You’re multi-passionate, as is obvious by the millions of hobbies you’ve picked up over the span of your lifetime.
And the direction you’ve taken your blog in 2017.
You’re just trying to find your direction, your message, your vibe.
The problem is, you want to write about everything because everything fascinates you.
But suddenly you find yourself overworked, stressed, and ready to delete everything related to your blog.
Can I tell you I’ve been there? In fact, I lived that.
This was 2017 for me:
- I started a lifestyle and travel blog, which (to me) meant I could write about anything under the sun.
- I found a hobby writing about my journey blogging, so I started this blog, Reroute Lifestyle, with someone else.
- Somewhere along the line, my partner suggested we expand Reroute Lifestyle into a brand that talks about more. Because Reroute Lifestyle, for us, encompassed: freelancing, beginner-level marketing, and just that all-around grind.
- Reroute Lifestyle turned into a blog that people could visit to learn more about learning marketable skills so they could ditch their 9-5 and work from anywhere.
- We committed to spending the next couple weeks bringing relevant content from my lifestyle blog onto this one.
- I put creative writing on hold, telling myself over and over again that this work would be worth it in the end.
- 2 weeks turned into 6 weeks.
- And it was then we realized… there wasn’t a place for him in a project I took the lead in. The freedom from self-employment turned into something I wanted, not something we wanted.
- I had just quit my job and spent 6 months working on Reroute Lifestyle, so after that I wanted to delete everything and throw my laptop (and maybe his…and maybe him…) out the window.
Basically, I needed to reclaim my creativity.
I spent so much time trying to please him and make him comfortable and create ~the perfect brand~ that I forgot about me. I lost me, and I lost touch with my creativity.
Does this sound like you: so focused on perfecting everything that you feel like you’ve lost touch with yourself?!?!?
At the beginning of December, I remember hopping onto a call with my Mastermind group, burnt out and void of life.
I told them, “I’ve spent so much time bringing over and perfecting old content that I haven’t had the opportunity to create. And I feel so uncreative.” I was spent aka burnt. out.
The whole point of starting this blog, and taking it full-time, was so I could be creative. So I could be full of life.
So I’ve spent all of December finding ways to reclaim my creativity. If you feel like you’ve lost your creativity, here’s what you can do.
What does it mean to reclaim your creativity?
So, what TF does this all even mean, and why should you set aside time to start 2018 off with being creative?
- You’ll feel renewed + refreshed.
- You’ll be more productive.
- All of this will lead to more MEANINGFUL work done, and in turn, more profit for your blog or business.
- That just means that you’ll kick off the year with a sense of FREEDOM, PRODUCTIVITY, and CREATIVITY!
Who doesn’t want to start the year to reclaim your creativity?
1. Find your message.
Make this year the year you perfect your messaging. Know who you’re on a mission to serve, and what you’re on a mission to do.
- Why did you start doing the work that you’re doing?
- How do you want to serve others?
Remember why you started doing what you’re doing!
And if what you’re currently doing doesn’t make you feel inspired… then you need to readjust your message to something that inspires you.
- Brainstorm what you’re passionate about.
- Write down your role models. Think about how they impact the world. Is there anything you admire about them, that you can apply to your own path?
2. Get organized.
Every night, I go through my “to-do list” and either type or write down my to-do list for the next day.
Whatever you’re going to do, organize your life.
- Start using Asana to plan ahead, organize deadlines, and basically get your life together. (read more here)
- Every night, write down your to-do list for the next day.
- If it helps you, block periods of time to focus on one main task.
- Invest in a fresh planner… and then put it to use.
- Start a bullet journal, so you can track work-related and personal goals.
Related Reading: How to Find Blogger Clarity (and Make More Money) Using Asana
3. Analyze your to-do list.
It was the middle of December and I sipped my morning coffee while listening to podcasts in the background.
I cried on the inside as I listened to Gawoon’s advice to:
- Shift your focus to topics you want to write about, and also
- Go through your to-do list and identify tasks you can eliminate from your schedule.
Music to my ears. This is what I needed to hear, and it’s probably the reality check you need, too.
Maybe you’re like I am, clinging onto your hard-earned dollars. Hesitant to spend that money on anyone else.
I’m here to tell you it’s okay to outsource.
In fact, outsourcing could benefit you in the long run.
As your business grows, you’re going to have to either spend time or money on something.
Sure, you can design that yourself… but how long is it going to take you? If you’d much rather be embracing your creativity in its finest form, it’s okay to assign something you can do to someone else – maybe even someone who can do it better. Or faster.
After you analyze your to-do list, and take out what you don’t need, you can do 1 of 2 things:
- Revisit them another day.
- Eliminate them completely from your mind.
- Outsource them to someone else.
Once you decide what important tasks you can and want to outsource you can:
- Post your job using the #GETHIRED hashtag in a Facebook group (like this one!).
- Look for a virtual assistant using Fiverr.
- Hire a brand manager to do research, manage your social media, and take care of your blog (like me!).
5. Set specific goals.
We all set goals, but are you setting SMART goals? That is, goals that are:
The Brand IT Girl Sam Bell dives in deep with all the details you need to know about how you can start with SMART Goals in the new year.
Basically, instead of “make $1,000 blogging” or “grow Facebook group to 500 people…” your goals can look like:
- Make $1,000 blogging by adding affiliate links to my posts by the end of June 2018.
- Use Facebook and Instagram to grow my traffic to 25,000 per month by the end of September 2018.
And then looking at those goals to determine if they’re relevant and align with your big goals.
6. Schedule time to be creative.
You probably have tons on your to-do list (that you’re going to outsource or remove from your schedule, right?).
That will create extra time in your schedule. And with that extra time, you can intentionally set aside time to be creative.
- Add 15 or even 30 minutes of “creativity time” to your morning routine.
- Set aside time on your lunch break to dive into your creative outlet.
- After you get home, schedule some time to unwind from your work day and be creative.
Everyone is more productive during certain periods of the day. Some are more focused in the mornings, while others are more focused in the evening.
Schedule time to be creative during your “most focused” periods of the day.
My creative outlet is writing, so it helps me to set aside a period of time with a notebook and just write about what inspires me.
Do it. Even if that means you take a break from this post. Just do it.
7. Find a different creative outlet.
Make this year the year you explore a different creative outlet.
As in, you not only set a resolution to “do it,” but you actually do it.
- Graphic design
- Start a blog
You know that thing you did that you loved growing up?
Maybe it was putting together your school’s yearbook. Or planning your high school dances. Or dancing.
As we get older, it’s easier and easier to get sucked into a routine.
Break that routine. Try a new creative outlet.
- Start by listing things you enjoyed doing growing up.
- Ask yourself how you can turn that into a new creative outlet for 2018.
8. Change your environment.
So you may or may not know, but I’ve spent nearly the past two months in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Most of my time here, my boyfriend and I confined ourselves in our neighborhood while we spent the majority of our days glued to our laptops.
As if traveling across the world to Chiang Mai, Thailand wasn’t change of environment enough… after a while, the whole apartment thing got a little lonely. Okay, and Mike went back to the mainland US.
So for the last two weeks of my time in Thailand, I booked rooms in coworking hostels.
Just that change of environment was the kick I needed to reclaim my creativity. Learn more about what I was passionate about. And… even network.Unanticipated blessings happen when you change your environment. Click To Tweet
Talking to new people with different backgrounds is just inspiring. How can you find these unanticipated blessings in life, if you don’t give yourself the opportunity to do it?
9. Treat. your. self.
It’s hard to spend money.
But you can treat yourself without emptying your wallet.
- Growing up, my mom looked forward to the days her dad would treat her with an apple.
- After stressful days in retail, I wouldn’t mind shelling $2 for the good chocolate.
- Set aside some money every month to purchase that guilty pleasure of yours (no one’s judging!).
Protip: Use the free app Qapital to automatically add money to your savings account – for traveling, for shopping sprees… whatever makes you happy.
10. Remind yourself how valuable you are.
You’ve put time into your skillset: reading books and articles, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, following the experts who give advice on Insta Stories.
You’ll always be a few steps ahead of someone else.
So think about your niche or the service you’re offering or the product you’re planning to launch.
And remind yourself that you’ve experienced something that CAN be useful for someone else.Reminder: your experiences + insight CAN be useful + VALUABLE to someone else. Click To Tweet
Every single person has that pain point. That skill or task that makes them die a little inside.
So you really need to figure out… what do you enjoy doing? And how can that help other human beings?
By challenging yourself with these thoughts, you’ll really start recognizing how valuable you are.
This is a promise to yourself.
This is a promise to yourself. Because losing touch with your creativity can cost you on many levels.
- Losing touch with my creativity didn’t just cost me my happiness. It almost cost me this new business.
- Losing touch with my creativity didn’t just affect me. It affected my growth as an individual and a business.
- Losing touch with my creativity didn’t just affect my business. It was a serious blow to my productivity.
But you can reclaim your creativity, step by step.
And reclaiming your creativity will result in more productivity. More work done. More happiness. And more money for your business.
If you’re looking for a fresh creative outlet, 2018 should be the year you start a blog. Last year I told myself “it’s probably too late for me to start a profitable blog.” But I started it anyway, crossing my fingers I would make enough to pay off my initial investment in hosting.
- How to Start a Blog and Make Money Online
- 11 Things to Do Before Blog Launch
- How to Find Blogger Clarity (and Make More Money) Using Asana
And now it’s my full time job.
My favorite part of the discussion happens in the comments. How are you going to make 2018 your year of creativity and profit? Drop a line below – I’d love to know!