We creatives really don’t like clocks. They often cause stress and make us feel like we are not accomplishing anything when we have actually done bucketloads of work.
So, why is this creative writer and marketer telling other creatives to use a timer at their work?
Why You Should Use Your Timer
This is specifically for people who work as creatives. If you are taking an evening to paint for yourself, ditch any semblance of a time-tracker before heading to the studio. But, when we work, we always need to mix up the fun stuff, the creativity and the engagement of our emotions with the mundane.
If I never send invoices, I don’t get paid.
That emotion is worse than any clock.
Seriously. Because we would rather be writing, creating a world in our favorite digital sandbox, or modeling real clay on a wheel, we need to use timers to ensure that we have full creative license for a period of time.
For this article, I am writing it in 15 minutes.
Partly because of the challenge the clock gives me. But, the bigger reason is I am tutoring a student on SAT prep in one hour. I have to finish discussions with a potential client, and attempt to do several other creative things in the meantime.
Do Everything, So You Can Stop Everything But
If we do not give ourselves breaks and PAT time (look it up if you want a study in classroom management), then we either never create (tolling the death knell for a creative) or never get clients to pay us (a death knell for anyone).
So, whether you write for yourself or for someone else, get comfortable with creating the time for you to create. And if that really stresses you out, make certain you take time during the day to stop everything but ….
If you love reading, get your work done for the day and then stop everything but reading.
If you are a game designer or tester, get your work done for the day, take some time to engage with physical people, and then… stop everything but the game you have been wanting to play.
During your required work, give yourself time for creative tasks by using a timer. Look up the urgent/important quadrant for a good idea of what is required if you work for yourself.
I had 15 minutes to write this blog, and did it in 12. Now I will edit, publish, and have a 3 minute celebration that I beat the clock!
Now, go write, paint, draw, create something.