When was the last time you allowed yourself to create just for fun?
As solopreneurs, we are all about maximising our productivity – trying to get as much done with whatever time we have available. So we’re all about creating with purpose and efficiency – whether it be creating for our social media, blog, websites, courses, or mailing lists.
Even in our hobbies we are usually creating with a specific purpose or goal in mind – like creating birthdays cards, gifts, or something for our home.
And whether its for hobbies or work, our creativity often comes with the pressure of meeting our own standards. We set expectations for the outcome, needing to achieve certain results, often within a specific time frame. And we feel disappointed or frustrated when our creations don’t work out like we hoped or planned.
We don’t make time to create just for the sheer joy of it. Most of us recognise the importance of creative play for kids, but don’t see the need for it as adults. Don’t see the point to letting our imagination run free, without placing limits or expectations on it. Don’t even remember how to create without judgement, and put our logical mind aside for a time.
How I rediscovered Creative Play
As a web designer, creativity is an important part of my work. Until quite recently, it had been an awfully long time since I played creatively! But, having just gotten some new graphic animation software, I decided to try it out. As it was all new to me, I didn’t have any expectations of what I would produce. Instead, I just allowed myself to explore, experiment and have fun!
It reminded me of when I was a kid and I got an Etch A Sketch one year for Christmas, and the sense of wonder and joy that came from seeing what I could do with this toy. Discovering all that I could draw, knowing that if I made a “mistake” it didn’t matter, because I could just erase it and try again!
I lost all sense of time playing and creating with my new toy, just as I did playing with my new software program. It wasn’t just fun, it was relaxing, liberating and invigorating!
The Benefits of Creative Play
Now that I’ve started to make creative play a regular part of my life, I’m starting to see just how many benefits it has had to my life, my business and my well-being.
Mentally, I feel less stressed, and my focus and concentration has improved. There’s nothing like entering the state of creative flow, where the rest of the world ceases to exist (or at least, be relevant), for quietening your monkey mind and putting you in a zen-like state!
Its also helped me connect more deeply to my inner child, and to the more innocent, open and wondering form of imagination I had as a child. Its amazing the memories of childhood that have arisen unbidden while I’ve been engaged in creative play, too.
But the biggest impact has, probably not surprisingly, been on my creative skills. By setting aside time where I can completely unleash my creativity, without the limitations of my logical and critical mind, my creative thinking has flourished. It has helped me tap into hidden potential, discovering new avenues of perception and given me greater confidence in my ability to think outside the box.
Research has shown that creative play can also encourage divergent thinking, improve problem-solving skills, and increase productivity and motivation.
Should you try Creative Play?
In a world where the pressure to be constantly productive can be overwhelming, taking time out to play can seem like a luxury. However, if you’re constantly stressed by your business, or feeling frustrated, or stuck in a rut, some regular creative playtime may be just what you need!
So, give it a try – release your inner critic, unleash you inner child and play!
And let me know what you find. How does it benefit you?
Hi, I’m Debbie
I’ve been running my own web design business for over 20 years now. During this time I’ve learned a thing or two about how to operate successfully as a solopreneur, and am still working on making it as stress-free as possible (for both myself and my clients!).
I want to help others become successful and stress-free solopreneurs too, by sharing my knowledge, experience, business trials and tribulations!