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  • Karolyn K. Smith

How to Maintain Creativity While in a Full-time Job


There are the fortunate creatives out there who get to work on their creative projects full-time. Then there are those creatives who have a full-time job to help fund their creative projects (among other things). If the job is a particularly non-creative one, it can be hard to keep those creative juices flowing and one may experience a creative block. Work days may be long and stressful, commute included, so finding time to pursue one’s creative passions may seem nigh on impossible. This doesn’t have to be so. We’ve collated five tips that will serve to remind you that there’s always time and ways to be creative.

Find Inspiration in Even Little Things

As creatives, we draw inspiration from just about anything in our environment. Whether a writer, an artist or musician, inspiration exists all around you even in a work (non-creative) environment. It’s important to be mindful and open – inspiration could come from a conversation with a colleague, a funny or maddening email or situation. There are many bloggers who turned their regular 9-5 into a series of funny blog posts!

Utilize “Free” Time Wisely

For creatives who work, “free” time (or time not spent on the job) becomes very important. If you work a night shift, after you get some rest, utilize your free hours wisely. For day shifters, nights may be when you’ll need to wake your creativity and get to working. In order to use these hours wisely, planning becomes essential. Create a plan beforehand on what you will be working on so that these hours aren’t wasted. Socializing is always a good thing – it prevents burnout and provides even more inspiration. However, if working on a big project, keep in mind that weekends will be prime time to be creative.

Have a Notebook Handy

How many times have you had a thought/creative idea but have nothing to write it on? We’re sure it happens more often than not. Keep that notebook handy! Make sure it’s a size that fits well in whatever bag you travel with so that it doesn’t become cumbersome. You may even choose to keep a backup notebook in your desk drawer. If you do, don’t forget to take it home at least on weekends!

Take a Walk

A brief walk at your own comfortable pace, around the block or your work building, can help to improve creative thinking. Don’t believe us? Try it. The positive benefits of improving creative thinking by a leisurely walk was shown to be true in a recent journal study! So instead of walking to the vending machine when you next get that urge to get up from your desk, go for a walk outside.

Have an Accountability Partner

When your reputation or words is on the line, it can help you to hold yourself more accountable of the goals of your project(s). Your accountability partner should be reliable and someone who will encourage and push you to be the best creative you. Decide together regular times to meet to discuss what you are working on and how far you’ve gotten with your project. You will be surprised how well you can work with a deadline looming!

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Being in a non-creative job, does not mean that your creative projects have to suffer. With careful planning and good utilization of free time, your creativity can still bloom!

Did you find these tips helpful? How do you maintain your creativity while in full-time employment? We would like to know in the comments section. Share so that we may all learn from each other.


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