Episode 5 – Time Tracking

If you have an idea, add it to your to-do list. If you want it to happen, schedule time for it!

If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “where has the time gone” or “I just wish there were more hours in the day” then this episode is for you. Time tracking can be an incredibly powerful and insightful tool for your creative practice because knowledge is power. Regain control of your time and learn about how two very different creatives use time tracking to hit their long term goals. 

What is time tracking, when should you do it, and why is it important?

  • WHAT: Time tracking is a time audit that can help you if you are feeling like you “have no time” for something or that you are always “dropping the ball” with your commitments.
  • WHEN: It is a great tool to use if you have a big project you want to tackle but are not sure if you have enough hours in the day/week to accomplish it.
  • WHY: Knowledge is power! So understanding how you are currently spending your time (with no judgements) allows you to then make the changes you need to make to hit your goals. 
  • HOW: You can track anything you spend time doing!
    • Remember trackers will be different for everyone depending on what your goals are and what areas you struggle in

When you begin, what kind of things can you track?

  • Art vs non-art time
  • Social media time
  • Studio / Painting time
  • Admins tasks
  • Netflix time
  • Art “dates” to go solo or with other artists to museums, galleries, open studios, etc.
  • Mental and physical health tasks – rest days, nature time, fitness, nutrition
  • …and so much more!

“A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish”

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

How do Adriana and Jackie Track their current art business tasks?

Adriana’s Time Tracking Categories:

  • Digital Content Creation (ex. Blog, Newsletter, Shop Inventory Updates, etc.)
  • Studio Time (Art making tasks)
  • Admin Time (Business tasks such as social media, exhibition applications, etc.)
  • Rest Days
    • Adriana Time Tracking Takeaway: It is ok to be flexible but always keep your eyes on the end goal!

Jackie’s Time Tracking Categories:

  • Studio Hours (Painting time, design time, studio organization, etc)
  • Admin Hours (Behind the scenes tasks)
  • Marketing Hours (Digital content output such as social media and newsletters)
    • Jackie Time Tracking Takeaway: By time blocking a weekly work flow I can ensure that every core task has its place in my schedule and I can be fully present for those tasks (including social events!)

Remember: Time tracking is going to be a trial and error process and ever evolving as you grow! So be patient with yourself and use this as a tool to help you hit your goals in a sustainable way!

Action Items:

Step 1: Establish the foundation for where you are

  • For 1 week, track every 10 minute block of time throughout your day (without judgement of yourself!). If you paint for 20 minutes, track it. If you scroll social media for an hour, track it.

Step 2: Use that data to start making choice on how you can spend your time more wisely to work toward your long term goals

  • On a monthly basis (or more frequently) write down on paper all the things you’d like to accomplish – pick your top priorities then schedule time to work on them.
  • Transfer to digital formats like Google calendar or Trello as needed.

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