Notice and Leverage Useful Insight from Creative Crunch Time Behaviors

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Creative crunch time behaviors are something we all develop. Students, employees, entrepreneurs and creatives alike deal with the sense of dread that comes with looming deadlines and feeling the mental and physical pressure. We also have habits we return to again and again in crunch time that we can use to our advantage – if we stop judging ourselves about them.


Take a moment to pause and think about it. When you have a deadline looming and start to feel the pressure, what do you do? Feel? How do your eating habits change, or what distraction behaviors become more prominent?


It’s easy to write it off and say “this is just part of my process”, but continue to mentally and emotionally feel bad about it – like there’s something wrong with how you approach creativity or getting things done. So, in essence, you are trying to complete work or create while also carrying feelings of self judgment, blame, and not-good-enough vibes at the same time.


Not a very good combo.


It completely undermines what you are trying to accomplish, and keeps you stuck in a mental self-sabotage loop that does nothing positive for you, or what you are creating.


In these situations, it’s important to take a moment and become more present to get a clearer picture of your patterns. And IF they need to change. The way you think about your creative crunch time behaviors may be the only thing that needs any shifting.


For example, as writer and an intuitive, I need to feel in the mood to get writing done. As many writers before me, I may procrastinate until it feels right to start the research or writing process. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve noticed if I try to write when I’m not feeling it, or at at time of day that’s not my “writing window”, I have to do twice as much work editing and rewriting. Everything takes longer, plus I’m pretty grumpy to boot.


The same goes for when I’m creating content and images for social media posts, working on email correspondence with clients, or brainstorming new creative ideas for my creativity coaching business or Creative Mastermind classes. There is a usefulness to my creative crunch time behaviors, and I have learned to embrace them as part of my unique creative process.


However, when I’m stressed I also get lazy about eating healthy foods and taking breaks to rest my eyes – two things I’m trying to manage more mindfully. 


Tips to Clarify Which Creative Crunch Time Behaviors Serve You


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We all have times of the day when we are most efficient at things. If you pay attention to how you work in normal circumstances, and compare it to when you are under pressure, it illuminates useful insight. This experiment also reveals how to adjust in order to be more alignment with what serves you best. 


It can help to ask a few questions to uncover useful information – without focusing on the self-blame.


  • Is this habit or behavior a much needed break, healthy distraction to help me think more creatively, or a full on dislike for this kind of work?
  • Am I doing specific tasks at a time of day when I’m best at them?
  • Is there an emotion or feeling that always comes up when I’m under a deadline, and do I like it? Or do I often feel burnt out when I’ve completed a task?


Society has very specific ideas regarding productivity and what’s “positive” or “negative” about how we do everything. In reality, the only thing that matters is understanding yourself and the unique ways to support yourself for the best possible mind, body, spirit alignment in all aspects of personal and professional life. It’s not the same each day, which is why checking in is so important. 


One way to empower yourself is to find the peak times to work on certain tasks to generate a positive experiences, then create a schedule that honors these ebbs and flows. What is a normal creative process and pace? What do you need in order to be the most productive, confident, and healthy?


Starting this month, I encourage you to look at the areas of mind, body, spirit and how they are impacted by your personal life, career, and creativity habits. What spaces are getting good love and attention and are in alignment with how you operate as a unique soul, vs. what feels forced and no longer viable long term? What creative crunch time behaviors work well and help you feel energized? 


Remember, being productive and feeling good about yourself as you create all ties back to the goals you set. Are they your goals or society’s? Do they fit with what you want and value, or are they more focused on competing with others or external perceptions of what you consider successful? Is there a way to shift what you are doing, when, and how you think about it in order to take advantage of positive creative crunch time behaviors, and ditch the rest?


Interested in more creative posts on similar topics? Check out Explore the Roots of Your Creative Evolution. Love podcasts? Check out Flirting With Enlightenment, my podcast that offers insights and tips on how to tap into your inner wisdom.