The topic of the Jewelry Artisans Community (JAC) for the month of November is Time Management and Motivation.
Well, I happen to be very much on topic this month as the posts were due on November 24 and here it is November 29 and I am just getting started. What got in my way this month? Preparing for a major vacation did it; we left for Thailand on November 25 and there were a million things to do and no time left over for blogging.
Now that I've been in Thailand for 24 hours and am getting settled into our accommodations, a small block of time presented itself this afternoon because it is currently too hot to be outside.
The problem with time is that there is never enough of it. In June of 2014, I retired and looking back I honestly don't know how I had time to have a job. Now that I'm no longer working, the time has been filled with activities that I look forward to doing, but time is still in short supply. What I've found helps me most in meeting deadlines such as this blog post is to keep a calendar and try to prioritize based on when something needs to be finished. This usually keeps me focused and on task except when something like preparing for a big event such as a vacation comes up.
Motivation is one of those things that I find harder to manage than time because it can't be managed. One is either motivated or they are not. I'm a great avoider when not motivated. I will do the most detested of household chores such as cleaning the oven or removing disgusting gunk from the sink drain in order to avoid a project if I'm not motivated. Other avoidance strategies include doing every single thing on a list of chores except the one I should be doing, spending time on the internet doing important things like reading forums and playing games, deciding to organize the junk drawer, calling a long lost friend, planning a week's worth of meals...I'm sure you get the picture!
I always felt bad about this until I realized that if motivation is lacking, it just is. Of course, there are times we can't avoid tasks such as important projects for work or filing our taxes, but most of the time it's ok to set projects aside until that creative spark returns. While it used to make me sad to have a free day to work in my studio, only to find myself unable to find the motivation to even pick up a single bead, it no longer bothers me (much). Instead of worrying about it, I will do something else like tidy up my studio, read a book, work in the flower beds, take a walk or go out to lunch with a girlfriend. When motivation returns it brings with it a renewed enthusiasm and desire to get back to the beads and wire along with many new ideas. Creating jewelry is then a joy, rather than a dreaded chore. If you find yourself lacking motivation, don't fight it. It will come back and will be better than ever when it returns.
The best of all worlds is when time and motivation cooperate with each other and there is plenty of both. I find myself turning out one design after another, experimenting with new techniques and materials and coming up with so many ideas I want to try that I can't write them all down fast enough. Which brings me full circle with this post - being at that level of creative activity, while extremely satisfying, can be exhausting and often results in all other aspects of life being neglected. Having those down periods of no time and no motivation allows us to re-charge and a chance to spend time with our families, pets, friends, to take care of our homes and nourish our bodies. To have this balance in our lives is what makes us well balanced individuals who are fulfilled in all aspects of living.
To see what other participants in this month's blog carnival have to say on the topic of time management and motivation, please click on the links below:
The Crafty Chimp