Thursday, February 26, 2015

frequently asked questions- time management

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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


primrosesattic said...

Love the pictures of you working with your children around you. It show,s true life.

Evergreen Mo said...

This was so helpful. I have a sick husband and hospital and clinic visits take up chunks of each week.Inspirational listening to you especially about being flexible and also checking out what is important in ones life."ART" can sometimes be put on the back boiler.

studioGypsy said...

love. and thankyou.. great encouragement and beautful pix.. xo

C Pohl said...

Great post! Thank you

- Yvette Head said...

Wonderful post of advise, thank you so much for sharing an incite to your successful art business/life! The part on setting boundaries really resonates for me. I am not as "social" as I was in the past. I work part-time, so the two days I am able to "create my business" is very limited. Thanks again, you are such an inspiration! :)

Anonymous said...

Wise words. Thank you for being so generous with your time, ideas and thoughts. You rock! = )

Unknown said...

I can't tell you how much these creative business videos mean to me. Thank you for being real and reminding me that we are all challenged, but we can do it. I don't want to give up being a mom to follow my creative dreams. I'm happy to hear about how you juggle both. Thanks for sharing, you are awesome and I love your art. You inspire me all the time. I really needed this today!

Helmi said...

Thank you for sharing. I love all the things you do!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this - I so LOVE your videos. Such valuable advice. I jump around doing nothing or sit about procrastinating. I think what I am going to do is schedule time, and fill it in and stick to it. My time is just ticking by and I need to be productive instead of just thinking about it - which is my biggest issue. Just DO. Sounds simple when I say it, I must make it happen!
Thanks again Alicia.

Donna said...

Oh that was good!!!! THANK YOU. The tips that really hit me were giving myself a set time to create even if it's an hour and set boundaries, I always put my creativity to the side, I need to learn to put creativity before washing dishes ;)

Unknown said...

Alisa, this was the perfect message for me now. I quit working about a year ago, and have made a lot of art. But I do not have any kind of schedule, and lots of time gets wasted. Too much time can be detrimental to productivity. I knew that, but hearing it from you is making me re-evaluate. Thanks for you inspiration - you rock!!!!

Vivyane Veka said...

Thank you so much for sharing Alisa !!! All right : you're are a "normal" person, mom and wife, but you've got something special : you're always so inspiring ! I'm grateful to you for that = )

Andria said...

I love the "inside peeks" we get into your life via your photos, and I appreciate your frank talk in your video about the realities of your life and your time management.

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Kamil Rudnicki said...

My way of accurate time management is using time tracking software. I just put my tasks there and measure how much time each of them takes. I use , but maybe you know any others/better?


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