Whether you are a part-time or a full-time artist, your schedule can be a little erratic. Your work process can include – three hours of wrestling your inner demon, thirty minutes of priming the canvas, fifteen minutes of mindlessly scribbling an outline, and five hours of emotional breakdown. But no, do not let this beat you and steal your chance of making the next Mona Lisa, or The Starry Night.
Artists have a reputation of being bad managers. But that is an ancient criticism. The new breed of artists is more powerful now. There are tools available, whether to distract you or let you focus on staying creative and stay creating.
Well, we feel you, it took us one year to finally get this site up and fill it with content. And this is why we present you with five slightly effective way of time management for artists.
5. Try the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is claimed by others as a helpful approach to working on your tasks. Basically, what you do is slice your workload into tiny tasks. And then set your timer for 25 minutes. This the time window where you work on your artwork or your story, or any creative material you want to do. After 25 minutes, you can take a five-minute break. And then after two cycles, you can reward yourself with a 15-minute break. You can use this time to go to the restroom, refill your coffee, or just pet your dog. When you look at your work as a whole, it should look like a tomato, hence the name Pomodoro (It was “discovered” by an Italian).
There is an illustrated book about it called Pomodoro Technique Illustrated: The Easy Way to Do More in Less Time.
If you think it is too much of a hassle to set your timer every now and then, you can download Pomodoro timers like this one:
You might resist this technique at first but once you get the hang out of it, it becomes more effective.
4. Listen to Productivity Podcasts
There is something inspiring about productivity podcasts. They are sort of like a cheering squad of people rooting for you to get your work done. It is a great source of actionable information that you can absorb almost effortlessly. We like listening to podcasts and actually follow the information that these experts share. If their tips, hacks, etc do not work for us, then we try another.
Here are some of our favorite podcasts to get you started:
You can let us know in the comments if we missed an important productivity/art-related podcasts. We can add them to our list!
3. Find the perfect work playlist
Most, and by most we mean two, data provider now offer Youtube for free. Spotify Premium is also cheaper than ever. These are your go-to apps when creating a work playlist. You don’t even have to make one. You can subscribe to other people’s playlists.
Of course, we are not going to drop this tip without backing it up with science. You can check out this research from the University of Miami if you want to know more about how music affects brain activity, as well as people’s productivity.
Take note that different types of music affect the brain differently. If you are working, the aforementioned study says you might want to cut back on your popular music consumption.
This is a personal favorite playlist, I insist everyone should listen:
2. Update your calendar
Your phone is smart, use it for things aside from social media. Google Calendar offers a great way to organize your schedule by date, and by agenda.
Based on our experience with Google Calendar, the desktop version is your lifeline. Make it your homepage, so when you open your browser you are greeted by your daily schedule. And fear not, it is not Mount Everest. You can easily breeze through the events and reminders if you focus.
The recent Google update has incorporated Google Keep and Google Task with the calendar, and mail. So there is a little bar on the side of your screen telling you about your tasks. You can tick each off when it is done.
I like scheduling my day first thing in the morning. I open my inbox in all platforms and then transfer the dates I need to note on Google Calendar, as well as the briefs for each job on Google Task. I also have different calendars, for school works, orgs, and for the boyfriend’s commission works. I update them religiously and pray that we get it done on time.
1. Block all distractions
We can’t tell you how to block distractions really when the four previous tips we gave can also qualify as distractions. But essentially, stay away from the toxicity of social media.
Think as if the only thing that exists is your work, and you.
Listen to this Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert about her approach to creative work.
Now, go back to work.