Here we are three-quarters through August, what the hell happened to my summer???
June: Worked straight through, except for a lovely 4-day vacation in Saratoga Springs, totally unplugged — I recommend that!
July: Had one day off where I did no work at all: 4th of July. (It WAS an awesome day at my friend Anne Marie's though... high on a hill watching the fireworks over Manhattan and half of New Jersey!)
August: Finished two big deadlines so had more time, but got really sick and couldn't enjoy it.
SUPER big push from now through the end of the month to launch a website or two, open registration for a conference, and roll out fall programs and publicity for an arts district. Also making artwork for my friend's latest album.
Oh yeah, I have a museum trunk show this fall with a new product line designed specifically with their Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition in mind. And yes, right now it exists ONLY in my mind!
I am a nervous wreck!!! It has squeezed any remaining laid-back So Cal chill-genes right out of me! I have become so EAST COAST! Help me!!!
Last night I dreamed I was in a white-water rapids race... with Teddy Roosevelt, who was on his august steed (of course named August). Teddy was screaming "We've got to push through! We've got to push through!" I love dreams!
Note to self: My modest time management skills have been no match for the summer that time forgot!!!
What has really helped me get through is that I started keeping track of my time- all my time, not just my work time- from the moment I rolled out of bed until lights out at night. I set up a spreadsheet in 15 minute increments for the week and kept it open on my laptop. I didn't look at it evey 15 minutes, but got in the habit of recording what I had been doing every time I shifted to another activity. After doing this for a few weeks I started seeing some places where I could take control of my schedule and reign in projects and activities that were taking over my life. I also realized that there are certain hours of the day where I am most productive- for me it's late morning through early afternoon, for someone else it might be early morning or late at night. I realized I needed to set aside one day, at least, where I used that productive time to focus on my art business and push some of my client work into other slots.
Since I am not a morning person, and because it takes me a long time to be awake enough to be productive, I realized that the morning is an excellent time for me to be in "intake" mode, instead of trying to do work that requires creativity or attention to detail. So I use the morning to read the blogs I follow, see what's happening on Twitter, LinkedIn groups I belong to, check out my friends' Pinterest boards and get caught up with the news. It's an inspiring way to ease into the day.
Yesterday I saw a terrific post on a blog that I follow, titled "Control Your Time and Become A More Successful Artist." The article is loaded with all kinds of tips and tools (including a link to a downloadable spreadsheet to help you plan your ideal week).
September looks like it will be just as crazy as the summer has been, but I feel like I have more of a handle on my time, particularly how to balance rest and fun with the workload.