25 Ways to Be Creative in 5 Minutes or Less


It’s that time of year where everything seems to intensify, and the to-do list grows ever longer as many of us prepare for upcoming festivities.

I believe that when the activity increases, so must our levels of self-care, otherwise how are we going to stay calm and be able to enjoy everything we spend so much time and energy planning?

One excellent way to this is by flexing our creative muscles throughout this busy time.

You might be thinking something along the lines of ‘do I really have to add something else to the never ending list’? What about a simple reframe?

This isn’t an extra task, it’s a necessary part of being able to operate effectively in your life, like eating or sleeping. We build it in rather than tack it on.

I asked my creative cohorts, colleagues, and followers what they like to do that’s quick and easy, the results of which you see below. Even one tiny action taken each day demonstrates to yourself that you’re important too, and it adds up and helps to fend off resentment.

Some of these may require a bit of prep – a box of collage materials or an app or two downloaded to your phone for example, but once these are in place, the creative world is your oyster!

Words and Writing

  • Make a list. Put down on paper all the creative ideas swirling in your head for later when you have more time. Kris
  • Open a book, find a phrase and use that as the first line of a short poem. Cathy
  • Compose a Haiku. Meredith
  • Write a story using only fifty words. Darren
  • Write a word or poem on a stone and begin to collect them. Sophie


  • Get out some paper and media and just make marks. Do Matisse paper cut out style collages. Carol
  • Draw mandalas, which you can add to each time or draw lots of small ones. Tara
  • Throw paint on paper and move it around, allowing it to go where it goes. No expectations. It’s relaxing and a very freeing feeling. Gina
  • Sketch out ideas. Deb D.
  • Prepare some backgrounds on paper to make greeting cards. Sophie
  • While waiting for something to upload or download, sketch a face in a little notebook. Cynthia


  • Improvise on a musical instrument. Madeline

General Creativity

  • Five minutes of meditating or just breathing quietly can reset you for more creative thinking about whatever you’re doing. Tara
  • Rearrange postcards on your studio wall. Go for a walk in the garden and find a flower or feather. Cathy
  • Shoot a random selfie with Hipstamatic {no edits necessary} and post on Instagram! Instant gratification! Deb T.
  • Get creative with your food; arrange it nicely on the plate, or make a face for the kids {or yourself!}. Tara
  • Take a photo with your phone and make interesting adjustments, add texture or text with photo editing apps. Meredith
  • Work on a granny square. Deb D.
  • Gather some branches and arrange in a vase with baubles or fairy lights, or simply some ribbon around the vase. You can make tiny decorations in five minutes and add them as you make them! Tara
  • Move the art around in your home, rearrange a shelf or small table. Instant energy refresh and creative satisfaction. Tara
  • Make lists and take photographs! Michelle
  • Knit… just a few more rows…. Deb C.

What would you do if you had five minutes to be creative? Please do share your ideas in the comments!

6 thoughts on “25 Ways to Be Creative in 5 Minutes or Less

  1. These are great suggestions! I would add cooking something without a recipe, like putting together a yummy salad dressing using the ingredients in your frig. Creatively satisfying and tasty, too!

    1. I love that Jennifer – being creative with what you already have available is one of the best ways to really ‘think outside the box’ I think! Plus as you say, double bonus in that you get to eat it afterwards. :) Thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the conversation!

  2. Truly creative suggestions! I would add to the list:
    1. Take any image for reference or just any picture and make a collage from the magazine pages.
    2.Make any shapes or sculptures from play dough or Clay
    3.sketch a dress!
    4.write a short story inspired from your fav novel.
    5.Try painting with your fingers instead of a brush.It might get messy but it is fun!

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