Tools for MT Creatives: Set. Your. Timer.

Tools for CreativesSet. Your. Timer.

Really? Can working with a timer really encourage creativity? Is setting a timer good for a creative mind? Is setting a timer good for someone stretching their creative boundaries?

Yes. I’ll tell you why.

Your timer provides a clear boundary between safe, intentional, creative space, and all of the other space in our lives. So instead of setting a timer to beat it to the finish line or to feel like your taking the SAT’s again, you’re setting your timer to give yourself permission to be intentionally creative on your timeline. So for creativity, at least from this perspective, a timer is your friend; an auditory reminder that you have valued your creativity enough to protect it with a timer.

So how do you even get started using a timer? Here’s an easy way to incorporate a timer into your intentional creativity practice.


Here’s what you’ll need: a timer (I use my phone and put it face down on my desk so I’m not distracted), a pen or marker (I frequently use my beloved sharpie pens), and a piece of paper divided into two columns.

First, find a quiet, safe space with a solid writing surface.  Second, you’ll set your timer for 30 seconds. Turn your attention to column no. 1. In this column, you’ll write the ways you already feel successfully creative. Maybe you’re a song writer, maybe you’re a fantastic spot songwriter, maybe you have killer the-dye skills, or are a mean blues improv kinda person. It does’t matter – work or not – put it on the list. Then, you’ll reset your timer and turn your attention to the second column. In this column, you’ll write down all of the ways in which you daydream about creativity. Maybe you want to be able to paint, or take pictures. Perhaps you want to develop your scrapbooking or cake decorating skills. Whatever it is, put. it. on. the. list. Remember – creativity has no true boundaries.

Each list gets its very own 30 seconds. Because your creative time deserves to be protected. As you intentionally try something new, set yourself another timer to protect your space, and gently and gracefully move forward in a new creative direction. Creativity is waiting for YOU! Just reach out and grab it!

Yours in creativity,

Steward, The Music Therapy Marketplace