I’m just going to come out and say it. Staying motivated is hard. Staying creative is hard. No need to beat around the bush, right? We all go through cycles of motivation and procrastination in our own ways. Here are some ways that I use to keep motivated when I’m channeling my creativity. Hopefully, they help you as well!
- Take a shower.
I know, I know, it sounds a little out there, but most of my best ideas come to me when I’m in the shower. Belting out my favorite Ariana Grande songs like I’m in the middle of Madison Square Garden just seems to get the creative juices flowing. The warm water is soothing, and I feel less stressed. If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, try jumping in the shower and see how you feel by the end.
- Change your space.
Get out of your normal space. If you can, take a quick walk around the block or go for a drive for some change of scenery. Being able to take in new people and a different atmosphere is great for when you need new energy to get to work. This also helps get you get into the creative headspace because you have the chance to view things in a new light.
- Sticky notes are love, sticky notes are life.
Have you ever had a dream or woken up in the middle of the night with the best idea ever, only to wake up in the morning and forget all about it? Been there, done that. To combat missing out when inspiration strikes, keep a pad of sticky notes in your purse, on your nightstand, or anywhere else where you will have access to.
- Plan out your day, bullet journal style.
Bullet journals, abbreviated BuJo, are the latest trend in planners and organization that give you the freedom to develop layouts that suit your lifestyle. I personally set my weekly to-do list up like this:
I was inspired by one of my favorite Youtubers, withwendy. Her bullet journaling is artsy yet functional. You’ll see that I enjoy coloring coding my days of the week. BuJos are known for cute doodles, and although I could wax poetic about the therapeutic benefits of drawing and coloring, another option to spruce up your schedule is stickers. Etsy is a great place to look for stickers, and I’m personally loving Michaela K Creations stickers. Her drawing style is adorable!
- Mind map.
When you have an inkling of an idea but don’t know how to expand it, I suggest mind mapping. It’s a simple way to brainstorm and get out all of the things swirling in your head. Start with a main idea or general ideas of what you’ve been thinking about. Circle it. From there, think about the sub-categories that go into it. For each sub-category, you can go deeper into examples or further thoughts. See below picture for how I mind mapped this blog post.
- Time management.
As you can see from the first BuJo layout, I break down my day by the hour and set one goal per hour, sometimes repeating a task more than once if it is time consuming. When I complete a task, I get the satisfaction of crossing it off of my list. If there’s time left in the hour, I allow myself to use it however I want. (Which usually means playing Candy Crush. No judgement!) Others suggest establishing a work to break ratio. One such method is the Pomodoro Timer which works like this: work for 25 minutes and take a break for five minutes. After four cycles of work/break, take a longer break for about 15-20 minutes. For a longer work period, another study suggests 52 minutes of working to 17 minutes of break time. Everyone has different attention spans, so experiment with what works for you.
- Browse Pinterest.
Pinterest is the holy grail of inspiration. There is a constant stream of new content daily, and their board/section organization makes it easy to keep your ideas together. For L. Royalty’s Pinterest, click here.
- Make plans for the evening.
One way that you can reward yourself and keep yourself motivated is by making plans for your evening. If you know that you promised a friend that you’d do dinner and a movie, you’ll be more likely to push yourself to get done sooner in order to keep those plans.
- Repeat a mantra.
When times get tough, repeating a mantra helps you stay focused on your ultimate goal while simultaneously reminding you why you started in the first place. If repeating a mantra is too mainstream for you, set several reminders on your phone or download an app to send you inspiring quotes. The carousel of quotes is sure to keep you inspired and spark some creativity.
- Take a class in something totally different.
If you’re a creative, you know that learning new things always seems to come back to your field of interest. Try a course in cooking, swing dancing, 3-D printing, or whatever else interests you.
And there you have it! Ten ways to find your mojo and keep the creative juices flowing. I hope that you found these tips helpful and that you are on your way staying focused and inspired. Let us know your best tips on how to stay motivated and creative in the comments below!