How to Get More Energy to Practice Your Craft

Question: How can I find the time to make my art?


So a question I’m often asked is, “How can I find the time to make my art?” And, in response, I would say, “What in your life can you eliminate, whether temporarily or permanently?” Other than your obligations to your relationships—your family, your day job, maybe, what is up to you that you can take out?

Even a small amount can help. For instance, can you carve out an hour a day, two hours a day by getting up a little earlier? Shifting around your schedule—maybe your after work schedule? Maybe putting something in your lunch break, if you have one, that you would otherwise do after work? If you have a full hour, you could work out during that hour.

Think outside of the box for ways to use the open blocks in your day.

Again bringing up the idea of a workout, can you break it up? Can you cut it in two? Today I had a podcast interview, so I did half my workout, and the other half, I’ll do…later this afternoon, because that helps.

So for example, talking about painting. Can you go on a Netflix diet and show up at your easel for an hour an evening during the workdays? Chances are, if you show up, you’re going to be there for a lot longer than just the hour. My biggest problem, I’ve found, once I get started is actually stopping. And the last time that I showed up at my easel to get some work in before bed without supervision, I found myself there until one in the morning. And it pretty much wrecked me for the next day. So, it’s important to have some discipline and some sense of time if you’re gonna work after work and you think that you’ll actually work longer rather than a shorter period of time. But that’s one of the ways to do it.

If you’re not a night owl, you might find that you have the discipline to go to bed a little earlier so that you can get up earlier. Even if you only carve out an hour a day, how much could you improve, if you devoted, say, four or five more hours a week to your paintings?*

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*In this video I use painting as an example, but I’m really talking about how you can have more time for practicing any form of art.