Have you noticed how easy it is to become immersed in the creative process that time seems to disappear into thin air? Here are 10 tips to save time.
Are you trying to juggle several balls at once – surviving economic challenges, caring for loved ones, maintaining a job and career, and creating art?
To be a successful “Artrepreneur” we need to strive for balance between creativity and practicality. When we manage time efficiently we gain tremendous personal power. We can greatly improve our lives with some diligence and discipline in this area. Try incorporating some of these positive habits into your daily routine and I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits.
1. Avoid the major time wasters
The top time wasters are: telephone socializing, junk mail, email, watching TV, Internet surfing, a poorly organized work area, lack of essential information, excessive red tape and paperwork, poorly planned procedures, failure to plan and implement priorities, searching for misplaced items, poor skills in delegating, training and conceptualizing, procrastinating, poor scheduling, over-committing, attempting to do too much at once, and striving for perfection.
2. Be committed to the project at hand. When you have an important project set aside sufficient time without any distractions. Rehearse the task mentally. Quiet the mind. Focus your attention. Take each step deliberately. Become totally absorbed in what you’re doing, and a free-flowing momentum will transpire.
3. Break large projects down into smaller chunks. If you are setting aside important projects waiting for that big block of time to be available you’ll discover that it may never arrive. It is better to use the five-fifteen minute strategy and tackle the project with small amounts of time on a regular basis.
4. Add pleasure to your tasks. Find ways to motivate yourself to be constructive. Buy and/or create such materials that are colorful, well designed and aesthetically appealing to you to make working with them a creative experience.
5. Create an uncluttered work area. It should be free from visual and sound distractions. If possible use a separate room for an office or arrange a space in a corner of your studio, bedroom or a closet. In this work area place your phone, computer, book and a file cabinet to store your photographs, Photo CDs, résumé and business receipts. Clear your work area each night in order to begin efficiently the following day.
6. Be prepared. Make tomorrow’s plans and write your “To Do” list the night before and arrange the activities in order of urgency. Create promotional materials by the dozens and have several sets of Photo CDs on file. Keep several copies of your current résumé ready to go. Maintain your mailing list on the computer and keep it up to date.
7. Delegate simple tasks. Promote yourself as the CEO now! Recruit high school or college interns or retirees to help you do research on the Internet, stretch canvases, prepare mailings, send e-mails and type letters. Contact your local college’s Career Development office and describe the position you have. The students can acquire experience and earn credit on their resume in return for helping you for free or for a small stipend.
8. Organize. Incorporate your career plans into your daily routine. Make and use lists, calendars and appointment books. Alphabetize your files and organize your materials to help you locate them quickly.
9. Take charge of your time.
For one week list every activity and the time it took, including distractions such as useless phone chatter and looking for papers that have not been filed away properly.
Periodically, throughout the day ask yourself whether the activity you’re doing is urgent or important. If neither, move on to something else that is.
10. Maintain good health. If your health is impaired, your career will be threatened. Exercise regularly. Avoid the use of toxic artist materials, as well as toxic environments and relationships. You may frequently be tempted to work long hours in your studio and neglect your nutritional needs. Have plenty of healthy snacks, fresh fruits and vegetables and clean drinking water close at hand. Take stretching breaks throughout the day.
Renee Phillips, known as The Artrepreneur Coach, provides life/career guidance for creative individuals in private consultations and group programs. She is also founder and Director of Manhattan Arts International and the author of several books. This article contains excerpts from her next book that will include 365 Power Keys like these. For more information about Renée visit her website.