If you’re familiar with Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, you know full and well that artists (of any discipline) will often make any excuse not to do what they deeply want to be doing. Instead of practicing scales, we clean the kitchen. Instead of writing we binge watch 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. Instead of acting, we decide we’ve found the love of our life, and dedicate all waking hours to our new love interest. Or maybe, despite knowing we were meant to write songs, we decide to paint.
Pressfield calls this ‘Resistance,’ but it has many names. Charlie Gilkey, a productivity expert, refers to it as ‘the Beast.’ Julie Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way (which is nearly a holy book for creatives today) names it ‘the Inner Critic.’ No matter the name, though, the concept of this emotional blockade is inescapable when discussing time management for creative professionals, and is even more prevalent when it comes to amateurs.
“I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes at nine every morning.” - William Faulkner
The quote above illustrates well the difference between professionals who make it, and those still striving. This isn’t to say that all professionals are immune to time management struggles or creative blocks, or that all amateurs simply aren’t organized or disciplined, but that time management is a critical skill to reaching the next level of your craft and career.
To this end, I consider myself a procrastinator in recovery, and have armed myself with every tool and bit of research I can carry in my daily practice — and I want to share that with you.