When you look at your calendar what do you see?
Days filled from morning till evening with appointments and projects that never end?
Or do you see intentional activities with a few well placed “space blocks?”
Most fast-paced entrepreneurs fill their days (and nights) with so much activity that they never have space to be creative. That’s right – you need space in your calendar in order to tap into one of your entrepreneur super powers — creativity. Now you might think I’m crazy. This advice is probably to opposite of what many mentors preach. You’ve probably read a few memes with quotes like:
Grind it out!
You can sleep when you are dead.
Your work day has 24 hours in it, use them.
Push through the resistance so you can get 100 times more done.
This advice might work for a while. Until it doesn’t. When you don’t take space to allow your creative juices to be activated, it’s easy to slide into burn out. You might still be able to churn out work but are you really inspired to create your best stuff?
Here’s what I’ve personally learned about having space in my life so I can be creative:
First off, creatives don’t do their best work when they are in “run the business” mode. When you are jam-packed with appointments and running from one project to the next, you’ll do what is right in front of you and just focus on your to do list. If you can squeeze in a few minutes of creative energy you might realize you are using your “doing brain” not your “creative” brain, meaning you are not creating from an inspired source.
Second, having space allows you to connect to the most authentic and aligned part of your soul. When you are moving at the speed of light you are on auto-pilot. You will do activities out of habit or conditioning. When you slow down and pay attention to the inspiration in your soul you are actually connected to your intuition which will never steer you in a wrong direction.
Third, busy people often neglect their self-care and drive themselves into the ground (not that I have ever done that or anything.) Exhaustion, depletion and resistance will kick in when your body doesn’t get the space it needs to recharge. And a mind that is foggy does not make great decisions so you’ll find yourself reactive and spinning from a sense of false urgency.
And last, if your calendar is jam-packed, you have no “float” time. Float time is the time you hold open for projects that took longer than expected, meetings that have to be rescheduled, and unplanned emergencies that have to get handled. If you don’t have float time, you will always feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
A question I get asked often is, “I know that I will thrive if I have more space but how do I create space when I have too many things to fit into my life as it is?”
Decide that you will make the time to be the best version of yourself.
Once you’ve made the decision then you create new habits. For instance, you can start now by scheduling space in your calendar. Pick 2 – 3 times that you block out and DO NOT SCHEDULE ANYTHING. For me, I use Mondays and Friday afternoons for my float time. I don’t schedule standing appointments but use that time to do what I’m inspired to do.
What do you think about having creativity time in your calendar? Can you see why it would be valuable for you and your own creative forces? Jump in and share in the comments below what you do to keep your creative space going…