Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

Routines and Habits

3 Comments

One topic in the Blast-off class that seems to resonate with everyone is developing routines and habits.  I agree with Alyson that there may not be much difference between a routine and a habit.  Create a habit and it becomes part of your routine.  At one time I pondered the difference between a ritual and a habit; even planned a blog post on it that never fully developed.  Now I wonder if I was confusing a routine with a ritual…though a ritual usually refers to a religious or spiritual or solemn ceremony.  A habit, on the other hand refers to a constant, often unconscious inclination to perform an act, acquired through its frequent repetition.  Applies to any activity so well established that it occurs without thought on the part of an individual.

Well, there is my problem “an activity so well-established that it occurs without thought on the part of an individual.”

Why is it some activities can become a habit and others don’t?  Brushing my teeth twice a day is a habit.  I just do it.  Spending time on art? Not always so easy or well-established.

Alyson shared the following quote from Dr. Stephanie A. Burns:

The most significant consequences of NOT making something a habit is that these activities would stand a good chance of not getting done, either because we forget about it or because, having remembered, we lack the ability to motivate ourselves at the time of the remembering to take the action.

One of the obstacles that can stand in the way of creating art is the business aspect of being an artist.  Some days you spend more time on the business than on the creation.  Get into the habit of doing the business aspect and it becomes hard to create.  On the flip side, if I ignore the business end and spend more time on creating, then it is harder to get back to the habit of doing business.

Argh!

Okay, Alyson and others do remind us that we can’t do it all.

So where to start?  First, I sat down and thought about all the things I do for my art and business; the habits I’ve already established.  Surprise, I actually do have some habits in place.

  • I have a designated folder for receipts and other papers related to expenses and income. One day each week I remove all the papers from this folder and enter the information into Quickbooks.
  • I have certain days for writing blog posts.  I try to post 3x/week.
  • I can usually devote 3 days a week to studio time though that time is sometimes split between making art and doing business.
  • I’ve learned to schedule outside activities in the afternoon when possible which leaves morning hours to art and business.
  • In the past I’ve tried to designate Tuesdays and Fridays as shipping days.

To take this one step further toward making a habit into a routine I’m dedicating certain hours to studio time.  Within those blocks of time I’m working on designating certain times to different marketing tasks.  I write all of this on my calendar (both the desk calendar and the online calendar.)

How is it going?  Well, it has only been a week and a hard one at that given the inauguration and a few days of being under-the-weather.  I remind myself that it won’t happen over night.  It has been pointed out that it takes 21-30 days to make something a habit.  I remind myself that I’ve probably never given myself that length of time to establish a habit.

Alyson asks us to remember our motives and reasons for doing what we’re doing and what we’re willing to commit to.  I’m making it a habit to remember this every day.

And as I write this I’ve had another a-ha moment.  Instead of splitting some days into art and business, I will devote one day to business/marketing, etc.  I’ll do this on Tuesdays because part of that day is already set aside for grocery shopping.  Sometimes it is easier to break away from the business aspect than the creating aspect.

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Recommended: Check out guest writer Keith Bond‘s blog post on making art a priority on Clint Watson’s Fine Art Views blog

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3 thoughts on “Routines and Habits

  1. I agree so much with what you are saying! I also was planning on certain day/s are for business aspects and certain for studio. I am creating one studio day to the bleh side of scanning/photographing/cataloging and websizing. I put my marketing/business day/s on those days I have designated for other like tasks in my life. Like you and groceries and even the ship days. You are already in the mind set so sometimes easier to continue and finish.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. You are really thinking and working it into action. Bravo. I have “in” days for creating and “out” days for errands. Business can go either way.

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