Can Creativity Be Planned?

I planned this.

I planned this.

I do like to plan except when it comes to my writing or my art work or any day of the week I'd rather be doing something else. How will the muse find me if I only have 10 minutes or 20 minutes in which to figure out what I want to do? There is no time to plan I just have to be free. 

My toddler set me straight. Finding 10 or 20 minutes which do not include his demands and needs is like finding a needle in a 100 acre junk yard filled with land mines. Where does the creativity happen within the chaos? 

It's there. I have to be even more 'creative' in finding my creativity. Yeah, sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Feels like I live in permanent opposite day or inside out day because planning with a toddler is challenging to say the least and there is a lot I have to say about that subject. (Not here, of course, that is a different blog post. This post is about creativity not toddlers. Must focus while toddler runs around the office and touches everything except the 25 toys at his disposal.)

Despite the tyrannical rule of my toddler I am able to break free of his clutches every so often and think and accept that opposite day makes sense. Whatever I used to plan before I had a toddler is now tentative (those of you with toddlers know what I mean - anything and I mean anything can happen to change plans) and time with my writing, art, or whatever I want to do that exercises either my mind or body is TOTALLY planned. Granted this is a mind trick but it does work more than it fails. 

So when I want to get the high of a creative moment how does planning help me? 

  • Be creative in the quiet moments of early morning. Yeah, this means getting up before anyone else does. I'm still working on this but the days I do manage to get up are glorious. 

 

  • Toddler nap times and bed times are non-negotiable. (I laugh at this one, too.) Having a consistent schedule where there are a few hours in the day to focus without being pulled in 500 directions really gets those creative juices flowing. Here's where it can get tricky because if I don't have a PLAN for those few short hours then the time gets spent planning and it can feel like I didn't have any creative time. It doesn't have to be a spreadsheet as I'll explain next.

 

  • Set three goals to accomplish for the day. Three is a easy number. It's well balanced and when you get one goal accomplished then you only have two left. It's underwhelming. If there is only time for a 15 minute break or a 30 minute toddler nap then there isn't a lot of thinking required - I just get busy being creative toward my three goals. 

Consistency is the key when utilizing a plan to boost my creativity. When I want to be free of heart and take the day as it comes it's difficult to set a schedule and a plan. It stifles. But what's been more uncomfortable is the thought of not having the creative time I need to enhance the soul, enjoy the mind, and have fun. According to my new found plan, there's a lot fun to be had! 

How does your plan help you enjoy your creative moments?

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