Category: Creativity

Time makeover: Make art when you can. Relax when you can’t.

About a month ago, I put out a call for reader time logs. Laureen Marchand, a 66-year-old Canadian artist, was among the people to respond. She told me that she was "not as productive as I'd like to be," and in the beginning, at least, she seemed to be looking for standard advice on getting more done. She noted that she was frequently distracted, and her schedule a… read more »

Time strategy #5: Leave breathing room

In years of writing about people's schedules, I have learned that we all have different activity tolerances. My inclination in life is more toward "full." I don't mind having things push out a bit at the seams. On the few package tours I have been on, I have been amazed to see how much downtime is considered normal. That said, I do know this: a day has exactly 24 hou… read more »

Time strategy #2: Earn your merit badges

I spent a few years as a Girl Scout. I consider earning badges to be among my more satisfying memories of childhood. While knowledge of, say, folklore is a nebulous thing, earning a folklore badge is incredibly straightforward. All the requirements are specific, doable actions, such as reading certain books or asking people for stories.* You do the specifi… read more »

Gone in the instant of becoming

While doing some reading on the topic of time yesterday, I came across a quote from William James: "Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp, fled ere we could touch it, gone in the instant of becoming." It is true that all moments are fleeting. As we think about time, there is forever this tension between trying to be in the moment, and recognizing tha… read more »

The assignment and the follow-up

One of the highlights of third grade at my kids' school is something called "The Wax Museum." The children each choose a historical (or current) famous figure, and research the person's life. Over the course of several months, the kids do multiple assignments, culminating in the construction of a timeline. They display this timeline at the school while dre… read more »