Friday, June 4, 2010

Time Management Tips for the Artists of ARTFIRE

Time Management Tips
From the Artists of ARTFIRE
Compiled by: Jennifer Kos of MetalPetalz

      As we discussed some of the issues of being an artist 
stuck in the “real world” of our jobs and careers – it 
seemed that following our bliss, successfully, included 
the challenge of time management. 
 I asked fellow “I Followed My Bliss…Now What?”
 guild members and artists for tricks 
and tips in staying focused on the many plates 
spinning above them…

 Here, in their own words, are techniques that keep
 them creative and productive…and sane… well sort of :)

(Each artist’s shop is listed below their name –
 please visit them to see their amazing work.)

 *Time management is an issue I constantly struggle with, 
particularly working from home.The most effective trick 
for me is to set a timer (I do this on my phone) 
when I start a particular task (new creative piece, 
project, gardening, online time, you name it!). 
When the timer goes off, that's it, time over. 

*For me, that's usually because when I work on my jewelry 
or spa stuff, I lose track of time!! I usually do this in the
 evening after work and chores, so the result is usually 
is that I stay up way too late :-). My solution is to
 only take out enough for a project that CAN be completed
 in the time that I have. For example, I might take out just
 gemstones and wire to complete wrapping two pairs of 
earrings, or two pendants, because I know that I only 
have time to do that much. Once I finish making 
those, even though I'm tempted to continue playing :-), 
I know it's bedtime, so I stop.
Handmade Artisan Jewelry and Luxurious Spa Products by

*Actually, it helps that I do a lot of my crafting at work, since I
 have a timetable there, rounds every 2 hours. It helps keep 
me on track.

Some of my projects can take a long time.  Blankets usually
 the longest so I always have one that I'm working on.  
It sits in a cloth bag with one extra scene of yarn (in case
 I use up the one I'm on).  The bag hangs on the door handle 
to the garage.  Whenever I have an appointment I get there
 about 30 minutes early when I can and work on the blanket 
for about 20 minutes then head into the appointment.  I do
 the same thing during the school year when picking up the 
kids.  Some days its the only time I'm able to find to get anything

I take a note on starting time and ending time. i usually work 
nonstop on a piece so it's pretty easy to figure out how long
 have i been crafting. i have a sketch book where i written down 
notes about my designs including time frame. So next time
 i make something similar, i don't have to take a note on time


I have a set time to do everything I need to do with Artfire 
and making jewelry.In the morning, I post on the guilds 
that I am part of. Check out chatterbox,answer emails etc. 
Then I carry on with my day. It isn't until the evening that
I work on my jewelry. If I was to go into my studio during the
day, I would bethinking about what I had to do around the 
house, in the garden, etc. So, with no distractions in the 
evening, I work on my jewelry.
Jewelry By Sherry

These are some other tips and tricks that will help to keep 
focused on task completion (see for more 
healthy strategies for daily living)  :

§  Plan your day. Planning your day can help you accomplish
 more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, 
putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule
 of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute 

§  Prioritize your tasks. Feeding the kids, paying the bills…
 things that HAVE to be done… whether there is a skein of 
yarn or bag of beads is calling you are not, have to be at the 
top of the priority list. Consider your art/craft your REWARD
 for getting all of the necessities done and they will get done
 much quicker J (the save the best for last rule)

§  Say no to nonessential tasks – learning to say no – can be
 so very hard… but is necessary for a truly productive day.

§  Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what 
you can pass on to someone else.  ( You shouldn’t be the only
 one in your home with chores! )

§  Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work
 right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors
 usually result in time spent making corrections, 
which takes more time overall.

§  Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. 
Work on them a few minutes at a time until you 
get them all done.

§  Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 
minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can
 finish it.

§  Limit distractions. Block out time on your calendar for
 big projects.During that time, close your door and turn off 
your phone, pager and e-mail.

We all seem to have the tendency to get sucked into our
 creative universe… we use it to hide from the real world, 
find pleasure, follow our hobbies, connect with friends… 
the reasons why we focus on our art/craft are as diverse 
as we are .  Making the most of our time is paramount to
 keeping our love for our art a healthy  (and lucrative!)  
use of our time .

 Please feel free to share this article, blog, guild and
 particularly, the shops of the artists who took their
 time to share their tips…

Thank you fellow ArtFire Artists!
Jenn Kos
Metal Petalz


  1. That's a great collection of Time Management tips!! Thank you so much for consolidating and posting all of this!!

  2. These tips are wonderful in that they attempt, as we all so often do, to put nonlinear, dynamic and creative activities into a linear model. It's tough to have step 1, 2, 3, when creativity takes you in uknown directions filled with surprise.

    I would add to the list a continuing question in terms of priorities: Am I procrastinating or am I incubating?

    Sometimes twittering for hours in your bathrobe is procrastinating. But sometimes it's activity that helps you incubate (or gestate) something new that's coming.

    I believe we have to respect that possibility to keep ourselves open to new dimensions in our work and our lives.

  3. Well said! Thank you for adding to the conversation!


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