February 28, 2022

I Scheduled My Creative Time For The Last 4 Weeks, Here's What I Learned

Reading Time: 10 mins

Scheduled creative time is something I read about but never thought to try until recently.

I noticed I struggled to work on anything outside of my primary recurring tasks each week. I wanted to try my hands at building a Notion dashboard or creating a website, but tasks like writing and scheduling my newsletter always took priority.

Re-reading my notes from The Accidental Creative, it struck me that scheduled creative time might be the answer.

So, over the last 4 weeks, I scheduled 1-3 hours on a Friday into my calendar for scheduled creative time.

Here’s what I learned about the process, about how I work, and my key takeaways from this experiment.

Background - What Is Scheduled Creative Time And Why Should I Care?

The idea of scheduled creative time as I learned about from The Accidental Creative is where you set aside dedicated time each week for the sole purpose of creating.

The reason this works is a regular practice of creation will exercise your brain’s creative muscles. So, when it comes time to put together that mockup or presentation you have the creative mojo to produce something great.

Having an outlet like this for your creativity is a great way to try new things and see where your curiosity leads you.

If you want to learn more about how to establish a scheduled creativity routine, I wrote an article you can check out here: Why You Should Schedule Time For Creativity.

Preparation - Scheduled Creative Time Set Up

My goal for this little experiment was to try it out for a month, document the results, and decide whether to make this a regular part of my week going forward.

Here’s what I did to prepare:

Week 1

For the first week of scheduled creative time, I decided to combine my love of gaming with my passion for design.

I have no idea where the idea came from but I settled on creating a business card for a video game character.

Side note: write down every idea you have, you never know which ones you’ll use!

In this case, I picked Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher. The Witcher 3 is probably in my top 3 list of favorite games so it made sense to pick Geralt because I know a lot about him and this game.

I created the business cards in Canva, exported them into visual mockups in Photoshop, then shared the end result on Twitter:

What I Enjoyed

What I Didn’t Enjoy

What I Learned

Week 2

For this week’s scheduled creative time, I wanted to create a Core Values page in Obsidian. This idea was inspired by this video from Nicole van der Hoeven:

While this might not be the most creative thing I could do with my time, I felt this was a good use of my time. Especially given how the results would help me in the future i.e. a list of my core values that would drive my future goals.

The end result was a note that outlined my top 6 core values and gave a brief description of each one and what it means to me.

I highly recommend watching the video above for some inspiration if you’re thinking of doing this for yourself.

What I Enjoyed

What I Didn’t Enjoy

What I Learned

Week 3

This week, I decided to build a Notion dashboard to manage my tweet ideas.

This idea was inspired by the Endless Tweet Generator from Ev Chapman. I highly recommend you download this dashboard to get you started generating more tweets than you ever thought possible.

The end result of this creative time was a new Notion dashboard I call: Tweet HUD. As you can probably tell, I wanted to incorporate my love of gaming into this dashboard so I themed it like an RPG.

What I Enjoyed

What I Didn’t Enjoy

What I Learned

Week 4

This week I worked on a fun little website that came about from a pain point at work. It’s a character counter and character generator.

This was my most challenging project to date during my scheduled creative time. It required me to create a full web page from scratch and use my JavaScript knowledge to make it work correctly.

The stack I used for this project was: HTML, Tailwind CSS, Vanilla JavaScript, deployed on Netlify.

Here’s the web page if you want to see how it turned out: https://chartools.netlify.app/

What I Enjoyed

What I Didn’t Enjoy

What I Learned

My Key Take-Aways From This Experiment

If you’re still with me, here’s an overview of what I learned from doing this experiment over the last 4 weeks:

As a result of this experiment, I’ve decided to continue with my scheduled creative time each Friday. I really enjoy this time each week and I feel that it’s a great creative outlet.

Thank you so much for reading all the way to the end. If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with someone else who might find it useful 🤗