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Dec 24, 2018
I've always, well except for the teen years, been an early bird. Even in college I would open the gym at 5:00am for patrons to start their morning workout. I thought that was a youth thing, but it turns out I just love the mornings. Well, I will also say, I love the solitude of the mornings. It is my time to prepare for the day.
I admit, it took me about 2 weeks to acclimate to move my wake up time from 6am to 4:30am, but now that the dogs and cats are used to it, I really have no choice to continue, which is a good thing. :)
Why did I do it? I found that I wasn't having enough time to paint because of my family commitments and business networking commitments and Huntsville Art League President commitments - everyone was getting my time but me and I was getting pissed about it cause there was no time left for me. So, started thinking about my time management and came up with an "Artist Time Management Worksheet" (I have a link at the bottom of this article for you to get this worksheet). I sat down and figured out my pain points, what was working and what I wanted. Here are a couple examples of what I came up with:
What was working:
What wasn't working:
What was missing?
So obviously I needed to make some changes, my attitude was going south.
So what did I tackle first? I tackled What wasn't working with a focus on what was missing.
The kids morning routine: I literally sat down and typed out the kids morning routines with check boxes. They had 15 things they needed to get done every morning, I would score the results and give them a grade each morning. The percentage at the end of the month is the percentage of $25 they would receive.
I had them review the tasks, we updated it to resolve any questions they may have and then I printed and laminated it. They both placed them on their doors.
I know that sounds a bit insane, but what is actually insane is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. And I'm telling you it worked! They had written instructions and written expectations that were measurable and quantifiable. It worked the 1st day and on. All I would have to say in the morning is, "be sure to review and complete your checklist". OMG!, I wish I would've thought of this 6 years ago!!! I did something similar for the "I'm Bored" scenario; I put together a list of activities for each, including cleaning counter top, cleaning windows....surprisingly they actually like cleaning windows - who knew!
This even lead to a Saturday Morning Chore list! After all, I work too (although I have to say, being a mom and a President at the Huntsville Art League are non-paying positions which means I get easily taken advantage of and these responsibilities are easily ignored by everyone but me - just saying). So the kids got a check list, hubby and I got ours too. No more yelling and there was more of a division of responsibilities = TIME IN MY DAY!!!
Not enough time for creative time and thinking. The first thing I did was write down my current daily schedule and started noticing a couple of things; 1) I'd let the computer suck my time away 2) after 8:30pm I did nothing but sit on the couch, have a glass of wine and munch on food - in other-words, I wasted time. But I'm not a night painter, for some reason I just can't do it... Which lead to the solution, go to bed early - why sit around and gain calories. Solution, get up early.
It took me a couple of weeks to really get used to it, but I can tell you, I'd go to bed looking forward to waking up! I'd dream about what I'd paint! I had to adjust a couple of things to not disturb my hubby and the kids: I used my watch as my alarm on vibrate and I'd set the coffee pot to go off at 4:20. For the first week, my hubby kept asking why am I getting up so early - it seemed odd to him that I'd get up to paint - but he did notice a significant difference in my attitude, so he let it be.
So why paint at 4:30am? It is time that I've carved out in my life for me, for my sanity and be a better person for everyone else who needs my time. If you'd like to find more time in your day, I suggest downloading my free Artist Time Management Worksheet to start evaluating what is working, what is not working and what is missing, see down below and additional article 😀 👇
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