The Art of Pacing for Creative Souls

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Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash

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Finding pace is important. In all aspects of life, the speed with which we approach things can be helpful and conducive to productivity or extremely damaging to a creative process and even emotional and mental health.

In my one of my recent blog posts, I talked about my goals and the things I got to accomplish the first six months of this year. Check it out here.

In accomplishing so much,  I still feel as if I have so much on my plate. I had to learn the art of pacing. I am still in the middle of learning the art of pacing if I’m being honest. Being creative and taking on more than one project has the tendency to make me feel stretched and spread thin. This mostly happens when I don’t plan, make lists, or simply just breathe. 

I recently got an Apple watch and there’s a Breathe app that literally reminds you to breathe and it’s so calming! I mean the reminder seems pointless until you actually try it.

Jane Breathe Gif.gif


How to Pace Yourself  

Pacing, believe it or not, doesn’t just refer to running. Although, the imagery does help. Just like a runner paces and times themselves in order to avoid early burnout/ tiredness, it’s important for us creative souls to maintain pace and peace to not burnout and tire the mind, the soul, and even the body.

For me, as a writer, polymer clay artist, and dancer, I think about all the projects I want to complete and I can feel overwhelmed. There are so many things I want to do that mentally ticking them off the fingers in my head causes me to catch my breath just a little. It feels impossible. Then, I remember to breathe deep, wide breaths and I remember that timelines exist and I don’t have to force anything to become something at one time.

The trick to pacing is figuring out what works for you. At this point in the “how do I pace myself” conversation, you need to ask yourself when do you start to feel out of control in your tasks?

This lack of control can be a result of not setting boundaries. Boundaries on your time of work or time of rest vary. There are some people who still work full-time jobs while juggling creative side-hustles and man I know how tiring that can be. 

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So What To Do?

Set boundaries on your time.| This can be done with either time blocking or batching. Set a timer for 30-50 minutes and set a specific goal complete in that time frame.  

Declutter Your To-Do List. | When I was an intern I had a director who was quite annoying about this. But, he had somewhat of a point. Determine the urgent from important. What needs to be done today, or what can wait until later, or what can be done tomorrow. If your To-Do list is overwhelming, you, my dear creative, will be overwhelmed.

Limit Screen Time. | Social media can ALWAYS wait. This is the thing for me that, without doubt, causes distractions. Even if you are a social media influencer/maven or whatever, limit your screen time. Make the specified time you give yourself purposeful and don’t dwell on the screen in boredom. It’s a waste of time and increases anxiousness. 

Breathe. | Sit in a room by yourself. Take a walk. Take a break from all the doing and rest in knowing that when you have completed something, you did it! This is one of the best feelings, taking something off of your list and knowing you did it to the best of your ability.

Let me know in the comments what you do to pace yourself. I’d love to connect with more creative people!

Sincerely a creative soul learning to pace herself,

~Antavia Mason

 

*Featured Photo by Mike Marquez on Unsplash