Tonje Lilleås

Finding time for creative work

Some of you might wonder how it’s possible for me to find time for creative work. As a working mom of two little boys my days should be pretty full, right? They are. And most days I don’t find time for creative work. However where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

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A day in the life of – well, me

Whenever someone has grown a certain following worth mentioning on YouTube, they will inevitably make a “day in the life”-video. And I can see why these videos are so popular. It is interesting and somewhat amusing to see how other people go about their everyday lives.

Now I’m not going to make a video about my days, however I want to give you a taste of what my typical day is like before I start giving you advice on how to find time for creative work in yours.

My day starts at 6.30 AM. Not to say that I haven’t been awake before that, but that’s when my routine starts. My mornings are back exercises, breakfast, seeing the boys and wife off to their daytime stuff, shower, walk the dog and leave for work by 8.40 AM. Sounds pretty relaxed? It really can be, and I appreciate that.

Due to my injury I only work half days, so I get back home at around 2 PM. I rest for 30 minutes, then I walk the dog. When I get home my wife and boys are usually home as well. Dinner, playtime, bath time and get them to bed by 7 PM. Those hours between getting home and bedtime for the boys fly by so fast. Sometimes we manage a short hike, a trip to the library or a bike ride, but most days we just hang out at home dancing in the living room and such.

By 9.30 PM I’m off to bed. Sleep, and repeat the next day. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I cram an hours workout in there. Also a couple of appointments with my physical therapist and others need to be made room for each week. And yes, we also keep our house and clothes clean, don’t worry. So how do I find time for creative work?

Finding time for creative work

I’ve been frustrated with not being able to find time to create again and again. However I’m always struck by the fact that I do actually create quite a bit each year. And looking at how I accomplish that, I’ve seen a few patterns of how I find time for creative work.

I don’t find time,I make it

First of all, there’s no such thing as finding time for creative work. You make time for creative work if it’s something important enough for you to prioritize. You have to set aside time in your schedule yourself. Time to be creative will not just suddenly appear out of thin air. But how, there’s only 24 hours in a day for all of us right?

Absolutely. But it’s up to us to decide how we spend them. You know how many creatives spend more time watching other creatives on YouTube than they do actually creating themselves? And how many of us haven’t complained about not having time to create while watching Netflix for hours? How about those hours shopping? Or drinking beer at the pub? Or chatting about the latest in baby fashion or vegan recipes?

My point is; if we really want to be creative, we have to prioritize to set aside time for creative work. We can’t do it all, we all just get 24 hours each day. It’s about making time, not finding it.

Establish pockets to get the creative juices flowing

Even after having accepted that it’s up to ourselves to make time for creative work, it can be difficult to identify the actual moments where it’s possible to prioritize creative work. Especially as a parent when you feel like everything HAS to be done in order for the world to keep spinning.

I’m rarely able to set aside hours at a time to work on a project. However I have made sure to give myself some pockets to get my creative brain geared up.

For instance; when I walk the dog through the local forest, I only allow myself to think about creative projects. Sometimes just letting myself brainstorm new ideas, other times giving myself a task to contemplate before I leave home. Being in nature induces creativity with superpowers. Just a tip.

I also have five minutes when I get home for jotting down the things I’ve thought about. Another creative pocket. And I’m sure we all have some moments throughout the day where letting the creative juices flowing is possible if we make it a priority, right?

Creative weekends

Once every two months or so, I get to have a creative weekend. From Saturday morning till Sunday around dinner, my wife takes the kids and I go deep into my creative bubble. I know, I’m lucky.

These weekends are extremely important to me. Because as nice as the creative pockets I have every day are, I don’t get to actually make stuff during these pockets. Actual creating mostly happens during my creative weekends.

Now I understand that everyone doesn’t have the opportunity for creative weekends. But maybe it’s possible to make room for a creative half day off every now and again? If you try to schedule creative work for the next time you have a half day without appointments, maybe it won’t be the end of the world or your family? Getting to really dive into the creative bubble every now and again works wonders.

Now it’s up to you – know it’s up to you

You might find this post much waffling and little concrete tips. That might be. I would have loved to come up with tips on how to get more than 24 hours a day. However that’s not possible now, is it? My goal with this post is to inspire fellow creatives to prioritise creative work over the stuff we don’t really have to do. And as hard as it might be to accept, know it’s up to you to make time for creative work. So what are you waiting for? Just go create!

If you liked this post, please let me know by leaving a like and a comment down below. Also consider subscribing if you find that my posts can bring some value of some sorts, it would really make me happy. And consider checking out my creations at Instagram or YouTube. I wish you the very best of days! And remember; there’s always more to explore locally!



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