I get all kinds of email and asked TONS of questions about all sorts of creative things and once in a while I will take the time to answer many of the frequently asked questions here on my blog!
Questions I get asked a lot are- How I am able to be so productive? How I manage my time? And how do I juggle being a mom and running a business? So today I am sharing a little insight into how I manage my time and I've put it all into video format. Like most of the videos that I share, I talk a lot (32 minutes to be exact) so of you don't have the time or patience you can skip to the highlights below!
SET PREDICTABLE HOURS
I've found that setting predictable hours for art every day has been something that has worked well throughout the many different phases of my life. Back when I was working a day job, I only had evenings and weekends to make art and grow my creative business. Even though my time was limited, I was able to predict and plan projects that fit into those hours. After I spent so much time working this way I became very accustomed to being productive in smaller chunks of time. This process served me well once I became a mom. Instead of working 8 hours straight, I am most comfortable (and productive) working in small predictable chunks of time throughout the day. I still end up working 8-10 hours day it just looks a little different.
STICK TO SET HOURS
Sticking to the hours that you set for yourself is something that is key for me- I mean what is the point of setting predictable hours if you don't stick to them? Back when I had a day job it was really easy for me to be flakey about committing to an art making schedule. My day job provided a safety net with steady income while art was just a side gig that I didn't depend on. I learned over time that if I wanted my dream of being a full time artist to come true I really needed to have some discipline with my schedule and sticking to the hours that I set for myself.
I've learned that the best way to make use my time is to set boundaries in my life. Now that I am a mom I don't have a lot of free time and the free that I do have, I want to spend with my family. In order to juggle and make everything work with my loved ones and my business, I've had to set a lot of boundaries with my time and how I fill it. Sometimes it means saying no to social engagements, sometimes it even means saying no to family, sometimes it is simply making the choice to go to bed early so I can be well rested. My boundaries always evolve and change with different projects but making a point to set some limits for how I spend my time really keeps me on track.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Taking a little time to identify your strengths and weaknesses can shed light on the things that are working (or not working) in your schedule. While it is pretty easy to name the things you are good at, it can be a little harder to focus on failure and weakness. But understanding your challenges and the things you are not good at can really help you grow and better define where you want to put your energy.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE FLEXIBLE
While it is great to set hours and stick to them, it is also OK to give yourself permission to be flexible. Sometime "life happens" and it's just not realistic to get all crazy about time management and schedules. While I would love to have everyday be perfect and really productive, this doesn't always happen and that is where flexibility and a lot of grace come in handy!