Ideas to nurture your creative self: How an hour of your time can make a difference

The more you reinvent yourself, the more you become you. This is one of the ideas that resonated with me the most at the Adobe 99U Conference. For a few years now, I’ve been dying to attend this conference, which usually takes place every year in New York City. In 2020, though, organizers adapted all keynotes, master classes and workshops in a digital format.

We’re still getting through the pandemic, but it hasn’t extinguished our desire to lead a creative life. In uncertain times, redefining ourselves is the best way to find solutions to our challenges at personal and professional levels.

Designing a New Day by author and artist John S. Couch is a must-watch talk. His advice focused on the importance of having “me time” to pursue hidden ambitions that our daily routines don’t accommodate. The remedy: spend an hour a day to work on the projects that matter to you.

How are you spending your time? In an interesting exercise, Mr. Couch makes you write down, in full detail, how your day usually looks like. After analyzing your routine, then you can determine which activities can be replaced for the things that are important to you. You only have to block off one hour of your entire day. One.

One hour can make a difference. If you do this every day, then all your efforts accumulate, leading you to complete the project you previously put aside due to lack of time. Time is actually your most valuable asset. It’s crucial to use it wisely. Once it’s gone, it never returns.

As you work for an hour, acknowledge that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Otherwise you’re wasting time.

Now, what if you feel like you can’t do much in an hour? To me, the answer to this question is that anything that happens within that hour is useful. You’re doing the best you can, and you’re also working in draft mode. You can always edit or improve whatever is it that you’re creating next time you work on it. It’s a constant work in progress.

I like how Mr. Couch puts it:

There is no failure in the process. There is only stopping. Don’t stop. (John S. Couch)

How are you spending your time on the things that matter to you?

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