • 2 stranglingmymuse March 18, 2010 at 10:53 am

      Thanks for the tweet, Mark, and for stopping by and commenting. I rarely recommend books here, but your e-book is so full of great advice that I wanted to let other creative people know about it!

  2. 3 mrs mediocrity March 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    i love this, i always put the urgent stuff first but I so think your idea is better. I am going to try it starting tomorrow!

    • 4 stranglingmymuse March 22, 2010 at 9:01 am

      That’s great — I hope it works for you. I also have a tendency to think I should put the urgent work first, but when I do, I often don’t get to my creative passions. The “creativity first” method works for me, because I can do it even on busy days, if only for 15 minutes.

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