I was asked this week, in my Ask Me Anything Monday Q&A session on Instagram, how I manage to juggle all the elements of being a professional artist, balancing creative time, running the business and not losing all my marbles!
My answer is BALANCE, not juggle!
I used to "firefight" my way through life, focusing on the one current burning issue after the next and always feeling like I was out of control trying to catch up.
I now do much more planning, catching and saving ideas from my notebooks and my planning bullet journal, sifting into categories and breaking down into lists and small achievable steps and tasks on Trello, a planning app. Here I can attach images, documents, websites, set due dates for tasks so they pop up on my phone and so on.
Now...that takes care of planning. But in order to actually feel like I am making progress rather than swimming in "To Do" lists, I focus on maintaining balance.
I want to make balanced progress in three areas, my creative Studio time, my own mindset/wellbeing (I work better and easier when I am keeping myself healthy, energised and rested) and my art business time (all the admin that is part and parcel of any business).
Now, each week, I list THREE TASKS for EACH of these three areas, that are my priorities for the week. Yes, a little of A, a little B and a touch of C.
By doing this, and keeping the tasks simple, small and specific (so not "Update Website", but maybe something like "Add 3 new paintings to website") I keep on course, making small steps of progress without neglecting my health, my art or my admin!
Of course this technique can be used in any area of life. Just pick three key areas, pick three simple tasks for each area each week. And ....LET GO! Trust. Sometimes life happens and we have to go with the flow, let go of what we need to and move it to next weeks list if needs be. And yet, it is amazing how getting one thing done from the list helps us to gain the enthusiasm and energy to do another.
It also sometimes helps people have an accountability buddy to share your list with and check in each week to see how you got on and how the week went. Friends are great for this, even if they have no idea what your work or project is about. Are you motivated by an accountability buddy? Or not so much? We all work in different ways, but in the circus of life i find balance is more effective than juggling!