How to Waste Time
by Jeffrey P. Fisher
Does it seem as if there's never enough time to chase your artistic dreams?
You probably feel that if you only had more time, you'd get so much more finished. The whole concept of "more time" is misleading. We all get the same time allotment each day: 24 hours. Spending those hours productively is what separates those who accomplish more from those who only wish they could.
When you complain about not having enough time, you probably mean there's not enough creative time available. That's the paradox. You need time to create your best art, but you don't have enough time to do it. Creativity and time management don't mix. Therefore, the real secret is managing everything else that you do. Then, you'll free up time to focus on your art where cutting time corners simply doesn't work.
Doing too much, bad or no planning, ambiguous goals, constantly putting out fires, being a perfectionist, procrastinating, forgetting to say no, being disorganized, and having a serious lack of knowledge about your art tools and resources are the primary ways we all waste time.
You can only do so much. Don't cram your schedule too tightly. A loaded calendar is destructive to creative pursuits. Rather, balance between your commitments and some open, flexible time to nurture your creativity in ways that are fruitful.
Artists throughout history have had to do their best work with the limited resources they have on hand. And one of those resources is time. Instead of going for the perfect piece, allot some time to your art and do your best work within those constraints.
Procrastination is both fear and laziness. Many people put off tasks for fear they won't turn out as expected. News flash: it rarely turn out exactly as expected. To some that's a journey worth taking; to others it's a nightmare to avoid. Identify your fear and then work to overcome it. Other procrastinators are just plain lazy. They'd rather be doing something else (or nothing at all). Overcoming this phase frees up time for other more fun undertakings.
Give yourself permission to mess up now and again and don't feel guilty about it. So, you took half a day off and neglected other business and personal chores. To use time wisely, you do not need to fill every waking moment with productive activities. When you're particularly inspired, let your creativity breathe and music flow. When the muse wanes, grab the to-do list and check off a few items.
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