Okay, yeah, I'm still thinking about time. I want more time! More time to be creative. But there isn't any — so, instead I will actually use less time. Yes, you read that right. Less time.
The tricky part is that that time will need to be well managed.
In my last post I brought up the topic of time management. We all struggle with it. We agonize over it. And we often fail at it.
I also shared what needed to be re-figured in my studio plan:
• What I need to do: maintain my shop and current inventory
• What I can do: keeping my production goals at what are actually humanly possible
• What I want to do: work on new designs and experiment with new techniques
|Some of my shop staples|
So over the past two weeks (actually it was about 2 days — I didn't have enough time to start earlier!) I sat down (with my kitty friend on my lap) with pen and paper (my computer was being too distracting) and got planning.
I started first with the realistic approach… (Some people will tell you I'm too realistic at times! ;-)
While I'd like to make gobs of beads, I don't need to. (There's nothing more satisfying than seeing that huge heap of beads on my work table — but wow is it exhausting getting there.) I'd love to work on new beads every day, but my customers want what I already have. My goal has always been that my studio be self-sufficient — never does it get any more funds than what comes out of it, so making what people want is a must. And finally, I'm only human — I do have to sleep sometime!
Next I took the artist-needs-to-be-creative-to-be-happy approach…
I need to make new things on a regular basis. Simple as that. It keeps me happy! And keeps my customers curious and interested.
|New puppy dog beads|
And then, finally I came up with a two week schedule that can be repeated…
On Sunday and Monday, I don't have any studio time scheduled – as much as I love to make things, I've found I simply cannot do it 24/7 – I don't even want to. I need some time to recharge. And also these days off can be used as emergency days if needed.
On Tuesday thru Friday, I'll do shop inventory management – that includes sculpting, painting/finishing, and shop updates. And this is the part where time management comes in – I used to do this spread over about 5 or 6 hours every day, 8 days a week. Yep, that 8 is to include the late nights. Now I'm going to only give myself exactly 3 hours per day. When managed well (no checking emails!) that's plenty of time.
|A fun experiment! They turned into these.|
Sunday and Monday are still unscheduled. Maybe I'll go hiking or riding, or I could bake some cookies!
Tuesday and Wednesday, I'll do more shop inventory management.
On Thursday, I'll work on new beads.
On Friday, I'm planning blog posts and starting some drafts for future posts. No bead making on this day.
And finally on Saturday, I'm working on more new beads.
So, you could say my biggest problem with not having enough time was actually by having too much time. How many times while creating do we jump up and do something to help someone else? How many times do we check our emails, blogs, forums, and facebook? Or our Etsy shop stats... a million times in 1 hour? How about browsing through bead shops online? Shopping our favorites on Etsy? Yes, I'm very guilty of getting distracted. That shouldn't happen. Just because I won't get fired for doing these things on the job doesn't mean they're good to do.
|I had always wanted to make jackalopes!|
You might think from reading these recent posts that I'm a horribly undisciplined person – I am undisciplined at least a little – actually though, I'm more than a little obsessed with schedules and time, but like so many of you all, when it comes to creative time, that's the first thing to go when more time is needed for all the unexpected things life brings our way.
By making this new schedule with less time that is strictly assigned to studio time, I'll be sure to use that time for what is intended.
And so now I'm ready to start on Monday. Will it work?
I'll let you know how it goes in 2 weeks…
I hope this post has inspired you all to go and make some time for your creativity. I know to some of you 3 hours per day is a luxury and for some of you it's a minuscule amount. I'm not sharing my schedule for you to copy (unless you want to, of course). The goal is to find what works for you as an individual – just the same way we each have different crafts that we love and have mastered – those are the things that work for us, the things that suit our talents best. A schedule should be the same.
I have always believed that being creative is a gift and that it should be shared with the world at every chance we get. Let's do that more often!
So, what about you? Did you squeeze out anymore time for your creativity in the past 2 weeks? Or did you run out of time again? Do you have plans to make more time? Do share!