Episode 129 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Using Time in Small Increments

Using Time in Small Increments

I like to start with small bits of time so that you can see how the process works and not get overwhelmed by it. Pick one thing that you would like to do more of every day. Let’s say for example it is applying for grants. Then go to your calendar and pick a time frame. I would say no more than thirty minutes at first. Pick which weekdays, not weekends, that you want to use for this purpose. I would pick at least four weekdays, but you can pick five if you like. Then define when the thirty minutes will occur. Is it from 9:00 to 9:30 am every day, or is it at different times on different weekdays? If you pick out your four or five blocks of time this way, it should be easy to use them the first time. Starting out this way is very helpful because you don’t want to feel pressured or burdened by this process, you want to feel that it is easy and doable. Once you have all your thirty-minute time slots put in your calendar, commit to the schedule for two weeks at the very least. In the two weeks that you have committed yourself to this, do the following:

  1. Put your calendar on a wall where you will see it (even if you have to print out a portion of your digital calendar).
  2. Start a diary on your computer or paper of what you have done in each thirty-minute block.
  3. Treat your blocks of time reverently, like this is the time that is for your health, and it is a life-or-death situation. I mean, it is, isn’t it? If we spend our lives thinking about what we could have done if we’d had more time, it is like a small death in that part of us that never gets to live. So treat this time like it is very precious. If you are supposed to be writing letters to people or applying for grants or anything else, do only that.
  4. Make an agreement with yourself that you will not check email or Facebook or anything unrelated to your task during this time.
  5. If you get stuck, or feel like you can’t do something, then read this chapter over again and do some research. Even if you are not writing or working directly on your topic, then do research on it, like which galleries or grants you are looking for or which ones are even out there!

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.

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Episode 128 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / This Is Your Life

This Is Your Life

After looking at your calendar, you know this is the way you have either planned it or what you default to if you are not thinking much about it. Most of us are not time planners, so the life we are living is a life by default, a life that seems to be of our choosing but in fact is very limited, because on default mode you don’t realize there is extra time you can control. The next step is to control that time. So take a look at the calendar again and think about what else you need time for. Is it spending time with friends? Family? Or do you need to take a vacation? Perhaps a weekend retreat? Or maybe you need more time for the studio or more time to go out to the theatre or see art shows at museums and galleries? Maybe more time to read books? Whatever it is, take the time to write down a list of these things (use the work- book). And write down all the things you wish you had more time for. Take your time and think about anything you would like to do more of.

Examining Your Time

Now that you have a list, look back at your calendar. There is a finite amount of time in every week, and now you are a time designer. There is no one that will do this job but you, and no one who can really advise you on the right way to spend your time but you. So start filling in that calendar because this day might change your life; this day might have you plant the seeds of your dreams—your ideal life—in rich soil that will make it all grow easily. Just this idea is a reason to celebrate, so go out and get yourself a present for getting this far and then come back and read the rest of what I have written!

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.

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Episode 127 – Making It in the Art World by Brainard Carey / Time Management Techniques

Chapter 6

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.

Time Management

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.

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