Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finding Time

People often ask me how I find the time to create as much as I do.
This turns out to be a long post, but it's something I feel passionately about.
I think the key ingredients to finding time to create are these:
1. You have to have the will to create, and therefore make it a priority. It's easy to think that you'll have time later and then you never get to it - remember Stephen Covey's story of the Big Rocks of life - creative time for me is a big rock! If I don't make the time to be creative most days, I'm not so nice to be around. 
2. Checking blogs, Pinterest, etc can give you a creative jump start, but the computer can easily become a timewaster :  love this reminder from Dirty Footprints Studio  ...but don't leave this blogpost just yet ;-)
3. You need to discover micro-movements. Got this idea from the wonderful SARK. She advocates breaking things down into tiny goals that only last up to 5 minutes....You might think that you would like to create a book, but you haven't enough time in your day to create a whole book! Break the task into much smaller bites...
How this works for me is utilising every spare minute.
Step 1 : just choose which kind of book you want to make (in front of the TV tonight, scan your mag's or books - or have a night off TV and give yourself permission to explore your links on the computer - set a timer!)
Step 2 : Next night, gather together the materials you have
Step 3 : List what you know you need to start
Step 4 : Quick run to the shops if needed - only get what you NEED
Step 5 : Glue some paper down then unload the dishwasher
Step 6 : Stamp some images then do the vacuuming
Step 7 : cut them out and give the kids a snack
Step 8 : add a layer of paint and hang out the washing
Step 9 : check email and a couple of blogs while you have a coffee...realise you have been on the computer for an hour! Think that perhaps you should have this on your computer desktop....(again - don't leave me yet!)
Step 10 : add a layer of spray before you get the washing in
Step 11 : add another layer before you peel the potatoes
Step 12 : check the effect so far and add another layer when you get home from dropping off the kids
Step 13 : think of another idea for a cool project....
email yourself with your ideas and go back to focussing on the original project!
Step 14 : decide you need some ribbon - pull it out before you walk the dog
Step 15 : dye your ribbon and as it starts to dry, thread your machine. Go and prepare dinner
Step 16 : sew the ribbon on and feel happy about how much progress you've made on a project that you only started the week before
I'm sure you get the idea! - and these steps happen over days....And it works just as well for sewing : gather your fabrics, thread your machine, just sew one seam....
The effect of the micro-movements idea is 2-fold. Firstly, 5 minutes here and there can quickly build to 1/2-1 hour in a day, which is 7 hours in a week....Secondly, if I feel in a bit of a creative slump, I can trick myself by saying "I'll only do this for 5 minutes" - often after that 5 minutes, I'm sucked in :-) Once you light the flame, it's going. 
Love what Anne Lamott has to say in this article. My favourite quote : "Can’t they give up the gym once a week and buy two hours’ worth of fresh, delectable moments? (Here they glance at my butt)"
Well done if you made it throught this post!
Hoping you can utilise micro-movements and find some of your own delectable moments this week :-)
PS if you want even more ideas, check out Lesley Riley's 23 Ways to FIT ART into your day - available free from her website or check this book out from your library.


  1. This is a fantastic reminder to make the most of time,and such good advice! Thanks for taking (making?!)the time to write it! And now I'm off to play with paint! PS love the look of your garden journal

  2. What you say is so true - each 5 minutes adds up! Thank you for sharing some great ideas in finding time :)

  3. awesome tutorial, I stayed to the end! thank you! I do a lot of 'cruise by' art on the way to doing soemthing else about the house, I've no idea what would happen if I actually got to sit down for any length of time! Mx

  4. Lynette, a practical question if you don't mind. When you're sticking things in journals like the Reeves ones you used for your neice's gift, what type of glue do you use? Cheers, Lisa

  5. wonderful post! It often baffles me how people will tell me how busy they are that they can't possibly find time to be creative or read a book and then tell me ten minutes later about all the reality programmes or other crap they've seen on television. They have no time to make something but apparently all the time in the world to follow all these shows that I barely know the name of. It's like television time is not time at all in most people's heads. Very strange...

    The little snippets of time aren't really my thing. I like to work for at least an hour at a time, but...I do tend to journal or prep a page while something's cooking in the oven.

  6. Lisa - emailed you as well but in case anyone else is interested :: I just use glue stick for things that are stuck on non-prepped pages, especially if I will be stitching over them. Mainly though I like Gel Medium - when I ran out of the Goldens brand (that everyone recommends) I just got Reeves Gloss Gel Medium from Warehouse Stationery and it seems to work just as well :-)


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