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How to Manage Your Time as a Budding Artist

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Having a hobby, especially one in the arts, is ultimately a rewarding experience. However, it can sometimes get in the way of other responsibilities, including your duties to your home and your work.

Maybe in the beginning, your hobby just took up a couple hours each week. No harm, no foul. As you discover that you absolutely love painting how do you devote more time to it without it interfering with your family and work life?

Essentially, it all boils down to time management. In order to find time, you have to make time. This means cutting off unessential activity and unnecessary distractions from your life, freeing yourself to do some creative work. But what does it mean exactly? What are the concrete steps you can take to manage your time, freeing you to hone your art? You can try these steps below:

  1. Inform your friends and family about your new endeavor.

    Let them know what you plan to spend your time doing! This way, they can manage their expectations as to your availability 🙂

  2. Make a list of things that waste your time, then actively try to do them less often.

    We kinda have a sense of the things we waste our time on, but putting them on a list make them appear more real and therefore have to be dealt with head on. What are some time-wasting habits that don’t really contribute to your life? Waking up late? Video games? TV? Search within, confront yourself, and get rid of undesirable behavior that you could replace with artistic endeavors.

  3. Reduce time on screen, especially social media.

    In the era of social media almost everyone is an addict to consuming online content. It’s free and entertaining, but often has little or no value. If you’re one of those who constantly finds themselves scrolling through endless Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, consider putting the phone down and utilizing your time for art.

  4. Set achievable, time-bound goals.

    In the beginning of your career as an artist, quantity has a higher priority over quality. You need to be proficient very early on to master your skills and find your voice. To do this, set goals that will discourage fussing and spending too much time on one piece. How many paintings should you finish in a week? Or a month? Put a number on it and try to reach that number.

  5. Set specific time aside.

    Making art is important, so put it in your schedule! Think of it like a job – a fun job though! If you tell yourself “Oh I’ll paint on the weekend” or “I’ll paint a couple of hours every week”, you rarely will. (I’ve found that in my own experience anyways.) Set aside specific time – Sundays 1-4pm, I paint! Then stick to it!

Easy, right? 🙂