This is inspired by all those people that are waiting for the muse (inspiration in this case, not the band - in my world called working your mojo). Spoiler alert - make time and then fill it with what the muse decides.

This actually started out as a “never enough time” until my Positivity (see upcoming Cliftons strengths post coming soon) took over and flipped it.

FIRST, full disclosure

I don’t have kids, which means I have a stacks more time then most people.  I do have nieces and nephews, that I adore, who are all adults. I don’t see them as much as I used too, now they are adults. Isn’t that weird it is almost like you don’t need your Aunty and Uncle, now you are a grown adult.  I love and appreciate my Aunties and Uncles and value their input and guidance, they steered me right when I was a kid, so why not now.  Something I think I need to remedy! (note to self)

Now, where were we…. Writing a blog

ASK - Are you instant gratifier or a delayed gratifier?

Our first step in the journey of finding your muse. The answer to this question will help you plan your focus.

Instant gratifier

You may want to play in (with) the muse, and then do the boring chores you need to do

Delayed gratifier

Use the play in (with) the muse as reward for doing the boring chores you need to do.

Regardless of which one you choose - we will now talk about the how.  

NEXT - How do you create time for the muse

Though a jolly large load of thought experiments, I have arrived at what works for me. Maybe these will help you shortcut the process.  Choose the ones (or even just one) that resonate with you the most and give them (it) a go. Set up your own thought experiment, to test them out and adjust as needed.

DECIDE - Time bound or Output bound?

Another choice, boy oh boy! Choose whether you want to measure your thought experiment by Time or Output. The purpose of having a “bound” is to force you to focus, remove or minimise distractions. That way you will get way more done that you expect. A singular focus has a habit of creating better outcomes than multitasking.


Time bound

Time bound means you will give it a time frame and stop at the end of the time, regardless of what you get achieved*.  If I told you, you have 20 mins to write a letter to the queen, it would really focus your attention. You won’t also be having a conversation with your significant other, scrolling through instagram or cooking. Being time bound gives you a fabulous ability to focus.

*Don’t panic - just cause the time has expired you don’t have the release anything. You can take as many time slots as it takes to complete it .  For example, when I write a blog, if my intuition says to leave it, I do. I have learnt to trust it will give me the extra bit that was missing, the first time around.

Output bound

If time bound is not for you, then you can try being output bound. This means that you put an number on the output you want. For example coming up with 5 venues to visit to assess for my retreats, or come up with 15 names for my new business.

Both of them can be done more than once to get to the final outcome, as noted in the footnote around time bound.

The other interesting thing about these 2 options, time bound and output bound is you can use them for both the muse work and the boring tasks that need to get done, eg I will spend the next 30 mins doing my invoices and paying bills, then {insert muse thing}, or I will {insert muse thing} when I have paid the x bill and created the y invoice.

Because I love a good thought experiment you could try them both out for the same activity or you could use a different one for different tasks.

LOOK - at your life and simply

This isn’t a Marie Kondo moment, this is way more about managing energy.  If you find that the time you allocated to being all musey (who loves making up words - me!), you are exhausted, then that is no good at all.  So ensure you are helping yourself to get ready to be mused.

Lets look at through some examples….

You already know from previous blog posts, such as (Life Hacks) that I am very conscious of what and where I spend my time.  I want to be able to use the weekend, that precious time I get each week to; catch up with my significant other and also get musey things done. So I schedule my social life to manage my energy.

Catching up with friends is really important & fulfilling to me, and I also don’t want to miss out on catching up either. I know that over time, I will still make sure I get musey things done, which often means I will get sick. So, I have placed these guidelines in place to help manage my energy to do it all.

Drinking alcohol - I love a good tipple as much as the next person. During the week I rarely drink alcohol.  I find if I do, my desire to do anything in the evening evaporates and also I don’t sleep as well. So during the week, to manage my energy, I don’t drink.  I don’t even drink on the weekends that much, I might have a glass of wine or a gin or a might not, just depends on how I feel.  If this thought is terrifying to you, what no glass of wine when you get home from work, remember you do not need to change anything. I am sharing what works for me, and it might not work for you.

TV free night/s - This may be another extreme taboo topic for some people. I have at least one night a week, where I don’t watch TV.  This was more an accident then good planning.  To ensure that I am not always late for my piano lesson, it is best if I don't get caught up in a fabo TV show.  I have found by doing this, even after my lesson, it gives me time to do other things that fill me up, reading, planning the next day, going to bed early, eating dinner at the table (wow, like a grown up person - so weird)

ADD to your energy as well.

So, banning alcohol and TV, what a terrible person I am.  Make sure you also do things that add to your energy.  Here are a few key things that work for me….

Having a large pot of tea (with actual tea leaves) on a Saturday and/or Sunday morning, while reading and completing crosswords with my significant other

Netflix days.  Everyone needs a Netflix day every now and then. (interesting how Netflix has become the generic term for streaming, like Kleenex for tissues)

Make time for the M’s

Moving is very important for managing energy and will generate energy. so ensure that you have time to move, built into your plans. I struggle with finding time for this one as well, and it can seem impossible to fit in.  However, when I have a habit built up, I love the contribution is makes to how I feel and my energy (great reminder for me). Dancing also helps, so I do that anytime I can.

Mindfulness/Mediation is another activity that will add to your energy and also enhance your creativity.  I didn’t believe this when I first started my path towards mindfulness - seriously how could I be MORE creative (having taken ages to embrace that I was even creative). However, true to the pitch and scientific evidence (phooey, sciencey mumbo jumbo), I have found that I AM more creative as a result of this habit and it keeps giving the more I practice.

The smarter ones among you are probably thinking this is all just about prioritisation. Prioritising where you spend your time, and it is partly. It is also about spending time on everything, in smaller bit size chunks.  My mind is wired quirky this way, I am reading 5 books and 2 magazines at any one time, and have about 9 sewing projects in various stages of completion. Maybe that is why I have created these guides to help me get it all done.

In conclusion

Don’t wait for the muse to arrive, set time aside and let the muse decide what you will focus on with the time.  This time was set aside to write a blog about strengths and instead I wrote one about finding time to be musey, obeying my muse and working my mojo.

Let me know whether you think this is a load of hogwash or ways in which you get your muse on.

Incahoots exists to

Unearth possibilities to Design a future that suits you perfectly

About CMM

Christina Morgan-Meldrum (CMM) is an author, speaker, curator, change professional and podcaster. She particularly loves helping people and organisations unearth what’s possible to design a future that suits you perfectly  (Organisations call it a Strategic Roadmap).

She has cultivated the ability to walk into any industry; see what is not seen, distil what is complicated, and simplify the chaos. This skill has been forged in a deliberate and concentrated way for over 20 years, through Personal Coaching and working in Organisational Change Management (before it was even a thing).

Christina fills her time on various side hustles, blogging, podcasting - Quirky & Chenille (Christina is Quirky), and learning the piano. If you are looking for her, she is likely at her spiritual home JB Hi-Fi or exploring stationery stores or artisan markets.