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Where do you find the time?

Valentine from 1930s-40s

Bickel Family Greeting Card Collection, 1930s-1940s

Yesterday I was running around in circles, literally!!  I felt as if I were a child with a short attention span, except I am 42 and I should know better!

I was juggling various projects while trying to clean my house.  I would run upstairs, gathering something to put away,  get sidetracked in my studio, and come downstairs with the same object in my hand!

Finally, I stopped myself and took a look at my list.  Good ol’ list!

This was the list I mentioned in my post, 6 Invaluable Studio Tools.  A post-it with my main objectives for that day written upon it.  (A focal point to keep my head on straight!)

From there I divided up the tasks into the amount of time I had, and the afternoon went a lot more smoothly.  Did I get everything done?  No.  But what needed to did!

People have said to me, “You have 3 kids, run the household, and have your own business- where do you find the time?”  I wish I could say that a certain amount of time is given out after every child is born- but that just isn’t so. (Wouldn’t that be nice!) It’s not that I find the time, it’s that I make the time.


Post It Note Collection

My collection of handy Post-it notes

I have found a few tools to help.  Disclosure: These aren’t fool-proof, but I’m going to present them to you and hope that you don’t think I’m a hypocrite for not always practicing what I preach!

First I’d like to tell you about the Importance of Sunday!  Sunday is the day that I get out all the tools that I will mention here (except maybe the last one) and use them!  It actually could be any day of the week but I find that Sundays work best for my schedule.

Calendars and Planners

What I do on Sunday afternoons!

1. Calendars and Planners

We have a family calendar prominently displayed in our kitchen.  All events, activities, meetings, etc. get written down on it.  (Usually!)

Every Sunday I take down the calendar and get out my weekly planner (one that shows the whole week in 2 pages), then draw a line down the center of each day.  On one side goes the to-dos and events based on the calendar and on the other goes the basic tasks needed to complete them.  (For example, when we are having company my task is to clean.  Sometimes a school event requires baking cookies.  Having a babysitter requires calling the babysitter to confirm earlier in the week, etc., etc.)

Then I take my planner beyond the scope of my calendar and find suitable times to get to the grocery store, work-out, and days I need to start up the crock-pot earlier, etc.  Sometimes I even plan out my meals for the week, but I’m not always that organized!

Whew!  Exhausting, right?  But I’m just getting started.  Now to plan out my art business for the week…

Goals and Intentions Binder

Goals created at the beginning of the year thanks, in part, to this planner

2. 2014 Goals and Intensions

I take out my Goals And Intentions binder that I talked about here.  In it contains my main goals that were created at the beginning of the year.  Another Disclosure: I’m far from being on track.  But the difference this year then last is that I’m still aware of them because I have a visual reminder.

Thankfully, there are a few of my goals that have actually stayed on track.  These get written into my other important organizer…

3. Weekly Goal Setter

This had been a godsend to me ever since I was introduced to it by my former life coach, Kelly Dahl.  She helped me to realize my humungous goal of setting up an art business, and this is one of the first tools she gave me to achieve it.

The premise of this tool is to evaluate what was accomplished the week before, what needs to get done in the coming week, and to break down those goals  into manageable chunks.

From here I may go back into my Weekly Planner and set aside the times that I need to achieve these goals.  I like to set aside a day or 2 each week just to create in my studio without other obligations.  It doesn’t always work out but I try!

If you sign up for my Newsletter, you will receive a simple Weekly Goal Setter that I created based on the one I use.  Mine has been modified many times to meet my own needs and includes a section to plan out my blog, social media, and book-keeping.  But it started off very similar to the one I’m giving to my lucky subscribers!:)

Handy Dandy Timer4. Timer

I just had to include this time-saver.  It isn’t something I necessarily use when I plan my week, but frequently throughout the week.  It’s actually underutilized and needs to be kept in my tool belt more often!

The timer is my friend.  I use it when I find myself procrastinating and need that extra 15 minutes to piddle around.  It helps me to multi-task by allocating a certain amount of time to each project.  It also holds my kids at bay when I need an extra 10 minutes to finish something before I am at their beck and call!

I recently had a conversation with my friend, Teresa, about how I always seem to be scrambling to get myself and my family out the door in time for appointments and events.  Her advice was to tack on an extra 15 minutes to the amount of time I’ve delegated.  So far so good.  Thanks Mr. Timer!

How about you?  What’s in your Time-Saving Toolbelt?  Do you have some tips or advice to share?  We could all use a little help to find more time and stop running around in circles!

Have a Wonderful and Efficient Week!

P.S.  As I mentioned above, I have just released my first newsletter with an exclusive Weekly Goal Setter form, relevations about my art and business, as well as upcoming shows and events.  I’d love for you to sign up and become one of my Art At Dawn subscribers.  I promise you a ray of sunshine in your inbox each month or your money back  or feel free to unsubscribe!




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