Managing Demands on your Creative Time

creative time, demands, finger pointing


It’s no secret that life requires you to manage demands on your creative time. Projects take longer than expected, plans go sideways and people change their minds and hearts- which means you need to expand and contract with the creative flow of the present moment.


While this sounds reasonable from the mind’s point of view, it doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled have an emotional reaction to sudden changes, or the right to get frustrated when people keep demanding more than you have to give. In fact, it’s not until someone asks you to do “just one more thing” – and you find yourself feeling agitated, annoyed and defensive – that you realize the boundaries around your personal creative time feel violated.


This external push against your inner mindset is the easiest, most effective way for you to learn what boundaries no longer work and how to choose something healthier that honors your creative self first. You also get clear clues on the quality of your relationships and the true exchange of give and take. Do you feel your creative time is being honored?


creative time, clocks, creativity


Take an Honest Look at How you Spend your 24 Hours


You’ve probably heard a million times that each person has the same number of hours in a day to get things done. True. Yet, not everyone feels they can take time for themselves or deserves to spend energy on the things that feed creativity and call their heart.


Maybe you put other people’s needs before you own because you like to be of service or aren’t sure how to say “no.” Maybe you aren’t very clear on your own creative value and worth, so you keep giving into demands on your time and creative energy. Perhaps you learned to be a good “worker bee” and work comes before any creativity, self-care or fun to make sure you get ahead and build new pathways to opportunity.


My guess is at some point you’ve felt all of these things and many more, all wrapped in outdated beliefs about creativity, self-expression and doing things that bring you joy. 


Keep in mind that productivity and creativity are not opposites – they walk hand-in-hand. When you indulge in creativity you wake up different parts of yourself that serve as tools to move you through bottled frustration, demanding deadlines and overbearing personalities and jump into a creative flow that is very productive.


In the flow of creativity things are easier, simpler and FEEL right. When you make space and room for personal creative time, you feed your soul, ability to stretch and allow yourself to expand and truly go for big picture goals with a fiery spirit instead of a bedraggled one. You may not get everything you want in the way you want it, but when demands on your creativity start to feel really comfortable, it enables you to see what needs to shift.


Only you can honor your creative self, especially as you grow and change. So take a few minutes to check in with how you feel and be honest. Is it time to review how you manage demands on your creative time and re-evaluate where your 24 hours are going?


boundaries, fence, creative mindset


Mindset Plus Heart Determines the Durability of Personal Creative Boundaries


Your mindset drives the value you place on your creative time both consciously and unconsciously.


Things you’ve learned from family, people in your life and past experiences are the unconscious patterns that influence you, nipping at the back or your mind and heart. It’s up to you to choose whether or not to listen or if there is any truth in their whispers.


To create a new, healthier mindset in tune with your deep inner calling requires you to let go of the things that don’t honor your creative time, enforce stronger boundaries with the people closest to you and directly address demands on your time and attention – even if that means rocking the boat or upsetting other people.


Releasing what’s too demanding seems like a logical next step, but it’s not as easy to navigate when you toss in deep rooted behaviors and life-long relationships that are in the midst of transformation. As you examine and begin to change up some of your boundaries be gentle with yourself. Allow room to change your mind. Bring options to the table, feel into them and build a new mindset that leverages your creative time in healthy way. Keep listening, feeling and shifting boundaries as you practice.


Creativity is something you have to be willing to invite it in and celebrate is as it happens, while also setting aside special time to dive into the things that inspire you. It’s not one or the other. There’s no right way to balance it, only your way. The invitation on the table is to play with what your boundaries around creative time look and feel like, what they are teaching you about yourself and what will empower you to bring creativity into your life every day.


Photo credit: Gabe Austin, Leo Reynolds, Henry Burrows