It’s mid week and the 1st of February. This is my reminder that I wanted to accomplish a lot in the month of January. On a scale of 1-10 I would give myself a 7. I still have a goal of 50 completed pieces by the end of February. Luckily it’s leap year and I get one extra day.
It’s difficult to balance work, family, housekeeping and workouts. I’ve now added a new jewelry business which needs a lot of nurturing. I don’t mind putting in the time because I’m passionate about my art. Seriously, finding the time to get everything done on the never-ending “to do” list is overwhelming.
What needs to change? How do I squeeze more time out of the 24 hours in a day to accomplish all that I set out to do? You may say multi-tasking. This is not an option for me. Before long, I’m loading the dishwasher with socks and underwear, and pulling raw chicken out of the oven. I set the timer but forgot to turn on the oven. Multi-tasking is my way to screw up more than one thing at a time.
I’ve tried time blocking. It’s been fairly successful, but I never seemed to block the right amount of time for the job. I’m also (just a tiny bit) OCD and ADD. I get bored with the project I’m doing and move to another task. Guilt sets in and I become obsessed with finishing what I started. This leads to compulsion. How was I so easily lead astray to begin with? All of a sudden, I’m cleaning the bathroom floor with a toothbrush to kill all of the germs.
The fact is, when I’m creating a piece of jewelry or working on another form of art, I get lost. Time and commitments fall away and I focus on solving the artistic question I’ve presented myself. Abandoning it to move to the next thing on the list isn’t an option. I’m there in the moment and I’m intimately involved and consumed. I admit that I’ve missed meals and baths because of art. Nothing gets in the way of passion.
I guess that all artists suffer from the inability to put it down and walk away. It seems life would be easier if we could apply the same kind of enthusiasm and focus on the non artistic tasks in our life. It would be easier for me and many others would greatly benefit if I could do this.
Maybe that’s why artists are at their best doing what they do. Nothing drives or interests us like the art we make. It’s distracting to do the other jobs we see as mundane. The million things that need to happen in order to survive annoy, bore and get in the way of what we want to spend our time doing.
This leads me to think, I’m not going to worry or stress about the tasks I’ve defined as mundane. It is a necessary evil to have clean laundry, but it doesn’t need to be scheduled and planned, just done. Focus on your art. Spend the most time doing what you love. The happiness this provides will outshine all the other little things that have to be done. Design your life and time the way you want to live it and make the best of it.