by- Tom Kubrak
Learning how to successfully differentiate the two of these has become an art in itself for me.
In the first few years of my writing career, this was easy, because I had nothing to sell and nothing to market. I simply was just able to write. Which was amazing. Not that being able to do that doesn’t have it’s own pitfalls, but because I was able to concentrate on creating with no other worries… besides doing my best to make rent each month.
For me, still working plenty of part time and odd jobs to make ends meet, fitting in both of these daily, proved to be a tall task, but I was up for the challenge, so I went for it.
Now, much farther down the line, with material to sell and market, I had to find time for Creating and Business.
DOING IT BOTH DURING THE SAME TIME-FRAME
I attempted to do this in the same allotted gap of time during the days I was writing(Ex. 4-7am, 9-12p, 6-9pm). This varied depending on the ‘season of life’ I was in though. It took awhile to learn that this was inefficient. Because one hour I spent creating, the next I spent answering emails, texts, and social media messages.
My train of thought was off by the time I got back into working on whatever project it was I was trying to write that day. Again though, it took me a long time to realize I wasn’t being as productive as I could be.
It might sound silly, but I continued on this path of trying to make this work. Maybe it’s because how stubborn I am at changing my ways. I thought it was something wrong with me the whole time-thinking it was something I needed to ‘tweek.’ I even tried mindful-exercises to shift my mindset quicker back into a creative mindset. That didn’t work to well either.
I kept trying to make it work; thinking now, I just needed to find a better time of day. Whether that was morning, evening or afternoon. When I made those changes, months after one another, I found no great results in any time of day trying to do both in the same time-frame.
The point is, these two mindsets are completely different and need their own times…far away from each other.
You may disagree with me on this, because you definitely need to be creative in business, but for me combining the two had too many faults to overcome.
Seperating Creative and Business Time
Then, after realizing I worked best in the early hours of each day, I decided to just focus on writing during that time. This was not on purpose initially. When I made this decision I hit the ‘emergency-button’ and I shut the phone off, emails and just wrote what I needed to get done that day after being fed-up. Then I went to bed, woke up, did my morning routine/errands and then shifted my focus into completely ‘business oriented tasks. I was pretty blown away by how much production I had in one writing-session compared to all of my sub-par writing sessions the last year when I was doing both. So I stuck with it.
I believe there’s truly magic in this word, if we apply it correctly in different areas of our lives. I’ve had this mindset for quiet a long time, but never went to the extremes I do now in my Creative Time and Business Time.
Some other examples of separation:
- having a desk specifically for your writing
- a pen specifically for writing
- a notebook/s for one project,
- and also a coffee-mug specifically for when you’re writing.
Those are just a few examples. The important thing to note is that separation is key if you want to completely lock in to whatever it is you’re doing.
What’s Stopping You?
I’ve seen great results with this strategy, so I’m a little upset it took me tjos long to make the change. I’m here now though. What may be stopping you from doing this is that you’re best time to write is in the afternoon, which is the busiest time of day for most people and you may feel obligated to answer calls or texts when they come in.
When can you write when most people are sleeping? Can you write in the early morning before the work day or after the work day late at night in order to not be disturbed?
It may be difficult for you, or you’re simply unable to write at the time of day when most other people are sleeping. So, if that’s the case, then find a way to put yourself in a position, during those times where you’re trying to write during a typical working day, to block the rest of the world out. Put your phone away. Shut the notifications off, and most importantly, make a conscious decision that this is WRITING ONLY TIME.
Think about it…
When do you write and when do you handle business?
By- Tom Kubrak