Decluttering Your Schedule: Creating Space for Creativity to Flourish
When I was in fourth-grade, I was given the opportunity to showcase my piano skills at my school's fine arts fair. Although I had been taking lessons for three years, I still considered myself a novice and relished the thought of performing in front of an audience. However, instead of dedicating ample time to prepare for the performance, I opted to indulge in television, friends, and other fun activities. Looking back, I realize that my childish naivete and perhaps a bit of pride clearly caused me to underestimate the need for practice.
On the day of the performance, I anxiously watched as my fellow performers delivered their pieces. When my turn finally came, I sat down on the piano bench and gazed upon the ivory keys before me. Unfortunately, my mind went blank, and my body tensed up, making the anticipation of playing the first note unbearable. Ultimately, I faltered and failed miserably, unable to finish the piece or please the judges.
Looking back, I often wonder how my story would have turned out if I had managed my time better. While I don’t get distracted by childish desires today, it is very easy to get distracted by tasks that seem urgent, but really don’t yield the important results I say I want. Have you ever found yourself struggling to tap into your creative potential for a presentation or project, only to be met with jumbled ideas and a looming deadline? This is often the result of inadequate preparation and time management that can lead you to freeze up and fall short.
To foster creativity, we must make time for it. Our time is limited, and how we utilize it affects our productivity and success. Therefore, we must become better stewards of our time to thrive creatively and effectively contribute to our workplaces. As Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) states, "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." In other words, failing to use our time wisely can result in poor performance.
If you're looking to declutter your schedule and create space for creativity to flourish, here are five suggestions to get you started.
5 ways to make time for creativity to flourish:
Prioritize the rhythm of your season: Schedules tend to shift with life's changing seasons. Rather than force your life to align with a cookie-cutter schedule that doesn’t fit, find ways to follow the natural rhythm of your life with healthy practices that support your ability to navigate your season well. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 provides a good starting point for reflection to help you identify the needs of your current season. By letting go of things that no longer serve you, you create mental space for creativity to flourish, and you can refocus your thoughts.