15 Ways to be Creative in 15 minutes

by Apr 15, 20221 comment

No Time for Creative Pursuits?

Try doing it in 15-minute bites.

Do you tend to let making and creativity and making get put aside in favour of ‘more important‘ things?

Are you reluctant to start big creative projects because you feel you can’t carve out enough time?

Do you have a collection of kits or plans or patterns and/or unfinished projects that you will get to – or back to – as soon as you have a few extra minutes?

If any of these sound familiar, you might need to make a shift in mindset.  Instead of waiting until you have enough time, pursue your creative interests in short blocks of time. You can create big things 15 minutes at a time. 

Advantages of 15 Minute Creative Bursts

if you do something consistently, you can achieve great results.  The time adds up and skill becomes more engrained than happens when you work in longer but less frequent sessions.

Working in a shorter time period can be freeing. When you are focused on progress, you are less likely to worry about perfection.  And if something doesn’t go exactly as planned, you can be easier on yourself by recognizing that you haven’t spent too much time in the wrong direction.

And most importantly, it is fun, gives you a break from routine, allows you to express yourself in different ways, and can let you get back to your other tasks with more energy and maybe even some new inspiration.

“Many people die with their music still in them,Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes 

15 Ideas for being creative in 15 minutes

Sometimes, life gets busy and creative pursuits can be the first casualty of a time crunch because we designate them as frivolous or just for fun – as if that makes them non-essential.

In fact, those creative pursuits can add to energy, improve productivity and reduce stress.  And there are times when a burst of creativity is just what you need.  Besides, you can achieve big things in just 15 minutes a day.

Here are 15 things that you can do to be creative in 15 minutes:

  1. Doodle or sketch
  2. Write a poem
  3. Mend a hole in your jeans
  4. Pick up some yarn and knit or crochet
  5. Journal
  6. Take a picture (or 10)
  7. Write a thank-you note
  8. Practice scales or studies
  9. Make a story video
  10. Work on your novel
  11. Piece a mini quilt block
  12. Pick some wildflowers and arrange them in a vase
  13. Carve a wooden ornament
  14. Colour a mandala
  15. Put on some music and dance

 Plus 100 More

Looking for more ideas for how to be creative?

100 Ways to be Creative

Some of these take a little more time but many fit into the 15 minute time frame or lend themselves to work in 15 minute chunks that you can do  when you find yourself with free time while you wait in line or online or while your kids are napping or being entertained or…


Prepare for Found Time

To better take advantage of short periods for creativity, have some things ready to go when you have a block of found time.  If you only have 15 minutes available, you don’t want to have to use the bulk of the time trying to decide what to do or searching for materials. 

Here are a few ideas to maximize creative time:

  • Have some things ready that you can pick up, make some progress on for 15 minutes, and put down until next time
  • Make project bags with all you need for a task.  For example
    • A variety of cards and your favourite pen(s) with a list of addresses and special occasions so you can dash off a quick personal note
    • A sketch book and a collection of coloured pencils
    • Your current knitting /crochet / stitching etc.  plus the pattern, needles, tools
    • Your idea book and writing tools to jot down some lists or sketches
The power of 15 minutes - 365 days x 15 minutes = 91.25 hours

Share Your Ideas

Do you have a favourite ‘found time’ creative outlet?

What do you do with 15 minutes?

What is one big project that you could complete with consistent attention?  Make a list of things you could do for that project in 15 minutes – and chose one to start.  You


Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller

1 Comment

  1. vidya

    so in love with this list (and need to check the 100 things list too now).. Some of the things I do from this list are – take pictures, doodle, dance, and write poems..

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