creative lifestyle

time management and creativity can walk hand in hand

kalina juzwiak
September 4, 2019
creativity
discipline
lifestyle
self knowledge

I grew up within a mix of influences. A more European education in a tropical context. What did that do to me? What does this have to do with the way I live my daily life? With the way I produce my art? A lot. Really. Today I see myself in an almost improbable intersection between flexibility and discipline. Between a very creative mind, and at the same time such an organized one. As I always say - that constant search for balance between emotion and reason. That sometimes tends more to one side, and sometimes more to the other. But discipline has truly become my guideline for these worlds seen as opposites. I have already had my moment of philosophy about it. But today, sitting on the seat of a plane that crosses the Alps, heading to Italy, I looked at my watch to estimate the time I had until the moment the chief of the cabin would ask me to turn off the electronics so we could prepare for landing.  My brain automatically calculated the current time, the estimate for landing, how many minutes before I heard the request for attention on the aircraft's speaker, and the time it took me to write a text. Is there enough time to write another text? Yes, there is. Hey ho, let's go!


I feel the need to take a few steps back to explain you a bit more. The European education to which I referred at the beginning, has a strong word connected to it: 'punctuality'. Imagine the following scenario: Little Kalina, on a Friday evening, arriving at home, after a day at school and an afternoon at the club playing sports. At the family dinner my father announces: we will hit the road tomorrow morning to the beach. We will leave at 6 am. And that's it. At six, sharp in the next morning, we are all ready, sitting in the car, with our luggage in the trunk, boards up in the rack, and the waves waiting to be surfed, on the coast. What happened between my father's announcement and the garage opening up with the sunrise?


Individual time management.


Each of us has a different rhythm. To wake up, to eat, to take a shower, to pack, to get dressed, to have breakfast and to be ready.  What really happens in this context doesn’t really matter right now. There is no right or wrong in this sense. Only we, as individuals, have the power to understand how much time we need for each task to be made. The how doesn’t really matter, but rather the goal that has to be reached. And this is how my education worked. From an early age I learned to manage my time. In the smallest details. I never really looked at the clock to calculate how long it took me to brush my teeth, or to take a shower, but today, after so many years, I have an estimate that is already part of me. If I am tired and feel the need to sleep a little longer, I know I will have to speed up some tasks. If I want to have a quieter morning, I have to wake up a bit earlier. And within this individual management context, my sisters and I understood that we had different rhythms. That we had different needs. That within these individual movements, we had to organize in order to achieve the goal set, while understanding that we were also interconnected. The bathroom was one for three. The kitchen was not so big for five. And so our mornings unfolded, even during the week. Almost like a dance. While one got up and headed for the kitchen, the other took advantage of the empty bathroom to take a bath, while the other perhaps slept for five more minutes, or took used the time to pack the backpack. And all this was also added to our parents schedule. Due to mistakes in the construction of the old building that we all lived together, it was not possible to bathe in both bathrooms at the same time, because the flow of hot water was brutally interrupted. So there was always the announcement out loud: “I am taking a shower”, and one at the end that said: “ready, next!”. We moved like that. Without previous coordination, but in an organized way, we took turns in the spaces and in the tasks, so that we were all at the door - almost always - very punctual.


And what does that have to do with what I'm living today? I keep moving like this. I observe the rhythm of others, I adapt, within my own needs. Over time, I have come to understand the time it takes me for a task - and I am always learning from new tasks. Whether it's in a daily routine, or displacement between spaces or even the creative process. How long does it take me to create a piece of art? On different surfaces? Can I estimate how long I will be at a client's house? How long does it take me to get there? How long does it take me to prepare the material, to get inspired, to make a snack pause, to draw lines, to close the backpack, and still be in time for a meeting in the afternoon? The punctuality that my parents set as a goal helps me today to accurately estimate the time I take to complete my tasks. My days become more productive. I have learned to add value to my moments. To optimize my compositions. I learned that time is really relative. That it's flexible. That I can be flexible, but that I can also optimize it to the maximum when I set myself to such a goal. How I get there - or how you get there - doesn't matter. It's an exercise that with time and practice can be beautifully developed., What matters in the end is reaching the goal within the limits you set yourself up to. One step at a time. Start with the small tasks of your everyday life. Test, play and gamify your experience. Celebrate each achievement and give yourself a little reward - to keep you moving. Gradually increase your challenges, experiment, develop yourself. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Over time I guarantee that you will gain not only self-knowledge, but also a fun time management experience that can make you an even more productive person - and thereby also make your business more profitable.


And - as I see the chief of the cabin moving to announce the airport approaching, I feel the pressure in my ears while the plane descends a few meters in between the clouds. One more reflection is born, optimized within the space and time I had available. I gamified my experience. This post. And I felt really good of having accomplished one more task in my week - right up in the clouds, travelling between destinations.

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see the full post in portuguese - here. :)


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