On a recent morning, I ran into my friend Martha at the grocery store and let me tell you she was looking exasperated.
When I went over to say hello, she unleashed a diatribe of frustration over the latest snow storm coming down the pipe. At first, I was surprised to hear the sincere upset behind her voice. Martha always seemed to be in a good place. From the outside, she was in the enviable position of having a partner whose job earned enough for her to devote herself to art full-time. But of course what many people didn’t stop to think about was the reality that Martha was raising two children while trying to build a career from home. Hardly an easy feat.
When her children were small she set her art aside entirely because the demand on her time as a parent was just too much. Now that they were older though, she used the time when they went to school to be in her studio and work on all of the other things it took to be a working artist.
But of course, the weather waits for no one. Staring down the barrel of another snow day, Martha knew she would be losing more time than she had to spare. She admitted that she wasn’t always great at managing the time she had for work, to begin with, and in general usually felt behind. Losing an entire day of productivity, particularly at this very moment when she had a group show opening in just a week’s time, seemed almost like an insurmountable obstacle.
I went to Martha’s opening the next week. Despite her time crunch, her work was as rich and thought-provoking as ever. She thanked me for allowing her to rant in the grocery store that day and said that hearing herself say those things out loud was a wakeup call. She realized it was time for her to take control of her time.
The fact of the matter is, we could all use more time. Jobs, family, daily routine, constant obligations, these things all take time away that could be spent in the studio. And every one of them is important. It comes down to finding ways to make the most of the time you have.
Ultimately it comes down to making some pretty simple changes and vowing to stick to them (probably the hardest part). Things like:
- Making a schedule, whether for the day, week, or month
- Being realistic about distractions and doing something about them
- Vowing to quit trying to multi-task because let me tell you right now, humans can’t
Time is so fleeting that there have been entire volumes written on this precious commodity. Since the dawn of our species, we have struggled to make the most of the daylight. Modern life puts heavier demands on us and presents countless ways to fritter away our time. Take charge. Get the tools you need to manage your time effectively. Praxis Center offers an eight-module course in time management just for artists. This is your career, don’t just wing it. Get the tools you need to make the most of every minute.