If You Want to Be Creative, Avoid These Distractions in Your Life
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Stress Management Coaching
We’re all busy. Heavens, "busy" doesn't come close to what defines most of our lives these days. Who among us doesn't have an overflowing email in-box with most of it being junk and spam?
How many meetings do you have to try to cram into your average day?
How many hours do you spend trying to keep up with all your social media platforms? It feels like every week, and a new one pops up that is the latest rage.
Consider this, however. Being over busy takes our focus off those things that are truly important in our lives.
We spend so much time "doing" that we don't have any time left in the day to just "be."
If we want to be creative and live lives that are full of rich texture and deep, meaningful relationships, we must give ourselves time to just "be."
Our creative abilities become diluted and can even begin to stagnate when we are overly busy every day. And that's a problem since we need our creativity to bring to life the many ideas we have.
Creativity allows us to solve problems.
Without time to think and "be," we cannot create. It is just that simple.
The good news is that there are things we can do--habits we can form and habits we can eliminate from our lives to help us be more creative.
Some habits drain us of our energy and force us to put our goals out of our reach. However, with just a few changes in our behavior, we can eliminate distractions that take away from our ability to be creative. Take a look at the following suggestions and consider which changes you might want to make to become more creative.
Poor Eating Habits
Look at all the various things you put into your body every day. Many of the things we consume on an average day are bad for us. Consider how much junk food you consume in a day.
Even if you don't eat a lot of junk food, consider how much sugar or caffeine you consume. Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol?
These agents, including too much sugar, dull our senses, and they inhibit our creativity. When we’re at our peak, our creative selves are more present at the moment. Be honest with yourself about what you are putting into your body. Is it helping or hurting?
Social media is an important part of how we connect with others. One of the positive aspects of social media is that it allows us to stay in touch with and cultivate relationships that might otherwise fall by the wayside.
It can also help with our work as we communicate with co-workers. But let's be honest.
Social media also distracts us from our surroundings and dulls our creativity.
Attention is vital to our lives and for creativity. It might be a good idea to limit how much time you spend on various platforms.
Also, tune into your feelings and become self-aware about how you feel when you're on social media. Ask yourself: does it enhance or inhibit your ability to be creative? Do you feel good after you have checked your accounts, or do you feel agitated?
Agitation will drain your creativity away. Do be aware.
I don't know about you, but my email inboxes are inundated with more and more useless email messages every day. Checking email is one of the biggest killers of energy and momentum that there is.
One strategy for dealing with email is to set a specific time to read, respond to, and delete emails to make better use of your precious time. You will see that you have not only more time but more energy for your creative projects. And you will spend less time on unimportant matters.
It’s easy to overdo work and get burnt out. I have done it.
And I suspect that most of us have at some point. The pandemic hasn't helped matters, either. Now that many people are working from home, it's harder than ever to establish boundaries. The line between work and home has become blurred.
Many of us push ourselves to the limit because we are high-achievers.
As we push ourselves more and more, we may lose sleep, which causes more fatigue. It becomes a cycle that creates all sorts of problems.
So, here is a suggestion. When possible, set limits on how long you work each day. Learn how to be consistent, outsource, get help, or whatever is necessary not to overwork yourself. “Sprints” are fine, but only occasionally if you have a hard deadline for a particular project. But get the rest you need so you can keep up your stamina. And take breaks as you need to.
Doing the Wrong Work
One thing that destroys your creativity is doing the wrong work. What I mean by that is work that you don't do naturally or well.
When you spend too much time on things that don’t matter or don’t come naturally to you, you begin to feel overworked and less creative. Instead of spending time on matters best left to someone else, learn how to delegate.
Outsource--or avoid--tasks that don't play to your strengths.
Playing to your strengths instead of your weaknesses allows you to embrace your creativity more fully.
Changing habits that are restricting your creativity can change the way you tap into your creativity. Doing away with these habits frees up your energy, time, and mental awareness, allowing you to be open to new ideas and thoughts.
To be creative, you have to allow your mind to have the time and mental space to think about novel approaches to problems. Eliminating some of these habits can help create the space you need to be more creative and live a more creative life.
If you think you aren't naturally creative, you need to reconsider. As human beings, we were born to create. As Joel Garreau puts it, "The essence of being human is being creative." The late Sir Ken Robinson said, "Being creative is at the heart of being human and all cultural progress."
Perhaps you just haven't found your creative outlet yet. Perhaps it's time to do some exploration. Might you have a hidden artistic streak that you just haven't gotten in touch with yet? I urge you to explore. And if you have discovered your creative outlet but you aren't attending to it, I urge you to make time to indulge in it. It will enrich your life in ways you can't yet imagine.
Until next time.
Have you listened to my podcast, "Teachers in Transition," yet? I want to invite you to check it out. It is available anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. This past week's episode was about how to jumpstart your job search for 2021.
If you think that 2021 is your year to change your career or find a new job, I have a series of Masterclasses coming up starting Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 7:00 PM EST
. If you can't make it that night, I will repeat the Masterclass on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 1:00 PM EST
. And if that doesn't work for you, I will be offering the third and final Masterclass on Monday, January 25, 2021, at 4:00 PM EST
I hope you see you there!