Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The year of balance

I like Alvina's declaration that this will be the year of "no guilt", so I will expand on that and say that for me I hope 2010 will be a year of balance. This means creating restricted, focused work time, letting play time be play time (so I guess I am shooting for "no guilt" too), and less mixing up of the two. Also I think I've underestimated how much quality down time can contribute to my creativity later on. So here are my goals/aspirations/resolutions that I hope will help to create more balance:

*Wake up at the same time every day, and earlier. I've been working at home full time for over four years now (part time for 6) and this has aaaalways been a struggle. I'm a night owl and would love to work all night and sleep all day. Problem is the rest of the world does not seem to be on that schedule, including my fella, so I aim to see more of the daylight hours. And be more consistent.

*Do more creative projects that do not have to do with my job. I think this was on last year's list, but it will have to be a rollover. Like down time, doing different kinds of creative projects helps feed your creativity. And I just LOVE makin' stuff.

*Panic less, relax more. Publishing is so unpredictable... I feel like half my time is spent panicking about signing up the next project, and the rest is spent overwhelmed with everything I have committed myself to. It really cuts down on the enjoyment of writing and painting, which is why I started doing this in the first place. SO. Time to relax. And just trust that things will work out as they should.

*Watch less tv. I am not a terrible tv addict, but I do have a bit of a weakness when it comes to watching Clean House and trashy fashion tv (oh Style Network). Dare I cancel the cable? Tempting but maybe will try to wean off slowly. Also, less blog reading. UGGG.

*Less email. After listening to this clip, and refreshing email like 12 times while he spoke about how people spend too much time refreshing their email, I see that I clearly have a problem.

Thats all for now.


Julia Denos said...

Love this post! I totally understand this necessary division of work and play. It's amazing when one is not distracted how much more you CAN get done too. I really agree with your idea on time off for creativity too!

One thing I can't get around though, is that I think for a lot of at-home artists, writers, self-employed people, email, blogging, Facebook, Tweets, and the rest of social media is a sort of replacement for "co-worker" time during the day. It's where we contact other people, so it would be very hard for me to shut it off entirely. Even though it is a guilty distraction, I've learned it's important for me to feel connected when I'm super busy on deadlines-or I go crazy! It's a lose-lose right there I think...

Aside from the social aspect, it's also like a virtual office setting: Art directors contact me throughout the day sometimes to talk about the projects I am working on right now, almost as if they were"popping into my office"...maybe we don't need to answer right away, right? Just keep working.

Interesting, Anna! Good luck with the resolutions :)

Anna Alter said...

I totally agree, I think I would go NUTS without email and blogs and FB to help break up my day and check in with the outside world. But for me it very easily spirals out of control... before I know it I've spent an hour fiddling around on the internets when I just meant to take a quick break. So I then work that much later into the night to make up for it and before long I am on a backwards schedule. I don't hope to quit all this online fun entirely, but maybe just less of it? My first goal is to only check email every two hours. Can't be that hard right? :)

Nina Crittenden said...

I totally agree with both of you. Being new to illustration, it is nice to "meet" other illustrators like yourselves and feel like I am not all alone in outer space. It is also nice to have time with grown-ups (can check email, FB, etc.. briefly during the day while being home with my kids and not go mental). It is a really easy way to lose time, too (like blogging tonight while everyone else is asleep). Nice to be a part of a great community, and tricky to find balance. Best wishes for a great New Year! :)

Sarah said...

Last summer one day out of the blue my husband said let's cancel our cable. So we did. All of it. We don't even get basic cable or network TV! We weren't really TV addicts either, but now we suddenly have more hours of the day. We watch more movies, and are making good use of Netflix' streaming feature, but at least we are choosing what we watch not just watching what is on. I really do not miss TV at all!

Adele's Updates said...

I think your news years ambitions are admirable and doable - way to go Anna!

I read this article recently and when I read your post, it brought to mind some of the real vs digital world ideas in it.

I sometimes find myself connecting digitally at the expense of real-life experiences - something I am trying to change! Perhaps this is the seed of a resolution for me as well.