So many times I’ve talked to other inspiring artists about studies, or just sitting down and working on something new, almost always I’m presented with the famous line, “I do not have enough time to”. Generally, this means that the person doesn’t know how to make time, or realizes how much time is wasted in a day. In this article, I’m going to go over my daily routine, as well ways to optimize your schedule.
The first thing to do when optimizing your time, is to actually observe your habits, and what you do. It may be best for some people to write down what they do, at what time, and when they stop. Not only does this tell when certain daily habits occur, it also shows how much time is actually spent doing these things.
Once you have an itinerary of your day, you can start working towards what can be cut out, or moved to another block of time. My personal method is to do as much as possible at one time, as long as it is efficient. Once you have a schedule that uses your time as best as possible, you will find yourself with more time than you could have imagined.
At this point, I will cover a typical day of mine. I am not a morning person, so hopping out of bed, and getting things done right away is not in my nature. As soon as I get up, I turn the computer on, and start any 3D renders that could be running while in the process of my morning routine. Once that is set, I head to the living room, where I watch TV, and read emails on my phone; this is what I consider “waking up”. After 30 minutes of waking up, I go right into simply study mode. This could be a language study, looking on Deviant Art for some new tutorial, or checking Pintrest for reference photos I could use; basically anything I can read without having to devote my full attention.
Starting the Day
About 30 minutes later, I do my daily exercises, which usually take only 15 minutes. I quickly eat a small breakfast, and then I work on my daily sketch; this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Once that’s done, I take care of any pressing work related matters, and once I’m finished with that, I will do my daily 3D tutorial or study. Once this is all taken care of, I take a break to eat lunch. I’ve found mixing my meals with breaks not only gives me a rest from working, as well as a great relaxing time, as at this point, I’ll usually turn on Netflix, and watch a small amount of it to zone out on.
The Rest Of The Day
After lunch, I go back to working through the afternoon. Once I’m done with work, all of my daily tasks are done, as well as work. This is the time where I make time to do a quick 30 minute digital painting session; usually a Concept Cookie Exercise. By this time, I have to take my kids to one of their activities, or just make time to spend some quality time with them. After this is when I start dinner, and everyone starts to wind down. Once It’s at this point that I will actually work on some sort of piece, rather it be 2D, 3D, Animation, or whatever. This is the time I do something I want to do specifically, just to immerse in art until it was time to go to sleep.
Pre-Schedule Time Wasting
Before I came up with this schedule, I would spend time in my morning routine watching TV, and playing a game on my phone. Also, before last October, I was a smoker, and I would use smoking to procrastinate, spending 10-20 minutes outside smoking watching Youtube or something non-productive. It wasn’t until I noticed how much time I was spending wasting time that I really pushed for a more optimal use of time.
Spreading Out The Mundane
I’m not saying to use this schedule, especially since it won’t work for everyone, but to use it as an example to help make your schedule easier to deal with. I also want to point out there are many other things done that I didn’t mention. There is another 30 minute block of time I spend cleaning my house, doing laundry, taking care of my dog, mowing the lawn, and more. Either way, I make sure to take at least 30 minutes to take care of these things, spreading out these chores each week, and also leaving weekends to be more productive. My point is to do a little bit every day, and you will find a rhythm where such tasks won’t be so daunting the next time they come up.
In conclusion, it’s all about creating a schedule around your life, and making sure you spend your time wisely. If you do, it will be rewarding; if you don’t you will never have time for anything new you want to do.