Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines. Go to work. Go home. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat. And when you get caught up in those routines–especially if there’s a big project going on at work or you’re busy with some big upcoming event–it can be easy to forget to take time to be creative.
It’s ideal to write every day or paint every day or play music every day. It’s not always possible, though. However, there are always little things we can do to keep our creative muscles flowing. Here are five things you can do every day to stay creative:
1. Take a photo of something unexpected. You can go for a little walk and take a picture of an interesting flower. You can take a picture of an interesting car with a ton of bumper stickers. You can take a picture of a squirrel looking strange. Just being on the lookout for something a little interesting and thinking about the ways you can take a photo of it will help you to stay creative.
2. Draw something. Draw anything. Mindlessly doodle hearts and flowers on your notepad when you’re on the phone. Draw a detailed self-portrait. Draw a picture of what you want your desk to look like. Draw a picture of your favorite animal. It doesn’t matter if you spend two hours on a drawing or five minutes. It doesn’t matter how elementary it looks. Drawing is still exercising your creativity.
3. Look at the clouds and imagine. Don’t you remember how you could look at the clouds for hours as a kid and see different shapes and animals and characters in them? Do that for ten minutes. See if you can see anything interesting in the clouds. Bonus if you take a cool photo!
4. Make up new lyrics to a song. Turn a song you love on. Or even just turn the radio on, and listen to the first song you hear. Make up new lyrics about anything that happened today or anyone in your life. Sing songs about your cats. (I totally don’t do that on a daily basis. *cough*) Make up a song about your partner or your parents. Make up a song about your boss. You’ll be amazed how much fun it can be.
5. Write a haiku about your day. A haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that features five syllables in the first and third lines and seven syllables in the second line. They are really fun to do and easy. There is definitely an art form to crafting a truly wonderful haiku, but you don’t need to worry about that if you are just making one up about your day. Look, here’s one I just made up:
Thunder, lightning, rain.
My cat hides under my desk.
And now he is safe.
Look, Frank, I just wrote a haiku about you.
So even when you think you don’t have time to be creative, you can take five to ten minutes out of your day to try one of these things. And when you do get back to your writing, your music, your painting, etc., your creative muscles won’t have atrophied!