How to Be Creative Even When You’re Busy [7 Actionable Tips]

7 Tips for Being Creative when Busy

A lot of us are really busy.  Maybe you have a job, kids, dinner to make, laundry to fold, friends to meet, meetings to attend or any number of other things.

It can be difficult to carve out time for making jewelry (or whatever other art you want to make.)

I find this especially true during the holiday season.  Our schedules get changed and we have parties to attend or family to visit.

Even if you had jewelry making in your normal daily routine, it can be difficult when that normal daily routine gets changed.

Here are some ways to make sure that you are getting your creative time even when you’re busy:

1.  Schedule it in.

I know this seems pretty obvious, but recently I was trying to figure out how to actually finish a year long project I’m working on (and got behind on.) I scheduled it and now I’m making progress again!

For my project, I decided to dedicate Sunday evenings to it.  I was trying to make it so complicated thinking I should work on it every day for a little bit, but then I was finding it difficult to find the time each day.

So I chose a few hours just one day per week.

I went from trying to work on it every single day and not actually doing that to working on it a few hours each week and actually making some progress.

2.  Gather your supplies in one place.

If you have to dig out everything from here and there every time you want to make some jewelry, it can be a barrier.

Instead keep your most used tools and supplies easily accessible.

If you have a dedicated studio or room to work in, then you can keep everything out and ready to go.

If not, keep your most used items together in one place.  For example, if you work on the kitchen table and have to put things away when it’s dinnertime, then maybe find a box or basket to keep items in so you can easily move things.

If you’re taking Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse, your most used tools will be wire cutters, chain nose pliers and round nose pliers.  You might want to keep your 20 gauge, half-hard, round wire handy as well.

I know you probably have more supplies than can fit in a basket, so thinking about what you want to work on in your next jewelry making session ahead of time can be helpful.  You can pull out those supplies ahead of time.

3.  Plan your creativity.

Decide what you’re going to work on in your next jewelry making session before you actually sit down to work.

When I had a full-time job, I would think about it, dream about it and even write it down on a little sticky note or piece of paper during the day so I knew when I got home what I would be doing.

Now making jewelry is my job, but I still plan it out or else I just waste time.

4.  Have separate times for planning and for doing.

This goes along with the previous tip.  Instead of getting to the worktable and then deciding what to do, plan that out ahead of time so you can just sit down and work.

Use sketchbook or some kind of idea journal to write down and draw out ideas in.  That’s your planning and thinking time.

Then when it’s time to make you have the ideas to turn to and you don’t waste time sitting there and thinking about what to do.

This is something I teach in Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse.  I love having a jewelry idea sketchbook so I never run out of ideas.

5.  Routine helps with creativity.

I have been reading that over and over again and I didn’t want to believe it.  I dislike schedules and routine.  I want to be spontaneous and just go with the flow.

But the truth is when you show up day after day and do the work, creativity happens.

Create a routine for your creative endeavors and stick with it.  The example I mentioned in #1 above, I am doing once a week.  I make jewelry every day.  Find a routine that works for you.

6.  Keep it simple.

Something simple completed is better than a big, complex thing not completed.

You may have dreams of making a complex set of jewelry that includes earrings, bracelet, necklace and a ring.  Thinking of it as a whole complete set can feel overwhelming.

Instead, break it down into smaller chunks.  Today I’ll make the earrings.  Tomorrow I’ll make the ring.  Maybe break down the necklace and bracelet projects into even smaller chunks depending on your design.  (For example, if you need to make some different components, work on those components one day and put everything together the next.)

7. Take it easy on yourself.

If you get busy with other stuff, don’t beat yourself up about not getting jewelry made or whatever your creative project is.  When you have time you’ll get at it again.

I hope that you can schedule in time to make jewelry or do whatever creative endeavor you’re planning even though the holidays!


Another way to keep up your creative practice even when you’re busy is to take an eCourse.  It will inspire you and you’ll be excited to get to it every day!

Wire Wrapping for Beginners

Learn to make beautiful, sturdy, professional level wire wrapped jewelry!

I show you how, step-by-step, in Wire Wrapping for Beginners eCourse!

Learn all the components and techniques you need to make earrings, bracelets, charm bracelets, necklaces and rings!

Plus be inspired to express your own creativity, going beyond just following step-by-step tutorials, but infusing your own style into the pieces.  Learn more here.

Gratitude and Creativity [Plus starting a gratitude journal & 30 day challenge]

today-i-am-grateful-for

Gratitude has a measurable positive effect on your happiness.

It allows you to appreciate what you have instead of thinking that some new thing – maybe even something outside of your reach – will make you happier.

And positive emotions have been shown to enhance creativity.

Positive feelings can lead to:

  • trying new things
  • play
  • exploring

All of these are things that also encourage creativity.

I have had a practice of writing three things I’m grateful for every morning in my journal and it’s been a wonderful way to start my day on a positive note.

It’s easy to get into the day-to-day of life and become immune to all the wonderful things about it.  Actually writing down what you’re grateful for makes it concrete and helps you remember that you have so very much to be thankful for.

starting-a-gratitude-journal

Starting a gratitude journal

This doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy.  You can simply use a journal you have already and document what you’re grateful for each day.

If you already write in a journal, simply add what you’re grateful for.

If you don’t already have a journal, any notebook or journal will do.  You may want to choose a new, pretty journal, but you don’t have to.

gratitude

I found this beautiful journal and it’s what I write in every day.  Each day I start by writing a positive quote.  Then I write out all of my feelings and emotions.  I end my daily writing with three things I’m grateful for.

[I purchased this journal from Back Home Again in Lititz, PA.  They have a great variety of different journals and lots of other fun stuff.]

gratitude-time

When to write

I like writing in the morning to start my day on a positive note.

I also love the idea of writing one or more things you’re grateful for at the end of the day.  You can think about your day and choose a few things and write them down.

I think the important thing is to just get started.

30 Days of Gratitude

You can use gratitude to feel more positive leading to creativity.  And you can also be creative with your gratitude!

I’ve been planning to do a month long gratitude album.

Each day I’ll take a photo of something I’m grateful for and then I’ll also create an album page each day in the month of November.

I’m choosing November because it’s the month of the US Thanksgiving, but if you’re reading this in the future, don’t feel like you have to start in any particular month or at even at the beginning of a month.  Just start today.

For my project I’m creating a 6 x 8 Project Life type album.  Each page has two 4 x 6 pockets.  In one pocket I’ll place the photo from the day.  In the other pocket I’ll create a card (or a small scrapbook layout or collage) and write what I’m grateful for.

I plan to share my photo each day in November on Instagram (follow me @KimberlieKohler) to see what I’m grateful for! And I encourage you to share what you’re grateful for there, too.  Use this hashtag so we can find each other:  #ectgratitudechallenge

(ECT=Emerging Creatively Tutorials, just so you know.  🙂 )

gratitude-2

I gathered up a basket of goodies for my 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge so everything is together to make it easier to complete each day.

I encourage you to start a daily gratitude practice in a way that works for you.

Remember, you don’t have to do what I’m doing this month to get started.  You can:

  • Use any journal you’re already using and just add gratitude to it; or
  • Get a pretty journal just to use for your gratitude journal; or
  • Grab any notebook you have.

I like to write three things, but you can start with just one.

And I think it’s fine if sometimes you’re grateful for the same thing as previous days.  I have a pretty routine life so that happens for me quite often.  However, this month I’m going to try to find something different and specific each day, no matter how small it seems.

How are you planning to start your gratitude journal?

Or

Do you already have a gratitude practice?

Let me know in the comments below. 

 

Why isn’t it as easy as it looks?

Why isn't it as easy as it looks?

This comes up from time to time especially in the jewelry making eCourses that I run.

You make everything look so easy, but it’s not as easy as it looks.

So you watch me make the project, but when you make the project it’s not as easy for you.

This comes up a lot with Pinterest as well.  You see an amazing craft project (or recipe or home decor or whatever you’re looking at) and when you try it yourself, it’s a failure. (Or you think it’s a failure.)

So if you’re feeling discouraged that what you’re making doesn’t look like what other people are sharing, I hope this post will encourage you to keep going!

So if it seems like people sharing tutorials on the internet (including me) are doing things so easily and you can’t quite get the project perfect

there are many reasons for this:

  1. This is what I have found to be the #1 thing:  You are holding yourself to a much higher standard than you are holding the teacher.  I have seen my students cut down their own work and it’s beautiful, creative work!  Sometimes they’ll tell me, “It doesn’t look exactly like yours.”  It’s not supposed to!  It’s your work.  So cut yourself some slack!
  2. I have made these projects before – sometimes many times before I actually show you how to make them.  I’ve worked out the kinks already.  This is likely the very first time you’re making it.  You expect it to be perfect the very first time.  It very likely won’t turn out amazing the first time you do anything.  (There are, of course, exceptions.)
  3. One thing I try to instill in my students is encouragement to customize and try their own thing using my instructions as a guideline.  That means that when you go off the beaten path, things may not work out perfectly the first time you try it.  In fact, it probably won’t.  Don’t get discouraged or give up.  It’s all part of the process.
  4. When people (including me) make mistakes when they’re filming a video or shooting photos of a tutorial, they edit them out.  Usually (as I said in #2) I have already worked out all the kinks.  Sometimes things go wrong anyway.  It’s part of making things.  I don’t want to waste your time with my mistakes, so I mostly edit them out unless I think it’s a chance to teach.  So just because you don’t see me make mistakes in a video, it doesn’t mean I don’t make mistakes.
  5. I have been making jewelry, working with wire and jewelry materials and tools for quite a long time.  A lot of what I do is just ingrained into my hands.  It’s muscle memory.  The only way to get better at making jewelry is to keep making jewelry and practicing.

There is no failure.

The most important thing I want you to remember is this:  there is no failure.  If you’re trying, you’re learning and that’s part of the process.

And

Give yourself some slack.

Give yourself some slack.  Give yourself time and space to practice and make mistakes and learn from them. 

Interestingly, a lot of my “mistakes” have turned into beautiful pieces of jewelry or my biggest triumphs.  If I would make everything perfect every time, I wouldn’t learn as much or grow.

This article I wrote about the 4 Phases of Developing Your Creativity may also help you along your path.  In that post you’ll also find a very inspiring video with Ira Glass talking about what nobody tells beginners about art.  It’s so encouraging especially if you’re feeling frustrated with your creative development.

If you’re looking to learn some solid basic skills that you can put into use and start practicing right away, I encourage you to sign up for my completely free Intro to Wire Wrapping eCourse!

You’ll learn the basics and even start making wire jewelry projects.

Intro to Wire Wrapping

Fill in the form to sign up below and get practicing your jewelry making!

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Inspiration Book Series: Prompt 3

Inspiration Book Series

Want to feel more inspired and creative?

Want to find your inspiration?

My free Inspiration Book Series will help you!

Each week get a creatively inspiring prompt right here on my website.  Do the prompt in your Inspiration Book and feel more inspired!

For an introduction to the Inspiration Book Series, check out the Inspiration Book Introduction.

For all of the Inspiration Book Series prompts, click here.

Prompt 3:  Go for a Walk

Watch the video:

Prompt 3 is about going for a walk and paying attention to what you find.  And I’m talking about physical things you find on the ground.  It may be feathers, twigs and rocks or things like zipper pulls that fell off someone’s clothes.

Inspiration Book Series Prompt 3

Steps:

  • Go for a walk.  This can be in your town or out in the country or even just around your own backyard.  Keep your eyes open for interesting things you find along the way.  I find a ton of feathers when I’m walking, but I also find twigs and random bits like zipper pulls, which I collect.
  • Pick one thing and stick it in your album.  (If it’s too big and won’t fit, then draw it!)
  • Draw the item different ways on the page.
  • Repeat as much as you like!

I know that most of you are jewelry makers, so drawing isn’t necessarily your strong suit.  Just give it a try!

Reflection:

Think about the shapes of the items.  Is there anything that is inspiring for your next jewelry piece?

If you have ideas, sketch them in your Inspiration Book!


I use my Inspiration Book to help inspire my creativity in jewelry making.  If you want to learn how to make wire wrapped jewelry, get my FREE Intro to Wire Wrapping eCourse.  You’ll learn everything you need to know to start making wire jewelry and you’ll even get a few simple jewelry projects!

Get the Free Intro to Wire Wrapping eCourse:

* indicates required




Inspired Book Series: Prompt 2

Inspiration Book Series

Want to feel more inspired and creative every day?

Want to find your inspiration?

My new free Inspiration Book Series will help you!

Each week get a creatively inspiring prompt right here on my website.  Do the prompt in your Inspiration book and feel more inspired!

Get all of the prompts here:  Inspiration Book Series

Prompt 2:  I Feel Happiest When . . .

Video:

Inspiration Book Series Prompt 2

Steps:

  • Use the prompt “I’m happiest when __________” and fill in the blank.
  • Respond in any way you like.  I used photos and a list or you can use just a list, make a collage, draw or anything you think of!

Inspiration Book Series Prompt 2

Inspiration Book Series Prompt 2

Reflection:

How can you bring more of these things into your life?


I use my Inspiration Book to help inspire my creativity in jewelry making.  If you want to learn how to make wire wrapped jewelry, get my Free Intro to Wire Wrapping eCourse.  You’ll learn everything you need to know to start making wire jewelry and you’ll even get a few simple jewelry projects!

Get started today:

Get the Free Into to Wire Wrapping eCourse:

* indicates required