Finding time for art when you have a busy lifestyle

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“So much to do…so little time to do it.”

That’s a phrase I often find I repeat to myself, being a first year college student and a neuroscience major I don’t exactly have a lot of time to necessarily do what I might want to do. With the pandemic I also find myself cleaning quite a bit when I would normally have downtime and be doing art or another activity I enjoy.

But, sadly it’s out of my hands that we are in the midst of a pandemic and my professors assign a considerable amount of work, I just have to find the time for art when I can.

If, like me, you have a busy life and find yourself unable to have time to sit down for a few hours and create here are a few tips I incorporate into my own routine to make sure I’m staying creative despite being busy.

  1. Doodle during your breaks. When I’m sitting at lunch or if we happen to be taking an exam in class that I have already finished I’ll pull out some scrap paper and doodle mindlessly. While they are absolutely not masterpieces, it’s a fun and easy way to get my hand going and give my brain a break.
  2. (this is directed at students or anyone who needs to take notes) Use Sketch-notes or otherwise make your notes pretty. Sketch-notes is a technique of note-taking that involves mainly drawing diagrams or other drawings and adding small blurbs of text as needed, it is best for visual learners and can be quite effective. Or, if you prefer more “standard” note-taking look around the pinterest “studygram” community for inspiration…I tend to look around when I am lacking motivation to study chemistry.
  3. Write out a daily schedule. Having a schedule for the day helps block out what you’ll be doing and when, and allows you to see if you have time that day for a few hours of winding down and doing something creative
  4. Use what you have on hand. As much as I would LOVE to have my nice paints or markers when doing diagrams in class for my notes, usually I just end up using a pencil or fineliner pen and possibly colored pencil if there is time/need for color. If i’m doodling odds are its on the margin of a note sheet or a sticky note with a cheap ballpoint pen or number two pencil in between lecture points. The quality of the supplies doesn’t necessarily mean the art you make is bad (though high quality supplies tend to be made of better materials and have an effect on quality in a way) all that matters is you’re being creative and having fun
  5. Re-evaluate your lifestyle. Do I really need to be THIS busy? Sometimes being overly scheduled can lead to stress, and therefor burnout. Find things you might not NEED to do to give yourself some time for rest and relaxation. Self care is important!

Are there any ways you make art while busy that I haven’t covered? Let me know, maybe I’ll add them to the list!

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