03/14/2022 by Kori Burkholder
How to Fit Creativity into Your Busy Corporate Life
Many young corporate women I work with are exhausted at the end of the workweek and use the weekend to recover to prepare for yet another dreadful, taxing week ahead.
When we drill down into their values, creativity is often a value they possess but is often missing from their lives.
When they are able to see this gap, they understand why they feel unbalanced and bitter about not having work/life balance.
They know that expressing themselves makes them happy, but they have no idea how to fit it into their consuming career and life's demands.
First, let me remind you that we are all-powerful creators. We get to create the life and career that we dream of, and if self-expression is in that vision, then you have the power to make changes to make it happen.
How do I fit creativity into my busy corporate life?
You've got to create time for the things that bring you joy. Otherwise, what's the point? I promise that once this value (and your other five values) are fulfilled, you will show up as a better employee, co-worker, boss, mentor, sister, lover, wife, daughter, mother, etc.
How do I find the time to be creative?
Can you wake up an hour earlier? Go to bed an hour later? Watch one less show on Netflix? The time is there. You have to find it and maybe trade that time for something else. Make a standing appointment on your calendar. Start small with 15 minutes increments and build up as you get more into it. You will start seeing your progress and get more and more motivated to keep going.
How does expressing my creativity help at work?
Creativity reduces stress and anxiety. Expressing your creative side is a form of meditation and mindfulness. Focusing your attention on something for an extended period, like painting or drawing, focuses the mind on activity and removes the worries of work and other life stresses. There have been many studies on how painting, drawing, journaling, writing, etc., can reduce stress levels by getting into a flow state. When stress levels are lowered, you will show up at work calmer.
Creativity boosts confidence levels. If you keep creating your art over time, you'll get better at it. And as you start to notice your progress, you're bound to see a confidence boost. This newfound confidence will also show up at work and in your work relationships. It could even help in interviews, giving you something extra to talk about, like the challenge and dedication of learning a new skill, overcoming an obstacle in your painting, or solving a problem while drawing something challenging.
It makes you feel good! Something called "dopamine" is an all-natural antidepressant that motivates you and makes you feel good. When your mood is uplifted, imagine how this will affect you at work. The more you create, the more dope! I feel guilty when I am not making my art or doing something creative over an extended period. It's like I'm avoiding something, making up excuses, or finding something else to do like binge-watch addictive shows on Netflix. But, when I overcome the reasons and just make some art instead, the motivated side of me wins, making me feel good about myself and what I am capable of doing with my time.
Creativity gives you a reason to set boundaries. Let's face it; the lines have been blurred between work and home life because of the pandemic and its aftermath. Although having your creative practice will motivate you to protect your time to do that, you will have to learn how to set personal and professional boundaries and stick with them.
How do I set boundaries?
Think about your workday now. Are you on virtual messengers all day? Can you block off time in your calendar before 9 am and sign off at 6 pm? Or block off a one-hour lunch? Then, talk to your boss and co-workers and start to "train" them when you start and end your day (realistically, of course!)
Are you a "yes" person? One that has to say yes no matter if you want to do it or not in the name of pleasing others all the time? It's time to set boundaries and practice saying "no" for your well-being, creative practice, and the higher good.
I've built my life around my "creative" personal value. I have always chosen careers that allow me to express my creativity in various ways. Suppose I found myself in a job that didn't allow me to express my creativity. In that case, I'd either create an opportunity within the role or, if that wasn't possible, I'd find a way to express it outside of work by taking an art class, starting a business, organizing art shows, teaching workshops, or getting up before work to paint.
Is any of this resonating? I want you to end the never-ending "work is overwhelming me," "I'm so busy," and "I have no time to do anything I care about" cycle. If creativity is a value you possess, but have been ignoring, get into the driver's seat and take back control of your time.
I have a few opportunities to dip your toe into the creativity pond and reignite the creativity value within you.
Wild Dreaming Cards is an easy way to work on a dream of yours, get into creative practice and flow, and will give you a boost of inspiration and motivation while you are at it.
Wild Dreaming 5 Day Retreat at Omega Institute July 24-29. Join other professional women like yourself and me to work on an existing dream, reignite a stalled goal or define a new vision. Over our five days together on the Omega's beautiful campus in Rhinebeck, NY, we combine dreaming, art-making, coaching, and goal setting into one workshop. You'll walk away with a portfolio of new artwork, feeling confident in yourself, your abilities, and your future, and plan to bring your dream into reality. Learn more.
StarClipper Cruise - Art and Yoga-themed cruise with Kori & Marcy: Cannes to Rome August 13-21. Star Clipper and Star Flyer are modern small ships in every way, created for adventure-loving passengers looking for the tradition and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships but with the comforts and amenities of the present day. They are both identical twins 379 feet long, and each carries 166 guests in pampered comfort, over 36,000 square feet of sails—sixteen sails billowing in the wind. Learn more.
Rise Gatherings 3 Day Retreat September 30-October 2 is a women's weekend retreat in the beautiful Pennsylvania Poconos Mountains. I'll be leading two workshops: Finding Your Passion Project That Sparks Joy and Digging For the Heart of Your Why. Rise Gatherings is a women's community –a fertile ground for women to come and explore, connect more deeply with themselves and each other, and in doing so, strengthen their light and shine it brighter in their homes, communities, and workplaces. Learn more.