Is It Possible to Schedule Spontenaity?

Focusing on one work at a time would probably be the ideal way of dealing with my workload, but I am not doing that. I currently have about 15 projects up in the air, ranging from logo design to exterior murals. In an ideal dream world, I would be able to work on them all at once. But, with the physical realities of being one person and existing within 24 hour days and all, the need to manage time more effectively has made itself known to me. With so many project deadlines, it is difficult to concentrate on one thing at a time, but it is also tiring to work all day doing some work to lots of projects and not seeing completed works as quickly as I would like.
A good question to ask myself, it seems, is why don’t I do what I know is good for me? I know that I need to manage my time more responsibly in order to get work done, but I also know that part of what I do requires some down time to dream, imagine, feel, observe, and so on. When I am in such a state, it is easy to lose track of time and not do the work that I have scheduled. In fact, at this very minute, I have a drawing that needs to be done and delivered, but I am writing this instead. I am well aware that the drawing needs to be done, but I feel that I need to write, to organize my thoughts.
I often wonder if other artists have a similar conflict and, if so, how they deal with it. I would love to have a discussion about ways to handle this and become more effective.


  • Alixzandra
    Alixzandraover 3 years ago

    Hi Ben. It sounds like the reason you need to stop and organise your thoughts (even though you are aware of your deadlines) is because they are all in your head! I find, organising what is in my mind onto paper frees the mind up, so as to gain more focus on the actual tasks ahead. In my line of work, i have many deadlines with differing priorities, which are constantly having new ones added to.

    Time management is precious and if all the stuff starts stifling my focus it starts to affect my sleep patterns i.e waking up in the night thinking oh crap I forgot something :). I find, if I give myself a deadline for a particularly piece of work, I schedule that a week I am done a week ahead of time to allow some breathing space. This also allows for if something with more priority rears it’s ugly head (you know, that call from your boss saying, I need these numbers by tomorrow kind of calls!)

    I find also writing a monthly plan/timeline that I can visually see helps to find places where you can take time out, go for that walk, have some me time (schedule something nice like lunch or a photography trip with friends) etc. If you like to chop and change between projects and you have this on are already ready and focussed for the tasks ahead in the day. When I know I am procrastinating, I just get demotivated and like you, do something else! The something else for me now is get up and take a quick brisk walk round the block and walk away for a brief time and refocus myself.

    On occasions, I think it is good to realise you have taken on too much and mostly, when you contact the client and advise you are running a week late, they are absolutely fine about it. I found it hard for along time to say no and over burden myself, which took the enjoyment out of what I was doing, hence making it a chore. so now I know my limits and will only take on a certain amount of projects, which allows me space to continue to be creative and not sap my mojo not mutter about must buy this, must get that in the middle of my sleep lol All in all, getting a balance that suits you is a must for me. And committing that to a monthly or quarterly delivery plan helps me to make those balances and deadlines. Regards the focus, I have found che Gung standing meditation for 5 minutes works for me or there are very simple exercises you can do, even from where you are sitting to take a few moments to rejuvenate with breathing exercises. An interesting topic! I think I just wrote an essay….I might have been procrastinating too :-) all the best with your projects.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response, Alixzandra. There is a wealth of information in there. This topic is endlessly fascinating to me and something that I have yet to conquer or master… but I can see that I need to. It is helpful for me to learn how other artists deal with the issues of time management while nurturing the sometimes delicate but always necessary creativity.

    – Ben Kern

  • Ina Mar
    Ina Marover 3 years ago

    You are in the RedBubble weekly wrap, Ben!

  • Dear Ina, thank you for taking the time to let me know about this. :-)

    – Ben Kern