If you’re someone who is lucky enough to work in the creative field, you probably know how difficult it is to work in the same vein of creative work outside of your full-time job.

I’ve struggled with this since I can remember and still struggle with this to this day. As a digital designer, I’ve always wanted to constantly get better at design and pursue things outside of my full-time gig. To not wear myself thin, I spent time learning other skills that I could blend design with such as design, code, and entrepreneurship. This has proved very useful time and time again and has since helped me accomplish career goals in my life that I am able to enjoy today.

However, now that I’m in a working environment that I love and constantly learn from, I’ve since shifted my focus to other creative outlets outside of work. The main example for me being my music. It’s been about 6 months of me working on music and I’ve noticed it actually have positive influence on my work and personal life so I wanted to share and hopefully encourage you to pursue the same.

I’m happier

When I used to do design all day only to come home to try and design all night, some nights I was miserable. I didn’t feel like hitting my head against the creative wall and getting something mediocre to do the job.

Not that working on other creative outlets doesn’t have its frustrating days, but they are far less often. I typically feel excited to exercise different creative muscles and mature my perspective on different aspects of the creative world. Now I look forward to learning and trying out new things with music and other outlets that impact my happiness and satisfaction creatively.

I’m more productive and motivated

Because I have goals to work towards within my music work, every time I come back to work on those goals I’m more and more excited to get work done. I feel excited to keep working on that track that was coming along well and feel motivated to get better because it’s something relatively new to me. I constantly feel that rush of something new and exciting and look forward to working on music at the end of each work day.

I get creatively refreshed

The work I do in product design can be draining somedays on top of meetings and tasks I have to work on. Decision fatigue becomes a very real thing when you’re working on a difficult project I have found personally.

Luckily I’ve found that creative outlets can really make an impact on this feeling. In contrast to watching TV or playing videos games, creative outlets allow you to flex other creative muscles that influence subconscious thoughts you may have on full-time work.

I can genuinely say that I feel better refreshed and ready to tackle the day after a music session the night before. I feel in a better spot to pick back up on projects at work and can even have a better perspective than I did the day before.

It differentiates me as a person

I personally am someone that doesn’t like to put all their eggs in one basket. Not only do I feel bored and unchallenged, but I feel a plateau constantly creeping up on me as a person overall. For better or for worse, this puts me in a position where trying different things constantly makes me happier overall. On top of this it expands my understanding of other people and industries while finding different ways to inspire others.

Through music for example, I’ve met quite a few new friends and have had others find me online through my musical ventures. Even folks that I know through my design and development work have expressed interest in the work that I do and even shared wanting to try music themselves. Meeting new people and having conversations around creative outlets with others keeps me at ease with the worry I mentioned before.