I like to write poems, essays, blogs, and even introductions to curated content if you haven't noticed. One thing all of us writers or creative types struggle with is finding time. In a follow up blog post to my "focus on the small battles to win the war" in which I reference that we focus to much on the end result versus the journey, I came across this awesome article that I wanted to share which lays out how you can get your creative fix in small bursts of time.
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Even if your aspirations are not to publish a book or write a great work of scholarship, there’s real value to the 15-minutes-a-day approach as a way to make daily progress on a project you’re passionate about. For one thing, it can make you happier in other aspects of your life, knowing you’re moving forward creatively, albeit slowly. The process is quite simple, but there are a few psychological principles that explain why it works.
Few of us have the luxury of ‘vast, unbroken slabs of time’
“Many people die with their music still in them,” Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said. “Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”
It’s a sad truth that despite our aspirations and best intentions, our lives are full of factors beyond our control as we juggle daily errands and demands. The result, as Henry David Thoreau wrote, is that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” True creativity, that “music” within each of us, too often falls by the wayside. We start the year with resolutions to do more, be more. Then, halfway through the year, we realize, with that “quiet desperation,” that our resolutions have not come to fruition.
Often we are told that to truly commit to being a “maker,” we must clear our calendars of meetings and other distractions, that creativity requires “vast, unbroken slabs of time.” But the truth is most of us don’t have — and can’t create — many of these precious slabs in our schedules. Even if we triage our commitments, shed entertainments, and juggle our responsibilities, we may optimistically carve out just a few hours to ourselves each week.
The more determined may choose to go scorched-earth on their calendars in ruthless pursuit of their goal. But there’s another option for those of us unwilling to make such a disruptive change:
Work toward the goal of 15 minutes per day.
Even the brightest among us struggle with finding time for true creativity, and many have managed to do so without those great, unbroken slabs in their schedules. Historian and biochemist Joseph Needham, for example, found himself strapped for time while traveling around developing China to compile research for his history of Chinese civilization, which became a series of 17 books on the topic that were released periodically over the latter half of the 20th century.