- On October 30, 2015
How to Find Uninterrupted Creative Time:
Tips for Prioritizing Your Art
Life is busy, complex, and demanding. Practical considerations can easily rob us of the time needed to pursue our art and the unwary artist may blink and discover that entire months have passed without studio time.
In order to be the best artists we can, it is necessary to create on a regular basis. For some, this comes naturally, for others it requires special effort.
According to Cal Newport, creator of the Getting Creative Things Done System, there are three important factors to finding time for one’s creative pursuits:
- Prioritize: At the start of the week, decide which creative project you’ll focus on.
- Plan: Schedule blocks of creative time that are 1-3 hours long and do not schedule anything during those times.
- Process: Think about the journey and process rather than the destination of your goals. Focusing too much on a particular goal or list item will undo all of the freedom and space you just found for creation.
This system is not intended to remove spontaneity from your creative practice, but rather, to insure that a baseline minimum is reserved for your art. If additional time becomes available throughout the week, consider it a bonus and take full advantage.
It should be noted that the process of carving time from your day might require sacrifice in other areas. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans spend 2.8 hours per day watching television on average. If you simply split this time in half (around an hour and a half for Walking Dead or Project Runway and the rest for making art), you will significantly increase your productivity.
Now that you’ve created the time for art making, it’s also important to make the process as barrier-free as possible. This will mean different things to different artists, but includes things like:
- Cleaning up after every studio session so the space is ready for action
- Insuring all necessary tools and materials are on hand
- Creating understanding with your family that this time is reserved.
Finally, if inspiration strikes when studio time is impossible, be sure to note the idea. Often our best thoughts occur at wildly inappropriate times, and the habit of recording these ideas for future exploration is good to cultivate.
What are your tricks for insuring studio time? Share them in the comments below:
“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”