You know why you love art journaling.
You see it as a foundation for your other creative work. This is where you learn and experiment, build skills and develop ideas.
It’s a place to record your life or anything else that’s important to you, creatively. This is where you can slow down and think and feel and process.
Your art journal is not only something you want to make. It’s where you spend important, creative time with yourself, for yourself—and you know that’s the most important reason of all.
Yet. It can be hard to find time. You have to sleep, after all. That’s already 1/3 of every single day! Then add work and health and family and suddenly we have precious few hours left.
I know! I struggled for years to find time for my art journal in the midst of this busy life and home (currently filled with nine mammals, five of whom are human!)
But then I finally figured out the secret time sauce.
I did the whole schedule evaluation thing. I analyzed how I spent my days. I definitely improved setting boundaries. But what it really came down to is this little fact that is true for me and it is true for you:
No matter how busy our lives may be, some hours are discretionary hours.
Some time is left to use according to our own judgment and choice.
This concept is KEY so let me repeat it:
At least some of your time is up to our own judgment and choice.
Even after the appointments you must keep and the sudden “I need you to do this” cries from kids, spouses, family and friends—yes, even after work and health and family commitments.
Some minutes at the beginning or end of the day, or while sitting in waiting rooms, at lunch, in transit, or instead of…well, other stuff you might otherwise do.
You still have some time left to fill according to your own judgment and choice.
If you have decided that art journaling is in fact important in your life for all those good reasons we listed at the beginning (have you?)
Then you get to judge it as a priority and choose to carve out some of those discretionary hours for your art journal.
That’s how you find time for art journaling.
It’s really that simple.
And that hard.
Because, of course, discretionary time is also limited time. And we do have (many) other priorities in our lives. So without demoting art journaling to lesser priority status (again, judgment and choice), here are some tips for how to make the best use of the time you've found for art journaling:
- First, get rid of the idea that you need a lot of time—big 'ol chunks of time—for your art journal.
You don’t. If you have a lot of people and interests competing for your discretionary time, carve out small sessions with small (or no) goals. You can literally sit down with a timer set for 10 or 15 minutes and get a lot of art journaling done in that time period. Add up 10 minutes per day week after week and you’ll be filling up journals fast.
- Second, schedule in art journaling time like any other priority.
It might be every day or every week, but carve out blocks (even small blocks) of time for your practice. We schedule everything in our lives, really—work, meals, children’s activities, exercise. Schedule art journaling, too.
- Then, build support systems for your art journaling practice so it’s as easy as possible.
Dedicate a space in your house (a corner, a tray or a whole beautiful room) and keep this arting/you space well organized. Keep your journal and supplies within easy reach whenever you’re most likely to work in it. Make art journaling a fun and calm activity while doing something else fun like watching tv or listening to music or—my favorite—listening to books on tape and podcasts.
- One trick is to set goals for yourself that you then work toward from one session to the next
Like completing a spread a week or filling a journal every quarter. Goals help us stay focused and motivated.
- Finally, remind yourself now and then why you choose to art journal and why you have judged it to be a priority in your life.
And then give yourself a whole lot of credit for doing this important thing for yourself!
Sadly, not everyone does.
Until next time!