The grind is real, and it's only worse when we do it to ourselves.
For solopreneurs, time management isn't about organizing tasks; it's about cultivating spaces for creativity.
Screw efficiency. The game is about finding your asymmetric upside – making more of the things that only you can make.
The sweet spot exists somewhere between the things have to do tasks and the activities that energize and inspire you to make better things.
Our Work Role Models Live Inside our Subconscious
We default to traditional time management frameworks and then we complain about our days.
There are better ways to work (see below 👇) but first you have to come to terms with the fact that your "daily work OS" is broken.
From school to hourly labor to meaningless corporate tasks filling a desperate cycle of grey days with no energy...our lives to this point have been about fitting in and doing what we are told.
And yet, 21st century success is all about cutting across that grain. How do we get there?
Step One: We recognize we have a problem. ✅ Excellent, you are on your way.
Here are four different approaches to consider as you seek to ignite that spark in your daily work.
Time: Carving Out Daily Blocks for Unstructured Work
To foster creativity, it’s essential to create a block of time each day that is free from meetings and specific tasks. This is your window for unstructured work - a period where you can engage in activities that spark creativity, be it brainstorming, exploring new ideas, or working on passion projects.
This dedicated time becomes a daily ritual that your mind associates with freedom and creativity.
- Schedule a 'Meeting with Myself': Block a specific time each day in your calendar as a non-negotiable meeting with yourself dedicated to creative pursuits.
- Early Bird Sessions: Wake up an hour earlier than usual to utilize the quiet of the morning for brainstorming or working on creative projects.
- Technology-Free Time: Allocate a period each day where you disconnect from all digital devices, allowing your mind to wander and generate new ideas.
Place: Designing a Creative Workspace
Your environment plays a crucial role in how creatively you think and work. Design your workspace to inspire creativity. It could involve natural lighting, a vision board, plants, or art that stimulates your senses and thoughts.
A well-designed workspace not only uplifts your mood but also subconsciously nudges you towards more innovative thinking.
- Redesign Your Office: Reorganize your workspace to be more inspiring – add plants, change the lighting, or display artwork that stimulates creativity.
- Rotating Workspaces: Periodically change your work environment; try working from a coffee shop, library, or any place that brings a fresh perspective.
- Create an Inspiration Board: Set up a board in your workspace where you can pin images, quotes, and items that ignite your creative thinking.
Activity: Leveraging Movement for Creative Energy
Physical activity is a powerful catalyst for creativity. Regular exercise, be it a morning jog, yoga, or any form of movement enhances mental clarity and creative thinking.
Additionally, spending time outdoors, connecting with nature, can provide a refreshing break from the routine and ignite creative insights.
- Daily Exercise Routine: Incorporate a form of physical exercise into your daily routine, like a brisk walk, yoga, or a quick workout to clear your mind.
- Outdoor Breaks: Take short breaks to step outside, breathe fresh air, and reconnect with nature to refresh your thoughts.
- Movement Breaks: During long work periods, take brief movement breaks every hour to stretch or do a quick physical activity to re-energize.
People: Curating Inspirational Interactions
The people you interact with significantly influence your creative output. Intentionally curate time in your week to connect with individuals who inspire and motivate you.
These can be mentors, peers, or even people from different fields whose work and perspective encourage you to think differently. Engaging in stimulating conversations can open up new avenues of thought and creativity.
- Weekly Inspirational Meetups: Schedule weekly meetings or calls with mentors, peers, or anyone who inspires you creatively.
- Join Creative Communities: Participate in online or offline communities related to your interests to engage with like-minded individuals.
- Attend Workshops or Seminars: Regularly attend workshops, seminars, or talks on topics that interest you to gain new perspectives and ideas.
The Final Word: Go Deep on Creativity
Investing in these four areas of your life – time, place, activity, and people – can significantly increase your chances of experiencing creative sparks.
It’s about creating an ecosystem around you that consistently feeds into and enhances your creative energy.
By thoughtfully structuring these aspects of your life, you can create a sustained creative lifestyle. You'll be happier, more productive, and doing more of the work that moves the needle.
See you on the other side!