If there were more hours in the day, more days in the week, wouldn’t we create more? Haven’t we all at some point thought that? May I propose a more radical idea? I propose that we may need less time, a six-day week with twenty-three hour days. Why? Because when we have less time to create, we tend to use our time, well, more creatively, more productively.
You can do this in several ways. First, start by being more open to your senses, your awareness of touch and texture, your vision of color and composition, your emotions from scent and stink, the sounds of melody and cacophony you hear and your taste of air and sustenance.
You can be more creative with your time by claiming all of your time for creating. Since you know your creative time is limited, be more attentive to patterns and relationships. Begin to recognize the choreography of cars navigating an interstate exchange or the first line of a poem in your alphabet soup.
Make everyday tasks creative. Play with color and fonts when doing routine computer work. A few clicks will bring it back to normal. Listen to music from a different culture or era outside of your usual range. Drive a different route to work or the grocery store.
Fourth, grab the gaps in the time you already have. Why not keep a sketchbook in with the cutlery? Waiting for the teakettle to boil or the oven to reach 350°? That’s the time for a few quick sketches. Or maybe keep a box of toothpicks on the counter to arrange into shapes and figures.
Finally, look for ways to hang creative habits on to your current activities. How? Make the last motion of a routine task be the first motion of a creative one. Push away the cereal bowl and pull the journal towards you. Tuck the baby in her crib and pick up your laptop. When you’re finished writing, it’s time to check on your sweetie and put the laptop away.
There will always be twenty-four hours in the day and seven days in the week but our attitude towards time can change and with it, give us new approaches to using it creatively.