Monday, January 14, 2013

Time management

Managing time - in life, with special people, at work, in my studio, and quiet time, is a challenge.  I feel so fortunate to have a full life - a wonderful husband, a large family, lots of friends, a good job, a sweet home & a dream studio.  But, I often find myself trying to squeeze 27 hours into a 24 hour day, trying to fulfill the "must do's" of life and the "want to's". 

Obviously, I have to take care of the business end of life, which means going to work and doing things like laundry and paying bills.  Finding ways to simplify these "must do's" allows me a little more time to spend in my studio.  Little things like wearing mostly clothes that don't have to be ironed (and sending my husband's shirts to the cleaners), paying bills on-line, and spending a whole weekend cooking a freezer full of ready-to-eat meals, are just a few of the things that work for me. 

The truth is, there will never be enough hours in my lifetime for me to make all of the things I have dancing in my head.  However, I think that is a good thing - I mean, are all ideas really that good?   Time limitations cause us to filter through what we want to do and decide what is most important, or the best of the ideas we have.  Some projects get started and never finished - quilters call this their UFO (unfinished objects) pile.  My view of that is:  If I have a project that I really love, I will finish it.  If I am ambivilent about it, it will languish and may never be completed. 

Through the course of my creative journey, I have started and not finished countless projects.  Either something I was thinking didn't quite work or I became distracted by something else that caught my attention.  All of the work had value though - I always learn something, either "great, that worked well" or, "that was a bad idea".  In the end, it is all time well spent because it helps me to grow as a person (accepting failure, enjoying success) and as an artist (learning from my mistakes, building on my successes) - those lessons show up in the piles of projects I have finished.

I often say that I wish there was an eighth day in the week, as if that would mean I would have more time to do what I want, ha ha.  That joke is on me! 

One thing that is both a gift and a curse to time management is the computer.  It is terrific that I can find out pretty much anything with a quick Google search, pay my bills online, and get my work done faster.  But on the other side are things like Pinterest (which I love but can eat up a lot of time), Facebook (which is fun but can be another time killer) and the worst part, having to constantly learn how to use the newest version of whatever you're doing.  It seems that just when I get it all figured out, some wisenheimer decides to "improve" the program and I'm back to computer kindergarten (notice there are no pictures in this blog?  Guess what they changed on Blogger that I haven't figured out yet...).

My goal is to strike a good balance between spending time with my husband, family, & friends, being productive at work, enjoy our home, and feed my soul with studio time.  I don't know what I'm going to do with all the stuff I'm making..... maybe I'll sell it on Etsy someday, if I can figure out how to post pictures there!