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How to inject creativity into your day – even if you only have 5 minutes to spare

How to inject creativity into your daily routine

Nina Lenton spends her time helping busy people inject a creativity into their daily lives. Here she share’s some great ideas that you can incorporate into your daily routine – they only take 5-15 minutes and will put the creativity back into your world.

Written by Nina Lenton – creative accountability guide and untangler of ideas

My favourite ways to include a little bit of creative inspiration in my week.

I’m a freelancer and a mum, and I like to write and take photos, as well as to encourage others to be creative. But I don’t always have much spare time to indulge my creative interests.
Luckily, something I learned on a course many years ago has stuck with me and helps with this. The idea of using little bits of time to make slow incremental progress on a project or just to do different experiments. On the course it was 20 minutes a day, but I’ve found that just 5 or 10 minutes works too.

So what do I mean by “being creative” anyway?

When I talk about creativity, I think about the activities I enjoy – writing and photography. And I also think about drawing, painting, crafting – and even cooking and gardening are creative.

And when I talk about finding time for bits of creative inspiration, what does that actually mean?

Surely if you’re that busy there really is no time to squeeze in anything resembling creativity?

I think that if you are someone that likes to create, your mind will always be drawn to little opportunities or noticing details you can use. And if you regularly spend 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, the chances are you’ll collect inspiration and maybe even make a start on a new idea you’ve had.

Then when you do find (or block out) time for a longer creative session, you’ll already have a starting point.
Here are a few examples of things that work for me to keep some creative inspiration in my weeks. 

Stand in the garden (5 minutes)

I’m lucky to have a garden that has plenty of plants and trees in it. It’s not always tidy or well organised, but I can sit there for 5 minutes and watch the birds and insects, or wander round and take close up photos of the flowers. A local green space would work just as well for this.

Look up at the sky (5 minutes) 

A few years ago I had a very busy job, and one January I decided to do a photo challenge. To take a photo of the sky every day. This had a few interesting outcomes.

It made me go outside every day and not rush from the car to the office or the house – which in January it is tempting to do. It made me find different viewpoints – I didn’t want to end up with 31 pictures that were the same, so I had to go for short walks to mix things up a bit. And it made me notice what was going on around me – spotting a Santa still displayed on a roof, seeing the patterns of the trees silhouetted against the sky.

How to inject creativity into your daily routine

Go for a walk round the block (5-15 minutes)

If I have 15 minutes, that’s enough time for me to walk across the road into a field surrounded by trees and sometimes flowers. if I only have 5-10 minutes I can just walk around the block and notice what’s new in people’s gardens. I always walk without headphones, and I always make sure I look around me to observe details and things that happen.

Look for a creative theme in a different room (5 minutes)

Recently I decided to take some photos inside, just of whatever was in the room – and see what happened. I chose to do this in a room I don’t normally sit in. And although I didn’t have a theme in mind when I started, I came up with a collection of interesting textures with a variety of colours.

How to inject creativity into your daily routine

So that’s how I inject a little creative inspiration into my weeks

As you can see, there are all sorts of ways you can add a tiny bit of creative inspiration to your week. It may just be little bits of time that give you ideas for bigger projects, or it may ignite a new project idea that you want to get started on immediately!

The key for me is noticing – seeing what’s around that inspires me.

And making sure I put longer creative sessions in my diary so I can expand on all the new ideas.

Nina Lenton is a creative accountability guide and untangler of ideas, helping busy people find time for creativity, and helping business owners with creative minds figure out how to make their ideas happen. She provides inspiration for creativity in her regular newsletter, find out more here: