Over the past month I have thought about how to find more time to create art. I’ve also thought about what sort of goals I would like to achieve and what I need to do in order to meet these goals. There are a lot of self help media dealing with time management and goal creating, some of which I have read and listened to over the years. Spontaneity is a big aspect of my personality — while it makes me flexible, I have a tendency to procrastinate. By learning time management skills, I have hoped to overcome some of my organizational issues. What I have found is that I end up spending a lot of time reading about organizational strategies instead of cultivating behaviors that create order in my life. My three main goals compliment each other and I think that working on one will help me to accomplish the others. These goals are: create more order in my home, spend more time exercising and being outside, and working on my art.
I have found that when my environment is neat, I am actually calmer and I become more motivated to work on my other goals. This is a sign that I am happier with my life. Being a neater person has been a goal that I have aspired to be since 2005. It was then that I realized that my habits could have serious consequences. I have found that selecting one small change to improve my situation until it becomes a part of my lifestyle has worked for me. I say “lifestyle” because I have broken good, thirty day old habits many times over. The biggest hurdle for my neatness goal is the fact that I hate to clean, even though I usually feel satisfied afterwards. I have always thought that in order to have an immaculate home, my husband and I would need to spend many hours every week doing this. After doing some research, I have discovered that there are many people who are very neat, but only spend about thirty minutes a day on this task. This requires efficiency. The best place for tips are actually professional cleaning service websites. One book that has really helped me over the past several years is Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder. I began revisiting some of the main themes of this book to help me formulate the plan that I worked on this month. I love to use lists to keep myself organized, but they tend to pile up, get lost, and get too long. While I was at Staples, I discovered dry erase wall decals. These are great because you can stick them on any wall (which takes about two seconds), they are difficult to lose, and they are fun to write on. I have two in my studio, one for chores and one for my art goals. My other change is making the effort to pick a cleaning/organizing task every day for twenty minutes. I have been accomplishing this by not spending thirty (or more) minutes in bed after my alarm goes off. I have already slept for eight hours by the time my alarm goes off, so laying in bed is a big waste of time. These past two weeks, I have been able to get up and perform chores before going to work, however, I have found that I feel too tired to do creative work when I get home in the evening. I have thought about switching the order of my routine, but I know that I am more motivated to clean early in the morning.
So far, these changes have improved my life. I now have more time to work on my hobbies. But even with this extra time, I actually need to tell myself that it is okay to create art. I often worry that other chores are more important, but really, I could spend all day coming up with chores to do, and I would end up never having fun, and in turn become disappointed with my life. This is why I created a specific block of time for chores and for art. Already, I am amazed at what I have accomplished. It is satisfying and I hope that I can continue with these changes so that they are a part of my lifestyle.