Time Mastery for the Artist
Category : Arts
As both an artist and business coach, time mastery is close to my heart. Time mastery for the artist is very important. As a multiple business owner, I grew businesses, wrote books (number six has just been published), raised a family and painted. Anyone who knows me is constantly saying “how the heck do you do it all?”. So I thought for you, if you need to get art production on task, then here are my tips:
Time Mastery for the Artist
Work at a set time of the day or week
Unless you are painting (or moulding, drawing, printing or whatever you do) as a hobbyist, then the concept of “when the mood grabs you” may not be relevant. Also what won’t be relevant is “when I have time”. These days, time is a rare commodity; between life, family, social media, travel, work, or whatever obligations you have, often we only have time if we set aside that time. So, set a time of day that you will work and days of the week you will work. You may be a professional artist with a gallery or show deadline, so working 5 to 6 days a week might be a must. If you are most productive early in the morning (my favourite time) then make an early start. As long as the light is ok, then get going early and work to your routine.
Set a set number of hours
Be realistic; you probably are not going to be able to paint 8 hours a day, day after day, month after month. If you know you can work no more than 4 hours a day and are most inspired, motivated and focussed in the morning, then morning it is. You will know your rhythm best; if you’re a night person then a start after lunch may work better. Work out your best time, set it and simply do it. Often the hardest part of any work activity is actually starting. If you are doing what you love, once you get started, then it will be easy to keep focussed. In fact, you may find you have to set an alarm to finish. : )
Work in batches
Most people are able to be productive for about 2 hours. Some it’s less and some more, but essentially work for about 2 hours, take a short break and then continue. That short break might be a coffee break or putting on the washing, going for a quick dog walk, but I don’t recommend your ‘break’ is emails or computer work.
Like with any work (you are no different really from any other home-based business) you need to avoid distractions. That especially means TV, social media and even emails. It might even be the refrigerator, doing chores at home etc. So, get yourself a routine, where you ensure you’ve eaten first, made your coffee and then get started. If family and friends dropping in (because you’re home-based, so they often see you’re not really working) you’ll need to educate them that you work on certain days (or even Monday to Friday). Educate them that you are working and to please ring before dropping in.
Whether it’s the discipline to not chat on the phone, surf the net, hang out on social media, catch up with friends for a long lunch or go shopping … it does come back to you! Only you can maintain discipline and say no to distractions, including saying no to yourself.
I’m a strong believer in being organised; everything from your workspace to having your materials on hand. Take a little time to organise your space and then keep it organised. No different from say an office worker or even a tradie – at the end of the day you tidy up. You collect your tools, clean your equipment and put it away. Personally, if I’m going to be using something again in the next few days, I’ll leave it out on my table, but if I’m finished with something for awhile, it goes back into the cupboard where it belongs. (A place for everything and everything in its place).
One way to waste time is to be in the middle of something and have to run down to the shops for a particular colour or material. For this reason, I always keep a list of things I’m running low on, so that when I place an order or visit my supplier, then it’s with a list in hand. That way I don’t overbuy, nor do I forget something which necessitates another visit in the next few days.
I think for anyone who is operating a creative business, this can be particularly a challenge. For this reason, if something is stalled, then that’s another reason I love having multiple pieces in progress at any one time. For myself, if I find myself procrastinating; then it’s because something is not right. Again, moving onto something else may help with the flow. If you have ‘painter’s block’ (aka writer’s block) then that’s a whole different blog subject. See my other blog to check that one out.
These time mastery for the artist is also super critical for anyone; artists are no different. Be effective with your time, value it, respect it and manage it well.
Check out the artworks I’ve done and for sale. Call me on 0411 622 666.