1) Tools - I have found that certain tools help me to manage my time better. I consider my smart phone indispensable. I use my phone to take advantage of time spent waiting in line, sitting in the car waiting for kids, or on my breaks at work. I can quickly scan emails for anything important and delete any that I do not want to read. I can view my facebook notifications, scan society6 and even see if there were sales on my other sites like spoonflower or Zazzle. While I am at home, I use the ipad when I cannot sit at the computer. This gives me more in-between time to promoted others work on Society6 and manage facebook. My camera on my phone is always ready to nab anything that inspires me. I keep a regular sketchbook and some lined paper with me most of the time also. When I have these tools to resort to, I do not have time wasted.
2) Less of this/more of that- I spent twenty years in corporate jobs. One thing I learned as a supervisor is that people often fill in time with unimportant tasks. It is very easy to get stuck doing things like cleaning our desk drawers when we do not know what we “should” be doing instead. I challenge you to make a list of things that you want to do, or want to do more of (you can do this every week) Next, make a list of things that you can do less of in order to make time for the things you want to do. I do not recommend cutting out laundry completely, or skipping work…Most people can carve out a little more time each day to do what they love. The key is planning.
3) Get up early – Benjamin Franklin was right, ”Early to bed, early to rise….” I get up an hour early each day so that I can spend one hour working on my art business. I spend that time creating new products on zazzle, working in photoshop and promoting items for myself and others on pinterest, Society6, and Wanelo. I am very careful with this time. I get my coffee and get right to work at the computer, only pausing to get the cat’s tail away from my touchscreen. This time is tremendously satisfying to me. I can go to work with the knowledge that I have given my business a little boost for the day.
4) Designs that do double duty – lately I have been endeavoring to design pieces that can work as prints, cell phone covers, cards, and repeating fabrics for patterns. This useful piece of information was picked up from watching other artists using numerous sites at the same time. This little extra step in planning allowed me to use my collage “Butterflying the Caribbean” for a print, a cell phone cover, and a fabric pattern. The design works well on greeting cards and has more uses on Zazzle than I have thought of yet.
5) Avoid T.V. and other time wasters - I really do not watch much T.V. I am not saying we do not need time to relax, but I do not have the patience for sitcoms, most of the news is bad and if I see one more reality show, I’ll puke! There are plenty of online time wasters too. Facebook users be careful. I do not read everything in my newsfeed. I do not play games…I am a recovering Happy Island junky. I try very hard not to get too wrapped up in pinterest…but I do consider it marketing and research…really it is =)
6) Get creative anytime anywhere-I carry my sketchbook everywhere I go. I use it at baseball practices, swimming lessons, trips to the park, and while waiting in the car. A photographer friend of mine carries her camera everywhere she goes, and often brings her laptop along for editing in photoshop. I have even worked while sitting on the beach with my kids. I usually carry colored pencils too. Sounds crazy, but I have a huge tote bag that goes everywhere I go!
4) Schedule blocks of time for bigger projects or learning – I save my bigger painting projects for the weekends. This way I can fit a larger block of time without too many interruptions. I also do computer work that is more time consuming….like a blog post on the weekends too. I am still trying to figure out how to fit in that life-drawing class I want to take, but for now that will have to wait.
Like I said, I am no expert and I do not have all the answers, but I hope that you can utilize some of my time honored tips to help you make the most of your time to create. Art is my passion, I will always carve out moments for it. Have a great week!! “Tempus fugit”