How To Balance Working Your 9-5 As A Creative

There’s wide-spread theory that if you’re not working for yourself, you’re not doing life wrong. At some point, the world convinced us that as creatives, if you’re not dedicating 100% of your time to your creative passions there’s a large chance they won’t be successful. The myth that working a 9-5 somehow stunts your creativity or limits the time you must invest fully in your creative passions is a lie that many creatives have begun to buy into. We glorify entrepreneurship. 

We romanticize the idea of being the independent, free-thinking creative, without even realizing that this a reality that isn’t possible for everyone. Realistically, there are just some luxuries that a lot of people aren’t afforded. Because of this, working a full-time job is their only option. Stop buying into the myth that just because you’re working a 9-5 that you’re limited to the time you have to invest in your passion projects. Here a few tips to help you balance being a creative, all while working your full-time job. 

Develop a Schedule

While it’s easier said than done, sticking to a schedule that you develop for the day is the most important thing. There are going to be plenty days where your intended schedule does not go as planned but having a general outline of your day beats running around in a constant state of confusion. Time management is your friend. Develop a schedule for your workday. Know what work task top priority and how much time it requires you to complete each task. This can help to prevent you having to work long nights at your day job, leaving you time to work on your creative passions in the evening. Set a schedule for the evening as well. Make sure that you have a schedule so you’re not up at crazy hours of the night not getting the proper rest that is needed to tackle the next day. 

Get Used to Making Sacrifices

A lot of people love the idea of pursuing their creative passions, yet they lack the strength or willingness to make sacrifices. This means that sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice your nights and weekends. There will be days and nights where your social life goes out the window, but it’s either you want to see your creative projects be successful or you don’t. Utilizing your break and lunch times while at work is another sacrifice that sounds cringe-worthy but will get the job done. The more you sacrifice and devote time to your passion the more success you see. The dream doesn’t work unless you work to create it. You must work for it; it will not magically work for you.

Get Yourself An Accountability Partner

Some of us have a greater tendency of sticking to a routine when we have others around who are just as passionate about our creative talents and commit to holding us accountable. Find a friend who has a similar schedule to yours, set up working dates. Try to develop the mindset that having friends by your side to bounce ideas off of, who also remind you that being busy is better than lack of commitment. 

Enjoy Life Outside of Your Creative Passion

The biggest secret to balancing both a full-time job and creative projects outside of that job is, realizing that your life should not revolve around these things 24/7. You are human. You require a decent amount of human interaction without your mind being overly focused on what task needs to be completed next. You also require a decent amount of alone to recharge and refuel. Do not work yourself to the ground. Your balance begins with putting work aside and enjoying life every time the opportunity presents itself. 

This article was originally published in The Core Magazine Issue 5. To purchase a copy click here.

Amber Janae