Creativity Kick-Start: Tips to Identify and Tame Creative Distractions

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Playfulness and an open mind are key creative tools that fuel new ideas, and can also lure you towards interesting creative distractions. There’s a delicate balance you need to cultivate and hone that keeps you open-hearted and aware of new sparks of ideas, but at the same time disciplined enough to take consistent action towards something tangible.


It starts with truly knowing yourself and how to work with or avoid the little things that can easily turn a string of harmless dalliances into a time-sucking creative distraction. Are you able to trust when you can let yourself “off-leash” and play vs when to pull in your energy to stay focused and tame creative distractions to get things done?


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Digging Deeper into the Roots of Distraction 


The answer to the question, “Why am I getting distracted?” isn’t always obvious, so you may need to do a little inner detective work to get into the fine details of what’s causing your focus to flutter into the wind like a fuzzy dandelion.


It can help to find a little time in your day to sit in solitude in a relaxed state and do a little self-reflection on these questions. Some of them dig deep, so take time with working through the answers and come back to them again if needed. Just answer honestly without overthinking it.


  • Do you find yourself more distracted at certain times of the day? When?
  • How do you identify something as a creative distraction?
  • Is there something going on in your life that’s unpleasant to look at or change? Are you clear on what it is?
  • Are there fears you have in moving forward with your creative work that feel heavy? Do you know and understand what they are?
  • Are you doing any work that feeds your passion?
    Do you expect every single thing you do to feed your passion?
  • Are there ways you can rearrange your schedule and life to work with different people who feed your energy instead of drain it?
  • Are you pushing yourself too hard and not allowing for any downtime?
  • Are you still searching for “the” answer to all your creative dreams? Or can you find a way to be happy with the little things, the small interactions with creativity that connect with you each day?
  • Are you ready to change your habits?


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Getting into a New Groove


I want to make something very clear – not all distractions are bad. If you don’t take detours, life would be pretty boring and predictable and you would miss important lessons. The trick is knowing when it’s time to wrangle in your behavior and build a new groove that harnesses the energy of creative distractions in a positive way, feeding your passion instead of draining it through creative distractions.


To turn things around, start with a few simple yet important steps:


Know what your main creative distractions are (what you contemplated above) and turn them into little traffic lights for yourself. For example, I can easily get sucked into reading online content, so I try to make sure I have a little time to indulge in that in my schedule. I stop what I’m doing, have fun with it, then move on with my day. Use this approach as a way to set a new pace for yourself.


View your creative groove as a mindful practice. What time do you have in your day to be mindful – to reflect, reassess, release and just “be”? There is no alternative for this type of quality inner connection time. Massages, spas and pampering tactics can help, but that puts the state of your inner peace in someone else’s hands instead of your own. It also keeps you on the hamster wheel searching for a way off (which is usually through a creative distraction).


Drop the guilt when you do get distracted. It’s easy to get down on yourself, but only you can stop that loop. Realize when a creative distraction is pulling you from what you really want to do and refocus, but drop the blame. It’s one of the easiest ways to set up a permanent creative block. If you stay snuggled in blame, the creative distractions continue to have the upper hand because you don’t feel you are strong enough to get past them. Just remember guilt is not your friend, it’s a barrier to seeing the power and value or your creative gifts.


Say goodbye to one distraction that’s easy to release. To tame creative distractions also involves a willingness to release a few. It takes practice to build a healthy habit as well as release one, so start with one distraction at a time and commit to healthy ways of re-framing how you connect with it and when.


Distractions don’t have to hijack your creative mojo. They actually serve as an indicator to let you know when things are a bit out of balance with your overall energy. Make time to listen, reflect and adopt a willingness to tame creative distractions instead of thinking your “creative self” is wrong for having them. Then you can move forward from a place of confidence and strength.


Need a little help reflecting on what is going on in your life? There are things you consider creative distractions, but may actually be your soul calling for more creative expression in your life. Contact me, I would love to see how I can help.


Photo credit: Christian Ostrosky, George Smyth, PrabhuBDoss