I've been thinking about this more and more, as your comments on my previous post keep rolling in. You all have such lovely ideas and projects in the works and I sure wish you can eventually get to start them.
I happen to be in a business where I get to be crafty. But to be honest, it's just fun to make something for me and just for fun—like my crocheted slippers. It's hard to find the time to get to personal projects—isn't it?
I'm just as guilty as most of you about not making enough time for my personal crafting—so I'm not an expert on this subject by any means. I'm not only talking to you, I'm reminding myself that it can be done—because, I've done it before.
So, here are some of my ideas on how to make time for crafting:
1. Ask for time as a gift.About three or four years ago, I asked my husband not to buy me anything for my birthday. Instead, I asked him to give me the gift of 'just me/alone' time. I specifically asked him for Wednesday nights after 7pm. I asked for that particular day because it gave me a break between the weekends, it didn't take away from family time and we never went anywhere on Wednesday evenings. Mr. Z took care of everything after dinner including bedtime.
I explained that I needed the time to recharge and just do whatever I wanted without feeling guilty about anything at all. I would go to the bookstore, coffee shop with a book or sketchbook in hand or stay home and go to our bedroom and simply close the door—no kids or husband allowed. It worked like a charm and if truth be told I didn't always craft. It felt so luxurious to have that free time. I felt so recharged and centered again and that made me a better mom & wife. The routine gradually slipped away once the kids where old enough to be in school all day and my schedule changed dramatically.
2. Set up a craft appointment in your schedule.We all keep appointments for all sorts of things like the dentist, doctor or other people's invitations to events, birthday parties and such. Why not make an appointment with ourselves? Pick a day when you think you would normally be able to yes to someone else's requirement for your time—but this time you're asking yourself to do it for YOU.
Making the proactive effort of carving out time for yourself is like practicing preventative medicine. Isn't that what we do when we take time to go to the gym? We're working on keeping our bodies healthy. Crafting is just another way to do the same—it affects us physically (maybe a lower blood pressure) and mentally (feelings of relaxation, pleasure and satisfaction).
3. Use down time for crafting.Sitting in a waiting room is a perfect opportunity to have a knitting, embroidery or crochet project handy. If you're like me and prefer something a bit simpler to carry around, take a sketchbook to draw and plan future project ideas or a book about a new craft technique you're interested in learning.
Do you travel by train or bus on a regular basis? Wait for your child to finish an after-school activity? Maybe that's the time you can work on a small project. Do you ever sit in front of the TV and wonder why you just wasted that time watching something so mediocre? If you craft while watching television at least you'll have something to show for it in the end.
4. Use crafting as your personal reward system.Let's say you are just really overwhelmed with a long to-do list (hello, house chores!) and you simply can't do any of the above—why don't you work a bit on your to-dos and reward yourself with a bit of crafty time? Look at your list and choose how many items need to be done before you reward yourself with an X amount of craft time. Any little bit of time helps and it will do wonders to your productivity. You'll want to really be quick about everything else in order to get back to your fun project.
Some additional thoughts:- Before you start trying any of these ideas, write out a wish list of what projects you'd like to tackle. Make sure you have the materials you need and be ready for either that gift of time, your scheduled crafty appointment or that unexpected moment of downtime—you'll be ready!
- Do this with no guilt attached to it. If you make craft an important part of your life, then you won't see it as a frivolous waste of time. Consider it an investment in yourself and know that it's part of your plan—part of the way you want to live. Why feel guilty about that?
- Don't think you need to finish a project in one sitting. Unless it's something that involves drying time (paint, glue), there really is no need to finish, for example, a scarf or skirt in one sitting, is there? Even if you just do a little bit each time, that's better than not starting on the project at all.
- If it helps you in terms of commitment, set up your crafty time with another friend or group of friends. Form a craft group that meets on a regular weekly or monthly basis.
So how about it? Do you think you can use any one of these ideas this week? Do you have other ideas?
[Photo - Mod Wall clock project on page 52 of Home, Paper, Scissors]