Making Time When You Have No Time, 0r Stop Being Lazy - Which is it?

Filling the 'Creative Well' in Oxford  - Maria A Smith 

The title of this post is long, I couldn't decide between 'Making Time When You Have No Time' which seemed apt until I got into it, then I thought, or is 'Or Stop Being Lazy' more the truth of the matter?

If you're feeling fed up and irritated because you aren't getting your writing done, reading through the points here may hold the answer to what's stopping you?

Be Kind to Yourself - There's no point in beating yourself up about being lazy, it'll just make you feel worse, instead give yourself permission to draw a line under what's gone before and move forward. Do it now.

Take a Small Step Forward - Beat that inner resistance (you know what I'm talking about) by doing one small thing towards your writing project today. Getting started can seem the hardiest part so grab a pen and notebook, or your laptop and sit down for 10 minutes and write. Do it again tomorrow, and the day after, chances are you'll find you're writing for longer.

Remove Distractions  - Whatever it is that's helping you to procrastinate, remove it. If it's the internet, switch it off. If it's your phone, turn it to silent and put it in a drawer. If it's because you're at home, go out, find a cafe or somewhere you're not going to start doing laundry or talk to passing family members.

Declutter Your Mind - If you've got too much going on you'll feel overwhelmed and it'll have the negative effect of making you want to do nothing. Step back, ask yourself, what can I cut from my work hours and what can I cut from my private time?
Question yourself, if you only had an hours free time today what would you do with it? Find your top priorities, see what you can eliminate, minimise or delegate. Examples are, teaching other members of your family to cook a meal, that's at least an hour saved, record your favourite TV programme for later, thus avoiding watching adverts and gaining extra minutes.  Stop ironing everything! Stop working through your dinner break for someone else.

Write a Short List - Prioritise three things you'll do today. Be it, write for 20 minutes, pay the electric bill and cut the lawn. Be sure to tick things off as you do them. Add three new things to the list tomorrow, and the next day, and if for some reason you can't get your three things done, just add them to tomorrows list. Before you know it you'll be playing a game with yourself to get all your tasks finished. Review your list at the end of the week. Feels good to see progress doesn't it?

See Setbacks as Learning Curves - Going after what you want will inevitably lead to stumbling blocks now and again. Anything new or outside your comfort zone can fail from time to time. It's life, and proof you're living it well, so put it down as a learning experience and move on.

Hang Out With Positive People - Whoever you hang out with and spend time with will have an influence on your mood. Enthusiasm is infectious so surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good. Listen to uplifting podcasts and audio books, read articles and books that motivate you. Think about what you let into your mind every day and make changes if necessary. Get rid of anything toxic.

Appreciate Downtime  - Think about how you're going to spend time relaxing and recharging. It's good to take breaks and do something different but don't be aimless. Plan when you're going to watch that movie or take that walk, or catch up with old friends. Be conscious about what you're going to do, it'll make you feel more energised and motivated when you go back to your writing.  Downtime is truly beneficial and necessary.

Fill Up Your Creative Well - Never underestimate the power of your creative well. Make sure you're regularly pouring ideas into your well by getting out and about and seeing people and experiencing new things on a regular basis. Go visit the local museum, take a day trip to the seaside or walk about the local market. Book a theatre trip or go listen to the local talent playing live at the pub. You'll find a big payback in your creativity when you do new things - figure out what speaks to your heart and soul and do it often.

I hope you find the above helpful - now go create!


  1. So many pieces of good advice here Maria. I've realised lately that I barely take any time for having treats - reading a book or really relaxing, and I've been feeling a bit jaded. I know the feeling of my mind needing a declutter as well - too many thoughts flying around in there, especially at 5am. Spending time with encouraging / positive people is a great tip too, either in person or via a podcast etc. I find I am very influenced by that sort of thing, it really helps me to feel motivated. I hope all is going well for you, and that you for such a good, inspirational post. CJ xx

    1. I'm working away albeit slowly, or at least it seems slow to me. I find a smaller list of things to do works better for me too.
      Every Sunday I make a plan for the week ahead and try to stick to it as much as is possible. Glad to hear the post motivated you.

  2. 'Thank you', not 'that you' - oops! CJ xx

  3. Great advice, Maria! I just need to follow it now 😄

  4. I so needed to read this today, Maria. Thank you for such a useful post.


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