Time Management for Artists

Time Management is the second unit in the Springboard for the Arts: Work of Art (Business Skills for Artists). Without any analysis going in I already knew what I feel like regarding my time. I feel like a huge chunk of my time is wasted and so I need to work hard to change that in several areas of my life. I am not spending enough time writing, making art, reading, exercising, changing what I want to in my life, or in general just feeling challenged. I think a few people probably can relate.

One of the ways I am hoping to change all that is by looking at how I currently manage my time and what can be done differently. I was a bit frightened to do a time audit and confirm what I already felt (that I have no time for myself), but I know that by taking an honest look at time management I will be in a much better position to set and reach goals.

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When I actually did my time audit for a typical day I was surprised to find I actually have times that I could carve out specific dedicated times for writing (in the morning due) and art (in the evening) as well as for other needed things for my career and personal life. As I learned from the class these are my Alpha times (see video later in this post). The reality is that I get so worn down by daily monotony that it feels like a lot less time.

I can concretely see how important it is that I become better at managing my time. One thing I have slipped on is my meal planning to the tune of a few pounds which I can easily see in the data and in my clothes. I have kept consistent with my tracking of my meals, but without a plan I haven’t been spending my calories wisely or at the right times.

This is similar to my art and my writing and truly anything else in my life. Without a basic plan to work from I am not doing my best. I am a bit spontaneous in my life so I often want to change things up and that is good, but I am finding through the past few months of introspection that I do best when I have a basic plan that can be altered. When it comes to my art and my writing I need to be realistic about my time towards it with regards to the rest of my life and have a solid plan and routine. 

I’ve decided to do a time audit again, but this time for an entire week and the following week I will devise a plan of how I can negotiate fitting in all the things that make me happy and things I need to do to have a life that better fits what I envision for myself.

The time management class was one of the best for me personally as an artist/writer. I don’t have enough time and often feel frustrated, but that means I need to find slivers of time to make changes towards a life more conducive to the life I want to be living.

Time management will help me be more efficient in my time, but it will also help me feel better (right now I am taking time to look at ergonomics for instance). I get a lot accomplished so likely no one would suspect I don’t already do a lot of time management. I tend to be the kind of person that is able to deliver great work fast and I always have more ideas and I love trying new things. The problem comes in more where I try to balance my time for myself and with it this new push in my own creative endeavors. Reintroducing myself as a writer/artist and creating new and relevant work that highlights my skills will take time management.

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I have a passion for technology in communication and education, but as great as technology can be it also has the power to get in the way of our productivity. It can be a powerful distraction in part because it is so easy to check social media or check an app without being questioned to if you really want to do that right now or if you could really wait because there is something more important. As such, I looked for a technical solution to a basic problem of being a creative person that needs to use the internet, but also is seeking more balance.

I have been having success with Forest which is available both as an app and as an extension on my browser (in the past I’ve used others, but this was available on both my laptop and smart phone). If you have a Mac SelfControl is a great one when you really need to get down to say…writing your thesis. That said, I like both the availability of Forest as well as some of the good you can do with it. I haven’t done it yet as I have not done it long enough to have a hefty amount of credits, but apparently you gain credits from your virtual trees and you can convert those into real trees being planted. Pretty neat! If you struggle with impulses to do other things at least so far Forest has helped me stay on track.

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If you too are a tiny bit afraid to see how little time you have through a time audit just give it a go. You might be surprised to find some more time in your schedule and also it might cause you to be more creative in how you get things done faster to allow for the weeks when you are sick and yet still need to get a job application done.

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