Bribe Yourself and Other Tips To Maintain Accountability for Creative Hobbies



Apr. 26 2016, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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I will admit something: I often have to bribe myself to write after work.

One day, it’s a cookie. The next day, it might be a cocktail.

It wasn’t always this hard to work on my writing after my wonderful 9 to 5. I used to delight in working on, what I called, my “5 to 9.” Now, I have to sit and drink water and tell myself, “You cannot have dessert until you work on your story.”

So, I’m right here with you, creative lady! I know what it’s like to have a creative fire within you but being too tired to even think about doing anything. Here are a few tips that have helped me:

Schedule a time: The same way you schedule brunch dates or doctor’s appointments, you should carve out time every day (OK, maybe every other day) for your creative work. I usually go for an hour after work. One hour: that’s it. If I go longer, fabulous – but I have to work for an hour.

Have Accountability: And by that, I mean, tell people that you have to paint for an hour after work. Tell your roommate, your boyfriend, your parents. Tell them your schedule and I promise you, they will make sure you stick with it. You should also tell them just in case they want to call and chitchat during your hour. Can’t let them kill your vibe.

Space and Opportunity: In order to stay on track, clear out time and get to work, you’ll need the space to do it. I do not have a home office but I do have a dining room table that I turn into my writer’s lair, complete with my favorite coffee mug and my headphones. When I create this space and get to work for the time I’ve allotted, I’m able to focus – sometimes – and really get in a groove.

Now, don’t get discouraged if you flake out on yourself one evening and skip a work session. And don’t beat yourself up if you have to bribe yourself with a cookie and glass of wine. Your creative time is your time. Make it yours and make it work.

Ambition Delivered.

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