One month in - reflections on January

Well, that was a good month. I still feel energized about the new steps I'm taking toward growing my artistic practice.  That being said, I have several threads of exploration on the go, making it an interesting juggling event.  My method for tracking all my activities seems to work and takes very little time:

Someone told me it looks like a bullet journal, but I am not taking the time to journal with this one. I just want to be able to look back later in the year when I feel like I haven't been doing much (usually around July or September) and be able to tell myself "yes you have!". It also lets me see where I perhaps need to pick up my pace a wee bit. For example, I went two weeks without drawing -- not a big problem, really, but  if I want to keep up my skills, maybe I should draw a bit more often. 

I started tracking my "exercise" days, too, just for the fun of it and find an interesting correlation between days when I have not biked or stretched and days when I am feeling "nya, nya" (or "meh" in common parlance). 

It seemed that my activities tapered off somewhat as the month went along and the question I posed for myself when noticing this was "why"?  One reason might be that the college semester started about halfway through. Although I am getting more comfortable with the teaching and don't need as much prep time as in earlier semesters, I still take a long time to mark assignments and giving considered feedback to students. That won't change, so the thing to figure out now is how to accommodate that AND the other stuff I want to do. 

Time management is always a tricky thing, but combining activities, like I did when baking in a commercial kitchen, helps to fit in more activities in the day. As a baker with a huge list of items to produce over an eight hour shift, a person had to have more than one item mixing and baking at at time.  For example, while the sugar and the butter were beating into a creamy mass for a frosting (a 10-15 minute job), I could often mix up two muffin mixes for the next morning's baking.  While the muffins baked, I would mix the chocolate zucchini cake and banana bread, so they could go into the oven when the muffins came out.

Translating that to the here and now, while the kettle comes to a boil and my tea is brewing, I can check the emails and respond to some. Last night, I found I could combine watching a movie (at home) and assembling doll parts - not a combination I thought would work (I normally  knit my way through movies). Today I had a bit of time between house-cleaning and lunch, which was not enough time to dedicate to marking assignments but just enough to write this blog post. I look forward to seeing how else I can fit my art activities in my day-to-day adventures.