News


5 ways to balance your creative career with being a parent

Sheila Chandra - Monday, June 12, 2017

Being a parent can feel like a full-time job. So if you have a creative calling, what can you do to make sure that it gets honoured? Here are some tips to make sure your creative self doesn’t get buried.

 

 

#1 - Decide how important balancing your creative career with being a parent is

There are times when other priorities come to the fore. If you’re working in a part-time or full-time job plus being a parent, or also caring for an elderly parent, then carving out a creative career may have to wait a few years. No one ever gets to ‘have it all’ – well not all at once anyway.

Equally you need to make a proper audit of what you really want in life. If the idea of being a ‘glamourous’ artist (it’s in inverted commas because it never actually feels that way), or being famous is the only appeal, you won’t stay the course when your creative career is difficult. And if you love being a parent, or spending a lot of time with your children is important, e.g. home-schooling them, then you need to acknowledge that your creative calling will probably have to take on ‘hobby’ status for a few years.

 

#2 – When balancing a creative career with being a parent, cut back ruthlessly on non-essential commitments

Chances are, you’ve added to your schedule incrementally with things that are not really that important. So go through your commitments now with an eagle eye. Ruthlessly cut away anything that isn’t important or feels onerous. Explain to people that you have a new priority and arrange for someone else to volunteer/give someone a lift etc. Rope in your partner if you can, especially if having an income stream from your creative activities is important to the household.

Equally, try down cutting the number of activities you have to ferry your children to (or if they’re of an appropriate age, teach them how to get there themselves safely). While it is important that children experience a wide range of things it’s also true that unstructured play and boredom are crucial to helping them learn to manage their time, and develop creativity. And if the predictions for automation of the modern workplace in 30 years’ time are true, they’ll need all the creativity they can find within themselves.

 

 

#3 - Carve out time for your creative career while being a parent

The first thing to do is acknowledge that you need focused time to create; in blocks of at least an hour, and before you’re utterly mentally exhausted at the end of the day. So I recommend keeping a time diary, not of how you intended to spend your time, but how you actually did. Note the time you spent in physically demanding tasks and how your energy levels felt at various points in the day.

Balance your creative career with being a parent by carving out time to work creatively. So maybe during your child’s nap time? While your children are at playschool? While your partner watches them in the early evenings? When your parents take them for half a day? An hour first thing before anyone else is up? Rope in some help and get these time slots written in your diary.

 

#4 - Use precious creative time away from being a parent by planning your work

You’re going to have to be extremely well organized with your projects. Have a clear idea of what you’ll work on and when. Check in regularly when you have a moment, with what your deadlines are, and ‘where you are’ with a project so that you can just pick up the threads of it immediately you have concerted time to work on it.

 

#5 - Use precious creative time to its optimum by focussing in a concentrated way

As I’ve already said, you should be keeping tabs on what you’ll do next with your creative projects so that you’re ready to work when you have some focussed time to do so. And when you have an hour, really allow yourself to get lost in it – setting an alarm if necessary so that you remember to pick your children up from school or start preparing dinner.

This is not just so that you’ll be using the time well. It also makes working on your creative projects feel much more satisfying. And when you have the satisfying feeling under your belt – that you have moved your project forward in a concerted way – it’s much easier to work to realistic deadlines, and to feel contented with the limited time you have to work on your creative career.

If you’d like to know more about balancing your career priorities read more in chapter six of my new book ‘Organizing for Creative People’. It’ll help you work out what your perfect balance is.


Comments
Post has no comments.
Post a Comment




Captcha Image


×

Recent Posts


Tags

clearing as you go mess brands nurture creativity streamlining routines peer-to-peer networks professional creative career workspaces the void sheila chandra coaching well organized feel like creatiing anxiety buying hope clear desk creative confidence cupboard of shame binge well curated closet cleaning successful artist visualising creative commissions great artists criteria for letting go of stuff brilliant creator organisation organizing for creative people housework much quicker living mess free nipping things in the bud business-speak VIPs chaotic creative spark jealousy diary clearing in short bursts hijacking creativity creative people stay tidy automatically commitment networking procrastination clear outs temperament writing funding campaigns childhood professional encouragement network artistic conviction warm down pop music under-confidence effortlessly tidy tidy people partners email overload creative career coaching motivation business-like mornings green room tension card artist goals domestic life tidy desk confident in clothes buy fewer clothes peacefulness too many commitments low maintenance fall of innocence artist smart artists tidiness in living spaces imagination Sheila Chandra author to do list branding low maintenance strategies emotionally secure artist social media normality clearing lifetimes lazy artistic chaos creativity diary proposal writing emotional balance clutter too busy hotel room good friend exhaustion display items working class artists hoarding creative identity stay on top of email stop hoarding stuff elevator pitch work trips productivity social media networking guilty purchases introverts creativity loss culture great art making decisions hobbies how to be naturally tidy creative wellbeing symptoms of creativity mature artists theft creative organising living clutter free feeling creative crowdfunding cry wind down friends ‘creativity’ innocence business funding missed opportunities much better friend overwork getting ready for work wardrobe resentment platform friendships : clothes creative culture quality time clutter static spaces focus critical acclaim vocation slow and steady artists good creative habits tidier email pop culture creative ambitions collections goals fine art appointments good art work letting go how to save time celebrity endorsed products double standard just in case nascent artists buying wealth parent compulsion arrogance being tripped up trope cleaning your desk new year morning routines artist materials touring bulk buy artist workspaces creative person saving time working class culture dynamic spaces networking effectively stardust clarity of thought emotional support loving your audience why organise copyright buying stardust popular culture inconvenience creative magic inspiration emotional resilience business interface to creative businesses home life clearing clutter nurturing creative work control disorganization diagnosis clean desk work/home life balance grief self promotion staying in control subconscious mind magic options creative career storage absences buying happiness home organising work priorities artist mentoring professional mentors artist mentors long-term artistic development hostile clutter proposals career strategy concentrated creative time precious memories work life car how to work efficiently tidy 2018 goals minimalists tortoise and hare ‘stories’ about your possessions multiple lifetimes myth organise home care artistry buying youth vulnerability spree efficient work patterns work efficiently sacrifice clutter addict boredom tips for clearing stop cluttering being organized email bankruptcy slim-line wardrobe

Archive

×