Time flies…whether you’re having fun or not, right? So how are we supposed to find time for art?!
The clock says you’ve run out of time. You lay down for the night to rest your body but your mind is still ticking. You didn’t find time for art today…or the laundry or the grocery store. How do you ever catch up with all that you need and, more importantly, want to do?
If you want more time, you need to learn how to fly, too.
The key is to use the very same wisdom the birds do – get in the flow.
Here are 7 ways to fly:
1. Use “Spare Change” Time
You’re dressed and ready to go but you don’t have to leave for 10 minutes. What do you do? Do you fritter away your “spare change” 5, 10 or 15 minutes or do you put them to good use? Use this spare change to find time for art. In 10 minutes I can clear off my desk; gesso a canvas; or check the pantry and fridge and circle items on my pre-printed shopping list that follows the store floor plan – a list, by the way, I created as part of my pre-flight plan which allows me to fly through the grocery store. Once more of your to do list is done using “spare change,” guess what? There will be time for art!
2. Have a Pre-Flight plan
I have always planned ahead. I make a game of streamlining activities, errands, chores and anything else I can do to use my time efficiently, opening up the possibility to find time for art. This can be done with art, too! Don’t wait for time to appear before you decide what to do with it or how to manage it. Be prepared with an Idea Notebook, a primed canvas, a journal, book or stitching you can turn to when time opens up. Plan your days accordingly so that your phone isn’t the only thing handy to fill open time.
3. Remember to Glide
Birds conserve energy by gliding while in flight. In order to glide, they minimize resistance. You can minimize your own resistance by taking regular breaks. The longer you spend on a task, the more likely you are to lose clarity, focus, energy and lift. Take a 10 or 15 minute gliding break every 45 minutes to walk, stretch, and view the horizon. You will return refreshed and renewed and able to make the best use of your time.
4. Clear the Air
It is a rare person who does not have a pretty good idea how her day will unfold. Most of us operate within the confines of a routine created years ago and, hence, have become comfortable in a familiar routine that no longer serves us. What are you spending time doing that no longer serves you now? What activities, time-fillers and time-wasters can you recreate that will then allow you to find time for your art?
5. Beware of Canceled Flights
You will never be good at flying if you keep canceling your flights and instead giving other things, people and distractions priority. Treat yourself and your art time like the VIP that you are and pilot your way to Artlandia.
6. Eliminate Interruptions
Interruptions can come from the outside, like a text message, and from the inside (like my habit of getting up to see who’s driving down our long mountain driveway). External interruptions can be prevented with a few simple methods and advance planning. It’s the internal interruptions that clip your wings. Keep a flight log notebook next to you to make a list of all of the things you think you need to stop and do right away while you are in mid-flight. I’m pretty sure they can all wait until later and writing them down in your notebook will get them off your mind (for now).
7. Stop Multitasking
Studies show that you lose 15 minutes every time you switch between tasks. Time literally gets eaten up by the slowed momentum recovery when returning to a previous task. And by the way, if you are feeling like you don’t get as much accomplished as you did say 5 or 10 years ago, it is because you have more opportunities and temptations to multitask than ever before. It’s not your age slowing you down.