Finding Downtime

Episode 170 · March 20th, 2021 · 41 mins 48 secs

About this Episode

As much as we may appreciate living an entrepreneurial lifestyle, juggling its many demands can be exhausting and challenging. Artists who are also involved in the business of art can easily feel scattered and stressed by all the tasks needed to stay productive and on track. But one of the most challenging demands may be stepping away from all of that on a regular basis. Today we will toss around some ideas for the type-A personalities among us who find it hard to relax.

As self-employed people, we can easily feel that we need to work all the time. Having high goals and aspirations, the drive for income, and knowing our responsibilities to other people all can lead us to ignore the need for down time. And of course, we also love what we do so that turning to our work rather than to something more relaxing is natural.

But the feelings of pressure can overwhelm us. A helpful approach is to distinguish between demands that come at you from the outside, and which demands we place on ourselves. Recognizing the difference can help you sort out how to deal with finding a better balance to work and down time. Pressures that come from outside us in the form of requests and commitments from others need to be carefully considered along with a realistic evaluation of your time. Pressure that we place on ourselves from within can challenge us to think about perfectionism, fear of failure, land ack of confidence.

Given the many aspects of managing an art career, how can you find ways to open up your time to include more leisure? Consider what can you delegate, what can you let go of instead of demanding perfection? Can you be more realistic about managing your time? What about taking days off just as you would at paid employment? Or scheduling a day a week just for your art, so that you get your studio time in and can perhaps then relax about fitting it in every day?

Taking down time may not come naturally to you at all. Some of us have to sternly demand of ourselves that we to take time off. We’re so good at all the other demands but the one that asks us to just “be” seems almost impossible. We may resist it and call it a waste of time. But it’s actually very important to live a balanced life, enjoy some down time, and trust that we will retain our ambition and sense of purpose even as we step away sometimes from the demands of our lives.

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