The most important part of your visual art business, creating, can easily fall off your to do list when you’re faced with other pressing tasks in your business and life. Yet, making art regularly is the lifeblood of your business. While I’m not a visual artist, I am trying to set aside consistent time for writing. Maybe you can try these nine ways I use to protect my daily writing time.
1. Put it first
While it seems counter-intuitive, try creating before doing anything else in the day. I have a set time goal for myself and get busy as soon as I’m ready to work. You can do the same devoting your time to your creative work. The accomplishment of making progress on your art will boost your confidence for the rest of the day.
2. Schedule it as an appointment
Block out the time on your calendar. Treat the time as the same as any important commitment.
3. Say no to myself.
If I am so busy that I can’t find twenty minutes at the start of each day to write, I know there is too much on my plate and something has to give. This is a life issue, not a creativity issue. If you’re have the same struggle, stop taking on too much and get smarter about delegating what is already on your plate.
4. Say no to other people
While in the studio, close the door, turn off your phone, and stay away from email. What happens when you need to do something during the time you’ve pre-blocked for your creative work? Don’t cancel it, but reschedule it for later in the day.
5. Change the environment. Make your work space a place that you want to retreat to. This can be done with lighting, music, or a great cup of coffee. Take some time to figure out what is going to motivate you to get into that space.
6. Control your environment
Stay off your computer and put your phone on forward. I turn my phone ringer down and only answer if it is school calling. You can do the same. If you must be available to a sitter, school, or family member..have a hard and fast rule that you only answer for that one specific number.
7. Record other ideas to maintain focus.
Keep a notebook handy to write down unrelated thoughts and to-dos that pop into your head. This puts your mind at east knowing you won’t forget that thought later.
8. Stick with it
Try the Pomodoro Technique which keeps you focused or a 25 minute block of time. Set a timer and force yourself to sit through periods of creative block, discomfort, or even boredom.
9. Match the task to the time
I am at my best first thing in the morning. I have a lot of mental energy at this time. This is when I try to schedule my writing time. Later in the day, my mind is more easily distracted and my mental energy fades. More mundane business and personal tasks are taken care of in the middle of the day. Figure out when you are most creative and structure your studio time around this peak.
Do you have a trick or technique that has helped you to stay in the studio on a regular basis? I’d love to hear your ideas below.