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Posted on April 17, 2014 in Hints, Tips, & Tricks by Katie
Welcome back to “Making the Most of Your Polymer Clay Studio.” This month myself and Ginger from The Blue Bottle Tree are bringing you a collaborative series of posts. I hope you have enjoyed them so far. In case you missed one, I’ve put the links to them below so you can check them out. There’s valuable information in each article, so don’t miss them. I hope that you will continue to join us and chime in with your comments, thoughts, & ideas as well.
There are many ways that people describe productivity. According to the dictionary, productivity means “the state or quality of producing something.” Many people describe productivity as a “feeling of accomplishment.” Isn’t that something that each of us want, to feel “accomplished” or “productive” in our efforts for the day? I have been known to say around my house that “I’ve had a productive day.” What does this mean? Simply put, it means that I got a LOT done. But being productive at the office means something different than being productive at home, which means something different from being productive in your garden, or even in your polymer clay studios.
Being productive means lots of different things to lots of different people. But let’s face it, we all need to recognize a way that we can be productive and be the best we can with the time we are given. There are lots of ways to save time throughout the day, make time to get into your studio, & make time to make all those things you have on your “idea list” or in your sketchbook.
I don’t know about each of you, but the hardest part of being productive for me is actually getting INTO the studio. It seems that there’s always something else pulling me away: laundry, dishes, phone calls, Facebook, the black-hole of Pinterest, work, my darling hubby, or the list of errands that need to be run. So how do you actually get INTO your studio?
Get into your studio by SETTING A TIMER. I know this sounds silly, but it works for me. Here’s what I mean: in the morning there is always a lot to do, devotions, breakfast, 2 cups of coffee, social media check, email check, and the list goes on. All of this has to happen before the “normal” things of my day. But here’s the catch, if I don’t set a timer, I can spend 4 hours doing those things. So … I do my devotions, eat breakfast, and hit the computer setting my timer for 30 minutes. If I can’t accomplish everything I need to in 30 minutes, than there’s something wrong. Social media, email, & Facebook do NOT rule your life or your business. The sooner you recognize that, the better off you’ll be. When I set a timer, I can be into my studio and hard at work by 9am.
So how do you decide what to tackle in your studio? How do you decide what to create? How do you get started? Here’s a few simple steps to help you on the road to productivity in your studio.
This is by far the hardest thing to do. Because each of us want to measure the number of pieces against time. I think that’s an incorrect approach. Here’s my take on measuring productivity (if you have other opinions or thoughts, let me know below in the comments) … you need to start measuring your results, not your time!
In other words, begin to work smarter, not harder. Are you making 1,000 beads? Then why would you make 200, bake 200, sand 200, and varnish 200? Wouldn’t it be smarter to make 1000 beads, bake them, sand them at one time, and varnish them at one time. It would. And … it does. This means that you are only getting supplies out once, the mess is smaller, and your being more productive overall. Make the shift in your mind: measure what you get done and not the time it took and you will find that very quickly you will be working harder, more efficiently, and in the end be more productive.
Let’s be honest, the amount of work one artist does can’t possibly be compared to another. Some of us have a full time job and do our artistic endeavors on the side wherever we can fit it in. Others make a living with their art. Those that make a living with their art spend the majority of their time creating art. Besides that, there’s also different types of creations. While one Parker scene may take me half of a working day to complete, others spend an entire month of a detailed dragon sculpture. For each of us it is different. You can NOT compare yourself to others, you can only compare yourself to YOU!
Don’t forget to join us here next week for Part 4 in our series! Every Thursday in April, Ginger & I are working together to bring you some articles on “Making the Most of Your Polymer Clay Studio.” Follow me in your RSS feed to stay up to date, and/or sign up for the email list.
Thanks for joining me today,