It’s been a couple weeks since I posted about my goal to work a minimum of 45 minutes a day on personal projects. After trying out this method for a short period of time, I can now talk about my takeaways from it.
First off, it worked really well right out of the gate. I put on a fun playlist of upbeat music, set my timer, and worked on my projects for the minimum amount of time from Monday-Thursday during week 1. When it started getting closer to the weekend, though, I felt like I was starting to slip a little bit. I was waiting later and later into the evening to get started on my projects so I was feeling more rushed to finish quickly before bed. Then when Saturday/Sunday hit, my motivation seemed to go downhill because I had a full day off and no structured work hours.
Ultimately what I realized was that I needed to get over the initial hump of getting into work mode. Often it can feel like these creative projects are more like chores, like I have to force myself to do them. And while that is true to an extent, I’ve noticed that I feel much better about myself when I am in the midst of the work after I break past the first mental road block. I do take occasional breaks from the creativity to give my mind a rest, but I think I need to stick to the timer rule on the weekends, too, just so I have regulated time to rest and then stay focused.
In this last week, week 2, I felt like my productivity and excitement to work on my projects only increased since I knew I wanted to make up for the lack of energy from the weekend. I brought a small notebook to work with me and started writing small project ideas and scripts down during my lunch breaks. This really helped me stay focused throughout the day because I allowed my brain to flex its creativity, rather than saving it all for when I got home.
I definitely love having a set time to turn on my creativity during the day. I encourage everyone to go into this week with a small notebook on hand and try taking a couple 15 minute breaks out of your day to just write, brainstorm, draw, or do whatever it is that relaxes you. My breaks at work are 10:30am, 12:30pm, and 3:30pm, and I know that during a long work day, I have something to do that calms me down in those times. If you choose to stick to these set times, I think it’ll help put you on a good schedule for finishing up projects that you might be working on like editing a video, writing a script, or whatever it might be.
Let me know how the 15 minute breaks and 45 minute work times work for you!