Let's talk about – Balance

 
Illustration by  Antonella Morelli

Illustration by Antonella Morelli

 

Whenever I’m asked how I balance a lot of time commitments, my answer has always been that I don’t. As I got busier with school, I had to be more and more selective of what I was putting my time into. Activities or projects that weren’t teaching me or fulfilling me were dropped in favor of the ones that did. It helped me keep my head on straight throughout high school and forced me to really think about what I wanted.

Still, even with a tightly-trimmed list of commitments, I can’t count how many times I wished my creative projects were my top priority. School or work always was put first ( by my own doing, of course) and it seemed like my creative work time would always be relegated to the margins.

I've tried many different techniques when it comes to carving out time for my creative projects during the busy school season. The first technique was:

List one (1) task a day for my creative project (this magazine).

This worked well for a while, but it required my tasks to be of similar time commitment and usually small as to fit into my existing to-do list. Every now and then, I'll also need to make some bigger decisions that require thinking and big-picture visioning. :) That's hard to do when split into tiny chunks, 20 minutes a day.

The other strategy has been to:

Dedicate a specific day (like the weekend) to my magazine work.

This has allowed me to dive deep into the creative mindset and make significant progress every week. I just don't have the brain space to think about it the other days of the week.

Both of these strategies require pre-planning to make sure I'm getting the most out of the time I dedicate. Finding the time to plan can already be a challenge as work fluctuates and things come up.

Have you found a good way to balance your creative endeavors and your other big obligations? Or, have you gone full-force on those endeavors?

Leave any tips or experiences you've had in the comments and let's chat. :)