I suppose sometimes it might have been easier had I chosen a straightforward vocation with a set career path, but like it or not, I’m hooked now I can’t do without the art - at the risk of trotting out a tired cliche, it chose me. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a Doctor, a Lawyer or something with a very clear set of steps to success, I wanted to be the next Walt Disney! There’s nothing like making life as hard as possible for oneself, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
People say to me ‘I couldn’t do it’ in reference to the late nights, the lack of weekends (it’s the only time I get to spend a solid amount of time in the studio) and the ‘second shift’ of coming home from work just to jump right into working on my thesis. I say it depends on your idea of fun; when you love to study and to make art it doesn’t feel like a chore, it is something that I look forward to and can’t wait to do every day.
Here are a few simple ways that I find time:
- Get up early - whilst a 5am start isn’t for everyone, I find it is the only way I fit exercise into my day. It’s too easy to become sidelined when you get home from work and skip it altogether. For me, exercise is essential for my wellbeing so it’s non-negotiable.
- Make lists - if you have a set list of items you need to achieve in a day, it’s much easier (and motivating) to mark off a physical list as you complete each.
- It’s never a good time - This is the message to remember when you’re tempted to say ‘I don’t feel inspired/awake/motivated enough to do ‘xyz’ task’. There’s never a good time; just do it anyway or you’ll feel worse when you look back and didn’t do it.
- Get off the phone - Social media is a blessing and a curse, I both love and hate it. I leave my phone downstairs if I am in the studio (because I’m lazy and resist going downstairs to take a peek). There are apps you can use to block yourself out of certain sites if you find yourself wasting time - google them and make them your friend.
- Tidy up - I can’t focus in a messy environment, that’s why my ‘Sunday List’ (yes, I have a list for certain days of the week - it works!!) has the task ‘Clean up office and studio’ right at the top.
- Two Words ‘Free CRM’ - It’s so much easier to track my to-do lists, jobs, contacts and opportunities in a CRM. I use Insightly and it suits my needs but there are plenty of free ones out there.
Having said all of this, these tips are all useful tools that keep me on top of my life but at the end of the day you make time for the things you love. No list or fancy CRM is going to make you work if you don’t love what you do. Finding that thing you can't live without is a whole other story..