Monday, January 5, 2009

Having a Foot in Two Worlds

I have a foot in the world of people who go to work for someone else everyday. Most of us do it because it is a means to an end. The lucky ones do it because they love what they do. I also have a foot in the art jewelry world. The world where I would like to spend all of my time. If I could only have both feet in the art jewelry world where I go to work everyday, for myself, to make my art then I would be one of the lucky ones. But...for a number of reasons I continue to keep my feet in both worlds.

So I went to work today...the start of a full week...the first full week in a while. It actually felt good. At work I am quick, efficient, productive. It felt good. I only seem to have those traits when I am in the my work world. When I am in the art jewelry world I feel unfocused. There are sooo many things I want to try, make, study, read. I seem to move from one thing to the next not making much of a dent in anything. I guess this is part of my challenge to un-clutter things in my life this year. To prioritize what I want to do and try to focus on a few items.

How do others do it?? How do you do it?? Do you have any tricks or tips for how you keep your focus, maintain your energy, squeeze a few more hours out of an already jam-packed day???

Leave a suggestion by midnight EST Friday 1/9/09 and be in a drawing to win a sweet little pair of bronze earrings pictured below. I'll post all the suggesions on Saturday.


Elaine said...

I suggest these books: Art and Fear; Making Room for Making Art. How do I do it? Deadlines. I use entering contests and shows to give myself external deadlines.

wendy said...

I use a calendar. I have a brain injury so I have to keep myself focused. Also, I have set tasks, priorites. I have all day now to be an artist and when you are at home you have to establish a pattern and work pattern just like you do at work. You get up in the morning go to that special place sit down and start work on your art project or decide what it is you are going to work on. When my guild has a play day I get more work done.

Katie said...

Those are good books Elaine - I've read them both and gotten some good insights.

I'm the same way as you, Gail, with a foot in each world. I think once I retire from my job (in 18 months!) and can do the art full time, it will be a bit easier to be less scattered. At least that's my hope! If not, there's always Ritilin. ;-)

What I try to do for myself is to concentrate on one thing at a time. So, if my current interest is resin, I'll just do resin for a while and let the rest wait until I'm done playing with resin. Also, schedule your art time (I'm really bad at this, tho). If you schedule it for the same days/times every week, then you know you have it and you can make the most of it.

Although we can't squeeze any more time from a day, I don't think it would help anyway. We'd just use it up and want more! Best thing is to just have patience (yeah, right). Meditation helps, too. The one good thing about having a 'day job' is that we don't have the pressure of making our art for a living, so we CAN take our time if we need to.

Brenda said...

The ONLY way I can get my tasks/projects accomplished is to write priority lists for the day/week/month and follow them! If I have a deadline for orders, those are at the top of the days list with timelines to get them done in. If life gets in the way (which it sometimes does when you want it least), then I have to re-organize/re-prioritize my lists to still get them done in time. If I have projects that I want to do or learn new techniques, I fit those into my schedule too (they may be at the bottom of my list of priorities but I still get to attack them at some point because I've followed my list!)

I've been doing this for a few years and it really helps me alot! The older I get, the less focused I can be...but with my plan laid out in front of me, it's easy to follow!
Good luck!!!! Brenda

Stacey said...

I too work full time and do my art during my off time. I have learned to use a calendar. Inside on the right page, it is broken down into seven days but on the left side it is blank and says notes. I use this space to either draw a project I want to accomplish that week or some weeks just an inspiration page to go back to. I am very scattered these days which I attribute to being in my early 50's and was complaining that feel like I am ADD. I find I have trouble getting to work in my studio. So a fellow artist suggested that every time you go to your studio, do the same routine initially to get in the work mode. Such as lighting a candle and playing a certain CD. That way you get into a routine and it helps to get in the auto pilot mode and actually
work on a specific project in your studio.

Jen said...

Hello my dear! I write down all my non-negotiable time (job, working out, family time, charity meetings) in a calendar for the month. I go back and figure out when I can do jewelry, my other home business in the nooks and crannies of my life. I write those in my calendar, highlight them and hold them as if they were appointments and I always keep those appointments as if I were meeting somebody or a meeting at work and such.

This seems to work really well for me. Plus, sometimes I get up really early (4am) to squeeze a little extra out of my day. Believe me though, it takes lots of discipline, I hardly ever watch tv, unless it's Spongebob with Aiden :o) said...

I schedule time on my calendar like any other appointment. If I don't do that I will not make the time. I'm not as disciplined as Jen to get up at 4am (crazy girl)
I have learned lately to make time for me and the things that I enjoy doing. I'm a much happier person when I'm painting or creating jewelry. Keep us posted.