I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how being busy affects creativity, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it can be both a blessing and a curse.
When I am busy at work, my ideas are better. The pressure created by deadlines lends enough urgency to spur my brain into action, and having several things to do makes me diligent about getting them all done. As the saying goes, “If you want something done, ask a busy person!” Getting things done creates its own momentum.
Sometimes, though, being too busy can take its toll. I usually have a lot to do after work, and often am not home several nights a week. This makes the time I do spend at home a precious commodity, and I am in such need of downtime that the only things I feel like doing are reading or embroidery. Anything that takes more creative thought or energy than that seems overwhelming. Introverts need time to charge their batteries away from other people, and highly sensitive people need time away from overstimulation. I am both.
The obvious answer is to scale back on the extracurriculars and spend more time at home so it is the norm and not the exception. Once the novelty of being at home wears off, a little rest, space and some good old-fashioned boredom might lead to more creative work.
Scaling back is a hard thing to do. It means not doing some things you might want to do. It means disappointing or even angering other people because you’re putting what you need over what they want and expect you to do (and this is even worse when you are a people-pleaser by nature). I’ve learned that I do need to listen to what my mind and body are telling me; I am a happier, better rested, more creative person when I do, even if it means I do not participate in a show or do not meet with family or friends for a weekend. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but that they will like me better when they do see me.
I am hoping to be more productive in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know how it goes!