I have made a few changes that have significantly improved my productivity as an artist. I am painting more often and because I put in the time I am refining my skills as well. Here are a few of the things I have done.
I have learnt that if it is not in my calendar it does not get done. Block off time for your creative process. Put it in your calendar and make it part of your weekly (or even daily) routine.
Have a beginning…and most importantly an end
I am most productive with a deadline. It is not enough to schedule a start time. I find that a end time – I set a timer to remind me to ‘down tools’ – is just as important. Decide on a suitable length of time taking into account your other commitments, your concentration levels and your needs. I find that 2 and a half hours work best for me. I work for an hour, take a break and then dive in for another hour and a half.
Have a dedicated workspace
Most of us do not have the luxury of an entire room for a studio. Set up a work area instead. Have all the necessary tools laid out so that you can resume your creative work quickly and with as little effort as possible.
Share your work
This keeps me motivated and excited. I share what I have done with my friends, my family and on social media. Sharing works best when there is no ulterior motive. You share simply because you are passionate about your work and you want to share your passion with others.
Have a accountability buddy
If all of the above are not enough to keep you motivated, this last one should do the trick. Find an accountability buddy. Choose carefully. It needs to be someone who matters to you, who is genuinely interested and cares about you and your work and lastly, will be willing to hold you to account in a firm but gentle way. Commit to sending the person your work in progress every month by a set date to keep you on track.
For a long time my creative self got lost in all the other things I thought I needed to be doing. Now that I have committed to spending more time painting I have learnt that the time I spend creating rejuvenates me in ways that nothing else ever has. Setting up a system and an environment that keeps me on track has led to a happier and much more fulfilled life. This has been the greatest incentive to stick to this routine. I hope it does the same for you.