A busy and cluttered mind will never have a chance to become creative. Being overly busy, overly burdened, and completely frazzled had been a near-constant state for me. I found, however, that when I had too much going on, my writing and creativity suffered. I made less money because I was too busy to plan ahead. My family suffered because I was not present with them. My heart suffered because it didn’t have enough room to breathe. I had to make a change.
Here are three ways I found to create space.
1. Become an Eventual Minimalist
I am drawn to the minimalist movement. However, the thought of taking the time to Marie Kondo my life stressed me out much more than my clutter ever did. I found a great solution. I’ve become an EVENTUAL MINIMALIST.
Each day, I give away, sell, or toss out one thing. That’s it. I find that I am buying fewer things because I’ll just have to get rid of them soon. My drawers and closet are no longer stuffed with things I don’t want or use. My heart is becoming lighter as I release my grip on material possessions. Plus, it’s fun to see people’s face light up with a surprise gift.
Give away one thing a day. All of the empty space in your house will leave room for you to breathe and be creative.
2. Plan Your Breaks
Have you ever noticed that the days before leaving for vacation are your most productive days at work?
Planning specific times to take breaks gives a lot of clarity to your task list. Whether that means a weekend off, an extended vacation, or even a time of night to stop working, planning your breaks prevents work from bleeding into your rest. Planning your breaks allows you to actually have a life.
Deciding to be finished with work by a certain time each day means there is less time to procrastinate. Deciding to put away the screens and go to bed with a good book at 9:30 gives you brain the signal that the work day is done. Planning to take a sabbath each weekend gives order and rhythm to the week.
Set boundaries to your work week. It will make your work more productive and your life a lot happier.
3. Quit Something Thursdays
In his book, Love Does, Bob Goff talks about quitting something just because it’s Thursday. This has been life changing for me. Every Thursday, I quit something. I decide to stop a bad habit. I unsubscribe from an email newsletter or two. One crazy Thursday, I decided to throw out one thing a day.
Obligations and commitments add up, and sometimes we don’t realize we have overcommitted until, well, we’ve overcommitted.
Interests change. Life seasons change. Family commitments change. There is no reason to keep doing the same things over and over because you once did them.
Do what matters. In order to do what matters, you will have to quit the good-but-not-great things. What can you quit just because it’s Thursday?
Keep making space.