Why? Because I'm stuck doing admin stuff like organizing reimbursement requests, doing grant reports, replying to emails, deleting emails... I have not had time to do the two things that make me the happiest, to write and to make art. It's been almost 3 weeks now.
I believe that time is my most valuable asset as an aritst. In fact I write about this often. I wrote about it back in January, you can read it here. What I think I have not yet learned is how to cut things out of my life. I'm not really great at saying no, I'm easily distracted (I have 20 windows open now on my computer), and I don't always know how to prioritize my time. I am working on so many projects that they compete for attention in my brain.
I was recently watching an animation about the perception of time, and a study found that most people in this country believe that they are much busier than the year before. In fact the study found that most people in the U.S. wish they had more time for family, friends and SLEEP. Wow! And here I thought I was the only one!
These past few weeks have been so overwhelming, that they have inspired me to consider changing my habits. I made a short list just to make myself feel like I'm taking a step, which is to imagine another kind of possibility.
1. Be More Present - The one bad habit that I have is that I'm always thinking about what I have to do next, so its hard for me to enjoy the moment, now. Like right now I'm thinking about tomorrow morning, acckk! The problem that this presents is that it builds up stress inside of me, so that I can't fully enjoy the current moment.
2. Cut out Distractions - People chatter at me all day long and I'm bad at asking them to NOT talk to me. But I realize I produce much better work when people don't distract me. Otherwise, I have to stop what I'm doing and I lose my focus. Simple....but hard to do. I also don't like wearing earphones because I feel like I'm getting distracted by music. Silence works for me. Yeahhhh!! Silence!
3. Get more sleep - Sounds easy. I'm more creative and more pleasant when I sleep 8 hours. I always deprive myself, but in the long run, I'm losing out. I have to stop.
4. Say No. Ok, the most obvious, but hardest thing. How do I tell all my friends I rather be writing in my journal and reading trashy graphic novels than going out dancing? How do I accept that I'm a hermit most of the time? Still gotta work on figuring this out because when I want to, I am super social and I like to make people laugh, but I also like to be alone - alot!
5. LImit my email and cell phone time. I am slowly trying to do less email. Email is like a constant, loud waterfall. It never ceases, it comes in big shots, its constant. I am now trying to send less emails and the truth is that I can't respond to more than 1/2 of them. So I delete them. But trying to do LESS email means shutting off your inbox. Or checking it less times per day. I wish I could check it once and that's it. ONCE a day!
As for my cellphone, I'm tired of it. Lately I've been turning off the sound so that I can't hear when calls come in nor texts. That helps me not get distracted.
That's my time rant for the night.
I recently did an art piece about my friend (see above), who continuously feels trapped by his past, and who is trying to study the ways in which his own limitations contain him. He sometimes shuts me out, but I push myself back in. I made this portrait about him and the shadows that he is trying to fight of, the shadows that try to contain him. The piece is named after one of my favorite songs from Souxie and the Banshees - Spellbound. In moments like these, I think I'm this person in this box.This song ROCKS!