Where does the time go? In the past month I’ve been to a writer’s conference, on vacation to New York, a mini getaway to another part of the state, attended a family wedding, and finished a major project at work. I’m tapped out, which doesn’t leave much time for creative pursuits. I haven’t written a word since I don’t know when. If you are like me and need a jump start, here are some ideas to use your journal for motivation and creativity.
Set a Timer
Give yourself seven minutes to free write why you’ve been unmotivated, why you are procrastinating, or don’t have the time to do the things you used to do. The time is short enough that you won’t get mired in negative thoughts and it isn’t such a long period of time to feel overwhelming.
What you do at the end of the time is up to you. If you are motivated to keep going keep writing about the things you want to do or the reasons why you can do them. If the timer is motivating to you, set the timer for another seven minutes to give your self a sense of urgency. But if the timer is a distraction, turn it off and keep writing until you’ve written past your block or set your next intention.
What Don’t You Know?
Sometimes we find ourselves in a rut because we feel like we know everything there is to know about our passion or we’ve done it all. If this is the case, spend time writing about the things you don’t know or you haven’t done in your creative pursuit.
Next, make a list of ways to find out more about the things you don’t know or steps to take to learn more. Before you know it, the juices will be flowing again.
Make a List of Your Best Habits
If you’re being less productive than usual it may be because you’ve let helpful habits lapse. Here are some questions to ask yourself to find your best habits:
- When are you your most creative? When are you most productive?
- What tools help you be your most creative or most productive?
- Does taking a class or having deadlines help you you be more productive?
- Do you work better alone or with people?
- Do you work better at different times of the year or in different environments?
- What resources or schedule changes would help you work better?
Hopefully writing about why you have been procrastinating and the things you want to learn along with your best habits will light a fire of motivation. If not, keep writing in your journal and asking yourself the questions that spark your fire.
Set a timer if it motivates you, otherwise allow yourself the time it takes to figure it out. But be honest with yourself, don’t let finding the answers to any of these exercises turn into procrastination and keep you from your passion.
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Originally published at https://catherinelanser.com on October 3, 2019.