5:30 AM I wake up, I make coffee, sit with Mrs. Armusik to enjoy it for an hour. Soon I have to feed three hungry and crazy kids, clean up, exercise for an hour, shower, beds made, clothes washed, home school two of my children for the entire morning while chasing my four year old who's intent on destroying my home or bothering mommy while she tries to write. Lunch at noon, clean up, spend the afternoon marketing my work, play with the kids. Dinner, clean up, kids down at 7PM, final house clean up, spend time with Mrs. Armusik, have some more coffee, then she writes and I paint until about 2AM - 3AM. It all starts again in the morning when the kids storm down the stairs at 5:30AM.
I'm not saying my life is for everyone, but consider this, instead of complaining that you have no time to achieve your dreams, why don't you look closely at what occupies your time at home and begin to cannibalize that time and use if for productivity. If you're doing any of the things I've listed below, you have more time than you realize and you have no reason to continue bitching that your life isn't going as well as you want.
- Playing video games - If you're over the age of 13 you shouldn't be doing it anyway. Grow up and spend your time doing something in the real world like changing the life you're complaining about.
- Watching TV - Watching TV is something you do when everything else you're complaining about is finished. With more and more TV stations being offered there is less and less worth your time to view. Example: The E! Channel.
- Zoning out on Social Media - Unless you're doing something related to doing business or promoting yourself, this is leisure time. This is a very tough one because a lot of artists feel that if they're on Facebook or Twitter that they're doing business if they're socializing with other artists. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I enjoy it too, but if you're wasting time posting comments about what happened with Madonna during the last Super Bowl, then you're wasting valuable time.
- Watching the news - The biggest waste of time ever. The 24 hour news cycle has clearly enslaved our society. Do we really need that much news? 99.9% of what you're reading or watching that constitutes itself as "news" has no bearing on your life. Knowledge is only power if you can do something with it. Even Thomas Jefferson championed the virtues of using time that others wasted on reading the news for more productive purposes.
- Engaging in politics and gossip - No matter what political side you are on, does all that shouting at the TV and blaming the other guy effect you or those around you one bit? The answer is no. Believe me, I did it for a long time. You're wasting time. Ignore all of it and watch the issues just fade away. Take that passion and pour it into promoting your self.
Another great way to find time is by stealing it from sleep time. Most of us sleep way too much anyhow. Take an extra hour at night or an hour early and use it to do something for your career. These are peaceful hours even if you have a family. When I started having kids ten years ago I adopted a night schedule. Every three to five hours of work time I worked during those years added years of experience to my career. Had I given up because I wanted sleep or used the excuse that because I was now a family man that I didn't have the time to be an artist, I wouldn't be here today selling the art I do for the price I am and I wouldn't be writing this blog, helping you out to do the same.
Stop making excuses and stop wasting your time. Do something about it. You hold the keys to your solution. We're all constrained by the same 24 hours each day. Use it the best you can each and every day and start making a difference in your life.
Eric is a figurative artist, liturgical painter and portrait artist. His work can be seen at http://www.ericarmusik.com