Squeezing in the Time

I’m in a funny situation. A project I’ve been pushing through for over a year now (really, it’s been kicking around in one form or another for almost 18 months) is starting to take off.

Which is wonderful to the point of occasional giddiness.

However, it means I have a lot less time for creative pursuits.

Which doesn’t exactly make me happy.

Instead of having two or three hours to play a couple of days a week, I’m in meetings. A lot of meetings.

But I don’t want to stop creating. I know that not making things, not writing, not painting, ends up being unproductive and hurting everything else I’m working on.

I’ve decided the answer, for now, it to take lots of vacations.

 Little mini-vacations.

To block off an hour, even thirty minutes a couple times a week where all I need to do is write or paint. Just to play.

I was worried when I first came up with the plan. How on earth was I going to make that time really count?

I mean – it can take me that long to get going on a chapter some days. Or get my craft project out and arranged. Or… well, it just didn’t seem like enough time.

But it’s the time I have.

So, I started thinking about what I do to prep for an actual vacation.

  • I make sure that I’ve answered every email that’s in my box.
  • I make sure that whatever loose ends I have outstanding are tied up, or reasonably deferred to when I get back.
  • I check and make sure I’m current of bills and finances and stuff.
  • I do a quick run through of housework, so it’s not a disaster to come home to.
  • I prep everything I’m planning to pack over a few days.

None of those things take long. All of them can be done in bits and pieces over a day.

And if I use the same procedure for clearing the decks for that mini-creation vacation, I can focus on my work.

Clearing the decks

  •  I can schedule my vacation time before hand, so I know when I need to have everything ready, and I can guard that time from other encroachments.
  • I can get out my paints beforehand.
  • I can do a little world building, and let it be percolating before I’m ready to start.
  • I can review my chapter notes to see where I left off last time.
  • I can make sure there’s nothing else poking me from the back corners of my brain, distracting me and slowing me down.
  • I can have a menu of options of projects to choose from, so I can easily pick up whatever I feel drawn to without having to feel stuck.

So when I do have time, I’m set up and ready to fly.

 What do you do to make your creative time count when you feel like you’re too busy?

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