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How to Make Every Free Moment a Creative One

It's tough to find long stretches of time to create. We spend most of our lives rushing from here to there, and the first thing we sacrifice are those precious creative moments.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

There are plenty of small tasks you can do to continue your creative journey, even when you're busy. Maybe you're sitting in the doctor's office waiting room, steeping your tea, waiting to pick up kids at school...

Any of these little moments can be turned into creative moments! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

Look for color inspiration.

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Color inspiration is everywhere. Maybe you saw a great paint color on the wall while waiting for your car to be serviced. Or maybe you spotted a gorgeous field of flowers beside the road while stopped in traffic.

Snap a photo, if you can, or just enjoy a creative moment where you think of some beautiful things you can create with those colors. Even if you aren't able to remember what the color looked like, that creative moment can spark some happiness and even some other creative ideas.

Add to your Pinterest board.

Do you have the Pinterest app on your phone? It's a great way to pin photos on the go or just browse other boards when you have a few free moments. Don't forget to follow Craftsy!

Keep a small project with you.

Watercolor Sketching on the Go

I love those little projects that you can stash in small bags and keep with you. When I'm knitting, I carry around a sock project. Embroidery is also an easy one to transport. Carry a little sketchpad and a few pencils around for quick, on-the-go drawing. There are plenty of opportunities to downsize your favorite craft!

If you don't carry a purse, you could stash the little project in the glove box of your car or another handy place.

Chat with other creative people.

Sometimes it's easy to spot a fellow creative person. They might be working on a project or maybe even wearing something that you suspect they made. Ask them what they're working on and share projects. You might even get some creative new ideas from them!

Browse books or magazines.

Bookshelf with Craft Books, Magazines and Supplies

I love buying craft books and magazines, but I rarely take the time to actually read them. When you have a spare moment, flip through some of your books and magazines. Use a sticky note to mark some of the projects that interest you.

Listen to a podcast.

There are so many podcasts out there aimed at us creatives, and they can so so inspiring. Download an app like Stitcher if you want to organize all your favorites. Queue them up, and then when you have a little moment or find yourself in the car, you'll have them ready to go!

Make lists.

Lists aren't just good for groceries — they can work for your creativity, too. Make a list of colors you want to experiment with. Make a list of new craft techniques you want to try or skills you want to learn. Make a list of supplies you'll need to make your next project. You can refer back to the list later if you'd like; if not, at least you sparked some creativity while you made it!

Shop for supplies online.

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Online shoppers already know how convenient (and addictive) it can be to use your phone or tablet to pick out supplies. If you have a project in mind but haven't had time to shop for it in person, go the online route instead. You can even purchase kits that come with practically everything you need.

Snap some photos.

If you have a smartphone, you can take photos anytime, anywhere. Snap photos of intriguing patterns, interesting textures or anything else that sparks creativity in you. You can use those photos as a jumping-off point for a new project or inspiration for a project you have in the works.

Space out.

According to an article in Scientific American, allowing your mind to wander can foster creativity. This is an especially helpful exercise if you've been feeling too stressed or tired to create. Take a few moments to breathe and ignore all those things that are bugging you. It might just spark a wonderful new idea!

Do you have any tips for staying creative even when you're busy? Share in the comments!

Want more tips for boosting your creativity?

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9 Comments

Gina

I got Danny Gregory’s Art Before Breakfast workbook to take everywhere.

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Romy

Thanks so much for the tip, Gina! I looked for the book and…what a nice surprise! The author has a beautiful and inspiring life history and his books are the result of that. I’m traveling to the US next month and his books are definitely in my shopping list!

(Thanks Craftsy for another encouraging post)

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Marsha

Always have a project started so when you do have some time you can just pick it up where you left off.

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Lisa Christensen

I recommend The Artists Way by Julia Cameron, I like the idea of having or creative ng a space that you can leave your project out to practice, in Mary Murphy’s water color class on Craftsy she gave the advice on having your water colors out so you can pick it up anytime and get Better. I did and I could see lots of improvements. But living the day to day stuff I have found listening to classical music helps.

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Barbara

I just started quilting after retirement. Love it. Almost an obsession! Always have one going so can walk in and continue at any time. Love shopping for material. On my 4th one and have material for 4 more. One flannel. Was doing all by hand then bought a new machine to replace a 40 yr old one that was messed up. I am always putting ideas in my reminders notes on iPhone.

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Barbara

I also just ordered Danny Gregory’s book from the library.

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chammi kaiser

When you are holed up in your home with a cold or the weather is too awful to contemplate, I watch a tv programme that I have recorded – mostly wildlife and travel and then freeze frame and sketch. That definitely gets my creative juices going.

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Barbara OConnor

I always find it easier to get back to a project that’s already started, and then I find it hard to put it down cause I’m loving what I’m doing. Hugs to you Craftsy, Happy New Year.

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Manon

I do cleaning in my atelier. Once a time I give to other some of my stash : even I have few regrets some times, at last it helps me starting over for new projects.

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