Friday, January 15, 2016

Artist Time Management Tips - Off the Wall Friday

Nina-Marie Sayre

Word of the Year?  PRODUCTIVITY

I was looking back at 2015 and I didn't get much done.  I had a lot of good intentions and a lot of  good ideas and actually a lot of time but some how they didn't manage to combine enough for me to get enough done.  Well, at least, not in my mind's eye.  So something needs to give.

So I thought that in the quest for better productivity, I would try to manage my time better. These tips are as much for me as for you!!

Time Management Tips 

  • Create a Calendar - Not only set studio days and times but also what projects you are going to work on that day.  Make sure all tools and supplies are ready when you walk into the studio for the days work by prepping the day before.
  • Schedule Studio time during your Peak Creative Time.  Are you an early bird like me?  Then get into the studio at 7 am instead of starting laundry and straightening the kitchen
  • Set Work Intervals with scheduled breaks - ie - work an hour - take a 10 min break - working in intervals will help you work for a longer period of time in the end
  • Create a To-Do List - Check it off - You'll feel accomplished!
  • Don't Multi-Task - Don't check email, don't load laundry, don't check on dinner in the oven - all these things are just pulling you away from your creative flow
  • Say NO - Don't let your everyday life hone in on your creative life and don't apologize for it
  • Identify Procrastinating Time Wasters - Let's face it - we all have them.  Identifing the time wasters will help us to conquer them.
  • Set Small Goals and reward yourself when you reach them 
  • Set Date Deadlines - open ended projects tend to go unended
  • Make Yourself Accountable to Someone Else -  use an artist partner or use Off the Wall Friday to report your progress
  • Leave Your Next Step ready for your next studio day
I saw this and I thought - OMG - someone has been watching me!!!

So what have you been up to Creatively?


Susan Lenz said...

Good Morning Nina-Marie!
First, I want to thank you for hosting "Off the Wall Fridays". Since you started it, I've tried hard to post almost every week. While in remote Oregon on an art residency, I drove 83 miles (one-way) to get to a WiFi zone in order to blog. I went on Fridays, because then I could link up with you! I started blogging when blogs were BIG and loads of people read regularly. Now, Facebook has overtake much of the attention that blogs used to get. I post my blog entries to Facebook and often get questions on the images that are clearly answered in the attached blog link ... but people don't visit, don't read, and I've often wondered why I continue to blog in the first place. Only, I love my blog! I love writing it, documenting my work, and sharing things with my parents who aren't on Facebook. Blogging has been helpful in many other ways in the long run, but linking to "Off the Wall Fridays" has been rewarding (and continues to keep me going) in the short run! So ... THANK YOU!

Now, time management is something I'm rather good at. I suppose that's the reason so many people ask me, "Susan, do you ever sleep?" Of course I do! I'm an eight-hour a night sleeper! Every night! I'm productive because I know how to maximize the hours I'm awake. Like you, I have a "day job" but I'm lucky in that I own the business that employees both my husband and myself. I don't have to ask anyone to rearrange my schedule in a quest to balance art and work. But, I still have to "work".

Anyway, I'd like to weigh in on your long list of ideas to help you manage creative time. Every suggestion is a good one ... but I think your list is a bit long. Long lists can become overwhelming, almost an end in themselves. Personally, I'd select SAY NO, Don't Multi-task, and Leave your next step ready. Then, get a time card. Track your own hours. Everything will fall into place. The time card will function for accountability. You won't need deadlines simply because work will get done when hours are put in. Your reward becomes the satisfaction of accomplishment. Trying to look like a "good employee" on the time card will automatically eliminate procrastination. Work intervals will fall into a natural rhythm and not fight against rigid, clocked intervals. The calendar is your time cards. Hope this helps ... it is based on my experiences so your mileage may vary ... but it is also based on the time-tested KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) philosophy!
Thanks again for FTWF!

Gwyned Trefethen said...

Thank you, Nina-Marie. OTWF sharing helps to keep me focused. Gives me an incentive to write my post first thing each Friday. Seeing what I have accomplished, and knowing I'll be sharing these accomplishments help with the gentle nudge I need to break away from procrastination and go to the studio. It isn't easy when we are our own boss and employee - but oh the joy of being able to create.

Quilt Rat said...

Excellent tips! As someone who was self employed most of her working life, I know how important time management and self discipline is.
Those lessons I learned a long time ago, still work for me everyday in my creative life.

patty a. said...

Great tips! Having a blog has helped me a lot to be more productive. I feel like I have to answer to my readers every week day to what I accomplished after getting home from work. This pushes me to not just sit and do nothing. I think identifying the time suckers can be so useful in freeing up more time to be creative and productive.

quiltedfabricart said...

I know what my time sucker is - Internet. and my motivator is blogging once a week and listing it on your off the wall link. Many times I have said to myself, well I had better get going on _______ project so I have something to show on Friday. Thank you so much for hosting this and creating this community that we have. I have met many friends and have been inspired and educated beyond my expectations.

QuiltConscious said...
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QuiltConscious said...

We must be twins. This is exactly what I've been pondering. So many ideas, lots of execution and yet I still feel like I'm swimming as fast as I can and not accomplishing enough. And, lots of wasted time.
I have printed out the tips and will get this going.

A good tip someone once told me was to assign a task a time (like you would a doctor's appt) and then stop worrying about it until that time. When implemented, helps to focus and move on from at least that task.

You've left me inspired.

Heather said...

Great info. Just when I needed to hear it.

Linda Wulf Koenig said...

These are wonderful tips, thank you so much. Perfect for the new year. And thank you for the invitation to link!

Nina Marie said...

Well, I'm glad everyone finds the post helpful. Susan - the reason the list is a bit long is that I wanted to make sure I included a bunch of ideas that would appeal to a bunch of people. Personally, I probably will only implement half of them and stick with a chosen few. But like you said - that's all you need - just a few!

Margaret said...

I always enjoy your posts, Nina Marie...and this one was timely (no pun intended)...considering my week went completely off the rails...Those tips always work until Life gets in the way. :-)

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