Time Management for Creative Professionals: Nurturing Inspiration within Deadlines


  Time Management for Creative Professionals: Nurturing Inspiration within Deadlines

There are a number of practices that can help to balance time. For example, when we find ourselves struggling with writer's block, one way to shake things up is to step back and reassess our process. We might try drafting in another medium or pausing for a moment of mindfulness before diving back in. The key is to explore new options and experiment with different tactics until we find something that works for us.

We may also need to acknowledge the scarcity of our time and not give into the impulse—a common one among creatives—to do it all ourselves. As tempting as it may be, relinquishing power over deadlines, tasks, or even what other people think is not always a good thing either. But it's important to find the right balance, to set realistic goals that we can accomplish with time management.

In order to achieve this, we must cultivate a number of different habits and routines that prioritize our creative practice in the best way possible. Here are some tips for cultivating time management habits for creative professionals:

1. Establish schedules and rituals.

Establishing a routine—even if it's loose or changes throughout the day—allows us to be more proactive about our time management and not have it take over our lives. We should also make sure that we start each day with an intention and positive reinforcement (in addition to a morning routine). Furthermore, it's important to take regular breaks throughout the day, especially if we find ourselves hunkering over our desks for hours on end.

2. Create a weekly schedule.

A weekly schedule can help us stay on top of deadlines, meetings, and other important events. However, what's most important about this schedule is actually getting it done in a timely manner. We might be tempted to just write down what we'll get done over the next week without any action steps or reminders of when we need to finish up our assignments or report back to someone else.

3. Know when it's time to delegate.

It's really tempting to want to tackle everything ourselves, especially if we're creatives who like to do things our own way. We may also have a hard time admitting that we actually need help in certain areas or tasks of our practice. But in order to accomplish what needs to be done without burning out, it's important that we learn when it's time to delegate and ask for help. This will also give us a chance to build professional relationships with other creatives whom we can collaborate with down the line.

4. Keep a check on technology distractions.

Technology can be a great support in creative pursuits because of the tools we have available to us. However, it's also important to keep in mind that the written word is not going anywhere, and neither is the need for tact, organization, and attention to detail. It's also paramount that we work through our technology distractions every day on a consistent basis. There are always going to be various distractions out there, whether it be from our smartphones or electronic devices. We may want to make sure that we have some tamed technology by implementing strategies like turning off notifications and setting up boundaries for when we're at work vs. at home. This will help us find more time in our schedule for other important tasks.

5. Educate yourself about your craft.

If we want to be successful as creative professionals, it's important that we're educating ourselves every day on the ins and outs of our chosen field. We may want to read books, watch videos, or attend workshops that teach us more about what we do and connect us with a greater network of peers. In addition to keeping our minds sharp and skills sharp, this will also allow us to be more competitive in the workplace and deliver top quality work.

While time management can seem like a daunting task when we're just starting out on our creative professional journey, it becomes easier over time as we build these habits into our routines. We can also give our time management strategies a boost by utilizing the power of social media and online tools. Social media platforms will help to connect us with creatives like us, allowing us to build relationships outside of the workplace. They also provide countless ways for us to engage, share expertise, offer feedback, and collaborate with others on assignments or creative projects.

For creatives who have a hard time being organized and keeping track of deadlines, it's vital that we take the time to cultivate habit changes that help to prioritize our creative practice without burning ourselves out in the process. This will make sure that we're effective in our work with integrity and reach our goals in top quality creative work.

About the Author: Rachel Schmutz is a writer, creative director, and public speaker based in New York City. She has worked for a number of major brands including American Express and McKinsey & Company. Rachel has also designed marketing campaigns for various publications and creative firms in both print and digital media. You can find Rachel online at rachelschmutz.com or follow her on Twitter @RachelSchmutz_.

Image by: Adam Guerbuez, Public Domain, Link

Photo by: Pixabay, CC0 License

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Posted on: February 4, 2016 | Promoted by | Category: Marketing Strategies | No Comments » The Psychology of Creative Thinking By: Rachel Schmutz Having a creative mind is something most of us want to nurture and develop. One day, we may be kids sitting in a classroom trying to make shapes out of mops. The next day, we're running the New York City Marathon or creating a master's thesis on quantum physics. Whether we're a child or adult, passion for creativity never abates. We want to nurture our creative strengths as much as humanly possible because they can help us excel in our everyday lives and careers.


While we can't change the fact that we're creative beings, we can do our best to nurture our strengths and build on them as much as possible. As leaders in today's digital world, we have countless tools at our fingertips to help us stay organized, keep up with deadlines and manage our time in a way that doesn't burn us out. For those of us who want to be most effective in both our personal and professional lives, time management can be key to cultivating healthy mind-body habits. We must also be willing to learn from other creatives and work through some of the obstacles that might keep us from reaching success.

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