3 Essential Steps to Self Mastery: Balancing Life As An Artist

Being an entrepreneur or solo-preneur is a great balancing act. There’s family, friends, production work, creative work, creative play, and then the icky, boring business schtuff.

How do we fit it all in a day’s work without exhaustion, overwhelm, and unhappiness?

Our continuous overload of “must-do’s” can be overwhelming which initiates that good ole fight or flight reaction in our lizard brains. Yep, right into reaction mode versus creation mode, which often results in procrastination. Funny that that particular words starts with “pro”. I’m not “for” it by any means!

The more pressure we feel, the more easily we default to this mode which then becomes habit. Stress is in fact the absence of faith in ourselves. So it’s essential to have tools to help us keep the faith in our ability to get it all done.

Yep, we all know this stuff, but what can we do to implement the tools to become masters of self. We can’t manage time. Unless you can heard flies, forget about managing time. What we need to do is “manage self”.

Here are 3 essential tools you’ll need to implement to help balance life:

  1. Evaluate & determine your circadian rhythm

    There are 2-3 hours that are our most productive time. Time when we feel the most energetic. When is that for you?

    Do you schedule your most important genius work during these hours? If not, it’s time to reevaluate your schedule. Really think hard and determine when you’ll include self-care, creative genius work, play, and business/marketing time.

  2. Schedule your day the night before – batch your day

    Now that you’ve figured out your most productive time, do a shortened version of the Sunday Summit every night.

    Your subconscious then has time to work on any troubles or ideas you might have. How great is that! Wake up with a sense of clarity and purpose, with a rudder on your ship!

    When you schedule your time, remember that we work best in 40-50 minute bursts. Try setting your timer at the beginning of the hour and then use the 10-20 minutes for breaks (dance, return calls, be social on facebook, drink water, etc).

  3. Eliminate Distraction

    Not only is it a good idea to remove distractions it’s a good idea to have sacred space in which to do different tasks.

    Turn off your email, facebook, chat, etc. It’s only 40-50 minutes. You can do without it and then reward yourself later.

    Athletes, writers and lots of others, implement triggers to signal their brain, “hey, it’s time to do your genius work”! Baseball players will adjust the velcro on their glove, tap their shoes, etc. Others might put on certain music, light a candle, etc.

    Involve all the senses when creating habit and successful work/creative environments.

Take some time to implement these 3 easy ways to calibrate your compass so it’s always heading north as you balance your life. If you enjoyed these tips, get your complimentary tool the A.C.E.: 5 Keys to Aligning Your Artistic Compass for increased clarity on your direction and voice.

11 Responses to 3 Essential Steps to Self Mastery: Balancing Life As An Artist

  1. Thank you for sharing this information again. It is always nice to get the reinforcement, because before you know it you slid back into familiar "bad" habits. The thing that I need to be reminded on is the recap and planning for tomorrow.

  2. It's always great to have a plan to manage 'your' ie: my life, but how about those distractions that will not give you those 40 – 50 minutes of creative time. I literally mean that guy hanging over your shoulder telling what to so ever second of every day. What then?

  3. Thanks for these great suggestions! I know there are so many things I need to do. This really helps me to focus on achieving all my goals. It is so easy for me to loose track of time when I am doing the creative part of my work. Creating a ritual and a specific space of time is something that I think will really help me achieving my goals.

  4. Thank you for this article. It definitely sparked the need for some reflection on my part. I do have an overload of "must do's" and a 4-year-old constant distraction…hmm….

  5. Thank you for your insight. It sparked the need for some self reflection. I do feel overwhelmed by my "must-do" list. It is very difficult to balance all the hats we wear especially with young distractions still at home!

  6. I've been making lists for years – it's the only way I keep organized and plan the day ahead. My most productive time is late morning to early afternoon, when the natural light is good n the studio but not blazing into my eyes ( my workbench faces east). To not get overwhelmed, I make different lists – jewelry making, sewing, chores – and then pick from that to add to my daily list. That keeps me from feeling overwhelmed,because as we all know there is always SOMETHING that needs to be done that isn't fun – so put that together with something I really enjoy and it makes the work go faster. Work is any time you are doing something that you'd rather be doing something else – making jewelry is never work, it's my personal playtime. I'm not happy if I can't be creative.

  7. One imperfect day at a time I keep trying and moving forward. Thank you Tonya for all your wisdom and tools they are the tools with which I am achieving change one tiny aster at a time.

  8. Thank you for this article. I didn't really think about my productive time in that way. I just plug along doing what needs to be done regardless of how I feel. That explains why some days I feel great about what I did and other times I didn't. Timing is everything. 😉

  9. Tonya,
    3 very simple and straight forward tips that give great results. It is so great that you are willing to share these nuggets of wisdom with everyone. Identifying my most productive times and batching have been two of the most valuable steps I learned in taking the Artful Success program. I still have trouble planning the night before, but I know that I will get there! Thanks again for sharing.

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