In talking to many creatives online, I’ve realized that so many of us are blocked and stuck in paralysis. We have dreams and goals, but feel that it’s too far fetched, too difficult or too late to start working towards them.
I want to help us break through the false impression that success only happens with massive action and investment (whether it’s time and/or money).
I’m certainly not against the times in our lives when a major change certainly can kick us into action… but on a day-to-day basis, experience tells me that just 10 minutes a day can lead to success.
We often underestimate the power of incremental change and progress. Consider that 10 minutes a day is over 60 hours of time in a year. That’s like spending more than a month of business work hours – straight – on one project… and that is a substantial amount of time for many types of projects.
When I became a mom, I had to learn the hard way to make use of all the little bits of in-between time I had available to me. The luxury of giant blocks of free time are rare! And if you think about it, the availability of little chunks of time is much greater in our lives today. Waiting in lines, the transition times between errands and tasks, the few minutes before your day starts or day ends… lots of little pockets of time. It makes so much sense to learn to make use of them, rather than just letting them pass you by.
To give you some examples of how 10 minutes a day can lead to success for various projects and goals, consider this:
- Daily doodle/drawing/pattern/collage projects even with a quick 10 minutes means you will have 365 entries at the end of a year. Even if you skip days you would have still accomplished a lot. That is why I love 100 day challenges or daily routines of that sort. It’s a great way to develop a creative practice routine.
- Daily exercise like a set of crunches, lunges or stretching poses. It always seems like nothing, but if you actually take action for 10 minutes a day, you’ll be surprised how much more fit you’ll be after a year of practice. Again, even if you skip a few days, the results are still better than doing nothing. This kind of practice can be as simple as a 10 minute walk around your work building at lunchtime!
- Meditation for 10 minutes a day. It’s a great way to give yourself that calming, centering time. You’ll be surprised how this simple practice might change the way you feel the rest of the day! Not to mention, it helps when you are going through a difficult situation – deep breaths, right?
You might agree with the fact that daily routines are great, but perhaps have trouble keeping up. So how do you set yourself up for success when it comes to nurturing a daily routine?
- First you have to set up the goal or activity you are wanting to accomplish. Keep it simple and realistically possible for a short period of time.
- Then you have to simply make it easy for you to jump in and spend those 10 minutes of time when it comes along. Like having your sketchbook always ready and available. Or memorizing those exercises you want to do, so you can break them out anytime anywhere.
- The point is to set yourself up for success and just keep moving forward day by day, chipping away at it.
- Finally, don’t let a missed day trip you up. Think of every single day as a new start. Doing something sometimes, is better than nothing all the time.
Daily routines work for so many creatives and if you ask anyone who has achieved any kind of success, they will inevitably tell you it’s the slow and steady work of chipping away at the task.
If you need a bit of motivation, think of declaring your intentions in public or getting a partner or buddy who wants to do this routine with you. Accountability works and community motivates! Generally you can also keep your eye on the prize and visualize all that you will accomplish by the end of the year.
I’ve embarked on the #100DayProject, posting my simple pencil sketches on Instagram daily. It’s a small creative exercise, but it’s about keeping my drawing muscles flexed and turns out to be a fountain for inspiration. A simple creative play exercise can turn into a full-fledged idea and project!
Are you ready for creative success?