Time Management Techniques
In our lives, probably the most precious commodity we have is our own time. How to do more than one thing at a time, efficiently, and without stress is the goal of this chapter and workbook. This is probably the biggest hurdle for most artists who want to become more professional in how they look after their careers. Because the question is always “How much time do I have to spend doing this stuff?” Meaning how much time during each weekday do you need to spend on doing things like writing letters and contacting people and other things you would rather not do. There isn’t a specific amount of time at all; it is more about how you perceive all your time and how you can manage that in the same way that you would manage your eating habits. If you can’t manage your eating habits, there are all kinds of diets you could go on until you find the right one for you. It is not unlike that with time management. There are lots of techniques, and I will give you some here, but the important thing to recognize is that you want to change and are looking for a system. Just like dieting, you may not find the right method for yourself instantly, but if that is your goal, you will surely find it soon through trial and error.
Changing Your Habits
Let’s begin with the basics because just like a diet, you are already using a time management system, and just like you have a diet that you are using but are not always conscious of, so it is with your current time management plan.
I suggest using a physical calendar, a paper calendar that you can write on, instead of an online one, but if you regularly use a computer application or an online calendar like iCal or Google Calendar, then please do.
First begin by blocking out all your time on your calendar. Start with sleep. Mark the times that you tend to fall asleep and wake up. If it is different on weekends, then mark them that way. Then look at your weekdays. If you are working, fill in all the hours you are working. If you are not working, fill in the hours describing what you are doing that occurs regularly. Perhaps you are walking the dog, volunteering somewhere, visiting friends, or making art, but describe it all on a recurring basis in your calendar. Then move to the weekends. Is there a regular event or class or a park that you tend to go to on weekends? If so, fill it out with that information.
Now you can look over your schedule and how it is occurring without doing anything else to it. This is the step where you should print out your electronic calendar or take a good look at the paper one you just filled out.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.