Time Management for Artists

Artists have a lot going on, how do you divide your time between your artistic projects, and life in general?

40 min. video

This video explains strategies you can take to create structures in your schedule to make time for your art in a way that is manageable.

Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.

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Video Walkthrough

  • Time management will also be a work in progress, there is no point in life where you will have it “figured out.”
  • You will have moments where you learn about time management the hard way, but sometimes that’s necessary to really level up your skills.
  • People often think that if you can’t work 2-3 hours at a time, that it’s not worth doing, but that’s not true!
  • You can do small bits of work, 15 min. here, 20 min. there, and those little bits do add up over time!
  • Tell yourself that any time you make time to make art, that it is a win, regardless of the results.
  • Randy Pausch, made famous from his “Last lecture,” talks in his time management lecture about “doing the ugliest thing first.”
  • If you work at home, simulating a commute is a good way to wake yourself up.
  • Even if you don’t have to go to a coffee shop, a grocery store, a brisk walk down the street or a quick drive can be effective when you work at home.
  • Reward yourself after hitting a goal, after finishing a project.
  • Establish consistent work routines, often times those actions can be positive triggers to get you in the mood to be productive.
  • Note that there is a big difference between small tasks and deep work.
  • Small tasks are usually social media posting, replying to comments on various sites, emails, website updates.
  • Deep work is preparing a class lecture and slideshow, writing an email newsletter, shooting a tutorial with 2 cameras and sound.

Trent’s Tips

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I personally don’t like goals that require me to do an unbroken chain of work. (i.e. “draw every day”)

I like goals focused on total output, because it is more flexible with day to day disruptions.

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Perhaps instead your goal could be ‘make 10 drawings in a month.’ That way it isn’t the end of the world if you miss a day.

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