On The Lack of Time

It’s the weekend and I’m in a panic. I work outside the home during the week and the weekend is the only time I have to create my art. But there  is no such thing as creativity on demand for me and so there are days like today where I stare at the screen and tinker around with my website because I want to do something but I just don’t know what that is.

I like to create art. The act of creating comes easy to me but leaves me little time for the work required to run a business. Marketing, writing blog posts and networking all need more of my attention - attention and time I never seem to have.  It’s hard to focus when interruptions are a regular occurrence and when you are faced with a never ending stream of “to do’s” that center around your full time job, family and home life.

I have tips and tricks saved to my hard drive that are meant to guide me through these blockers. I’m good at making lists, setting timelines and prioritizing tasks for other people but when it comes to my own business I chase after every shiny object that comes my way. If I’ve learned one thing as a project manager, it’s that it can be important to be flexible when the need is there. These are some of the simpler things that have helped me:

  1. Organizing my work in easy to find folders and sub-folders. I organize my art work in easy to find folders, saved as Favorites on my IMac. This  makes it easy for me to locate completed prints and share them as needed.

  2. Using google drive as a journal. Google drive is a power house. I can access documents on my phone if the urge to write comes to me at lunchtime and finish them when I get home. No need to transfer files -- they are all there when I log in.

  3. Leveraging the power of Pinterest. I’ve tried Instagram and Facebook and while I think both can be worthwhile, nothing compares to the image sorting and organizing features of Pinterest. I’m an eclectic, visual artist. Being able to share my prints using different backgrounds is an important feature. Moreover, Pinterest just added a Shop the Look feature that makes their site a fully integrated off-shoot of my website. And best of all? It’s free.

  4. Building visual To do lists in Trello. As an agile project manager who is more visual than most, using Trello was a no brainer. I need to be able to see my lists to better organize my time.

  5. Maximizing small blocks of time. Fifteen minutes before I leave for work, I’m wrapping up emails, submitting print orders or pinning on pinterest. Is it perfect? No. Does it help? Absolutely. I am a big believer in doing whatever you can to move forward. If I only have that small chunk of time, I may as well use it.