Techniques like this are important to know of because one of them will stick with you and be very effective. And then you have a better chance of using your time in the same way, repeatedly. Try them all a few times and see what feels comfortable. Using an analog timer is simple and in some ways like a game. Go to the store and buy yourself an egg timer. I know you could use your phone or computer, but an old analog or even digital egg timer is better because it won’t distract you or take time to figure out. Set the time for thirty minutes when you are ready to do your daily amount of time. While the timer is going, you can work on only things related to your goals in the calendar for that time. No email or Facebook or anything else. The purpose of having a timer is also to prevent you from extending your thirty-minute slot because you were looking at email or something else. When the thirty minutes are over, they’re over—that’s it. It is worth trying this technique because, as I said, it will either work for you or not.
Your Own Patterns
As you begin to manage your time, you may encounter resistance on several levels depending on your personality and past patterns. The first thing that I encountered when I was starting to manage my time was that I felt I wanted to be free to do whatever I wanted and resisted the notion that I had to treat my life like it was a job, checking in and out. What I was thinking was that I felt that life on the default mode of just doing what I could to make a living and enjoying myself was the ideal way to live and would make me happiest because I saw that as freedom. However, when I experimented (which I am asking you to do), I found that I certainly did get more done, even if it irritated me a little. But what was more profound was that I was enjoying life more through the feeling of getting something done; even if it was through a regimented schedule, it had tremendous pleasure associated with it. This is why you are reading the chapter you are, and it is the best possible scenario when you have finished the exercises and workbook section. The idea is that you will have a similar feeling. You will experiment with several time management techniques, and one will work and, it will give you more pleasure than you imagined. Then even though you might resist doing it again, if you can remember the pleasure you got from achieving so much, you will go back to it.
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.