Updated: May 22, 2019
We were talking about organization the other week. An element of that is structure. Unfortunately structure is something many creatives think is not important in their quest for creative excellence. However, really, nothing could be further from the truth.
I know many creatives who feel that structure hampers their creativity, however the trick is to learn to see it not as the enemy, but rather as a friend who can create a sense of security as well as achievability.
Structure, doesn’t have to mean rigidity and I think it is the latter that makes creatives shy away from it. If your body had no underlying skeletal structure - the muscles would have nothing to hang off, and the skin would look pretty bad draped over your bones only. If you think about it the human body is a triumph of creative engineering, highly complex on all level and every part and function has an underlying structure to it.
The most important thing to consider when talking about structure related to your life, is the element of Time.
For example how do you organise your life, your day to day, month to month minutea? Are you a list maker, a diary keeper, a scrap paper scribbler or ……. ? And how well does that serve you? Do you find you waste a lot of time hunting for lost things or being late, or forgetting important details. All these things, while perhaps seeming trivial, if they are only isolated incidents, soon mount up if they are regular events. And the net result of that is you have wasted your most precious resource. You have squandered it away and nothing you can do will every bring it back.
What is it you have lost - as the sands of Time are slipping through your fingers?
TIME is your Most Precious resource. It is non renewable and non negotiable. The only thing you can do is spend it very wisely. If you want more time to paint, for example, ask yourself how much time are you ‘wasting’ that could be used painting.
Now of course, it might be argued that there is no such thing as ‘wasting’ time, it depends on your point of view really. What is a waste of time to one person, viewed at a surface level, might be, at a deeper level, self care to another.
The point is - it is a very individual thing and only you can decide what is most important to you. It centres around how much you are consciously using your time allotment and what percentage is unconscious. This is important to figure out, because it is the unconscious part that can give us the most gains when we recognise it and then utilise it into a conscious endeavour.
There is a fine line here, because on the one hand we have the procrastinators and on the other, the boots and all people, who leap before they look and don’t spend enough time in the consideration phase, they just want to get the job done come what may. This is just as counter productive as procrastinating, because these kind of people generally end up having to repeat things, and redo because of a lack of forethought and planning. So even though they appear to be very busy and productive, they are in fact, frequently short changing themselves.
An example of this is the student who says to me, when I inquire as to why they have placed a completely wrong colour on their work, “ well I had this colour on my palette and didn’t want it to go to waste!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this tale. What they fail to see is that they have wasted not only the paint, because it now has to be painted over, often twice to get rid of the influence of the underneath paint, and they have also wasted all that precious time firstly painting something that is wrong and secondly having to repaint over it again. They do not understand paint is a renewable resource - time isn’t.
I often really feel time slipping away from me when I'm doing necessary but drudgery tasks like checking my email every day. How many minutes of my life have I wasted away sorting through junk emails?
Where are you wasting your most precious resource? And can you do anything about that?
NEXT WEEK: Is There Any Such Thing As A Truly Original Artwork?