Why is there never enough time in the day?
If you’re not making, you’re not making. If you’re not doing something that moves you forward in some way (like reading this blog – good work!), then you’re not moving forward! Every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. What aspect of your creative work are you saying no to currently?
Finding the time to do what you want to is hard, so here’s a quick blast of lots of different things to try or think about. Maybe one of them will be just the thing that helps you find the time you want and need!
Economies of scale
Living busy lives we all have things that we have to repeat regularly. Cooking meals. Paying bills. Laundry. Doing the dishes. Are there ways that you can achieve economies of scale? e.g. instead of cooking 5/6/7 nights a week, why not cook twice as much food half as often? Constantly running out of clean socks/shirts and having to do laundry multiple times a week? Get more, and last longer. Looking for ways of doing more in less time can be a great way to win back space for yourself.
Find magic minutes
We occasionally end up with unexpected downtime for a minute or two. Sitting in a waiting room. Waiting for the phone to ring. Sitting in the car park at school. How might this time be used? Can you take a piece of work with you in your handbag or glove box for these moments? Do you need a wee notebook to scribble in? How about a notes page on your phone to capture flashes of inspiration? Unlock micro moments to take one more step forward every time you can.
Quit screen time
Stop watching TV or mindlessly scrolling and start doing whatever it is you want to do. Or at least use the time – multitask in front of the TV.
Know your next step
Many of our projects stall when we haven’t quite figured out what to do next. Try finishing off a making session by figuring out exactly what you need to do next, and make it a simple fast thing so that starting up again will be easy.
Do you get interrupted by notifications on your phone? Partner, cat, or kids? Think about ways of clearing interruption-free time. Put your phone on flight mode and set a timer for however long you have. Train your familial interruptors to know that when the door is closed they should leave you alone. Do you need to put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door, or have a conversation with them about it, or both?
Get your admin sorted
There’s that one thing that you always leave to the last minute that’s always hard as a result. Figuring it out properly has been too much of a hassle so you just let it bounce along and deal to it when things go wrong. You know the one. And you also know that if you just sat down and sorted it out then life would be much easier. Do that. And then use the time you’ve freed up as a result.
Turn your work into a team effort
Consider how you might be able to do (some or all of) your work collaboratively with the kids, your partner, or friends. If there are simple or repetitive elements of your creative process then make it a group thing and have a bit of fun with it. Get some good photos of you all having fun and that can become part of the story that makes your listings great. Trying to get some peace and quiet? Pull some of your scraps or spare pieces to one side and get the kids going on their own project.
Quit that committee that you didn’t want to be on anyway
We all get signed up to things that we didn’t really want to do, and we do a shoddy job of it and grumble about the hassle. Quit!
Whatever you decide, take the opportunity to prioritise yourself and the things that you want to prioritise. You’ll feel much better for it! We’d love to hear your ideas or successful time hacks in the comments below!