How To Balance Your Day Job
And An Art Career
Being able to balance your day job and an art career at the same time is a tough task that requires lots of discipline.
Most of the artist I know are not able to quit their day job in order to be full-time artists. The balancing act is hard but supplies you with enough income to pursue your art. Let’s not forget that we have bills to pay and maybe a family to supply with food and love.
But how to be creative after a long day of work when you’re finally home? That’s when the discipline kicks in.
Today I want to help you to maximize the time you have to work on your creative projects.
At the end of the day we have to learn how to balance our day jobs and being and artists at the same time and eventually we are able to shift to the direction of making our income as artists.
Setting A Schedule
This is what I’m working on the hardest right now.
As an artist, who also works in a full-time job its important to organize your day. I tried several things from paper notebooks, to calendars, to different apps on the phone and I have to say the digital way is working the best for me right now.
I try to schedule out my next week and roughly write down, what I want to do on what day and how much time it takes. Order the things by priority so the most important things are being finished first. Structuring tasks makes it easier, at least for me, to work on them. It does relief me, knowing that the most important task is already done.
For me, it’s researching and writing articles right now. After I’m done with that I can work on something else. Until my priorities change.
Here is how your schedule could like aka. how my schedule looks like at the moment:
- On my weekends, I wake up early and try to write one post per day and write music the rest of the day… If it’s a longer weekend, I try to meet with friends, when I have so spare time
- I’m working 4 days a week for about 9 hours and I need about 40 minutes to go to work and 40 minutes to come back home.
- I try to give myself about 1 hour to eat and clean things at home (e.g. dishes, laundry, cats toilet)
- At LEAST 1 hour is reserved for my blog and afterwards I’m probably going to work on my songs
- I go to bed rather early to have my 8 hours of sleep
- Repeat until you find a better schedule
Of course I’m timing my work flow so I can work on big posts on the weekends and smaller ones after work. That also helps balancing my day job and my art career.
I do have to admit that I’m not the best organized person in the world but I’m working on it in order to be more productive.
Set A Goal And Stick To it
This is supposed to give you the motivation you need in order to push through and achieve your goals.
My personal goal is to reduce the days of my daytime job in order to pursue my art and make a living out of it. I know that it’s not an easy goal to achieve and that it takes a lot of work and dedication. I also know that I’m not the only one who wants that.
There are many people who achieved that goal before me. Maybe you are in a similar situation?
Don’t lose sight of your goals because it will take time to get there. In my case, I know that it can take up to several years.
You just have to start and keep pushing through. Always with that goal in mind.
Keep An Eye On Money
Don’t we all want to quit our jobs and work full-time on our artistry? I would certainly do so immediately.
But we have to be honest with ourselves. The bills have to be paid and you might need food from time to time. Maybe you are already further than me and you already earn money from your art. Is it a constant income though?
Just be sure that all of your bills are covered every month. If that’s not the case, you should work for a few days a week just to be safe.
Maybe you’re in a position like I am. You are working hard on your art but with no income yet. I already reduced my working days to 4 days a week and together with my boyfriend we have enough money.
I can ensure you as soon as I get another income, I will reduce to 3 days a week and that day will come. It’s the perfect balance between day job and your artistry and passion.
A daytime job might prevent you from burning out quickly. As an artist your income won’t be as steady as in a day time job. You don’t have to worry too much about delivering every single day.
Work hard and don’t lose sight of your goals.
Don’t Let Stress Get The Best Of You
Speaking of delivering every day….
Stress is my worst enemy. I’m trying hard to avoid stress and change my lifestyle into a direction were stress is not getting the best of me. As I already said, a day time job might reduce your stress level by a lot because you have the security of not starving at the end of the month.
When you think the time is right, you can ditch your day time job but until then keep it for security.
Try to actively avoid stress or do stress reducing measures. Every time I feel I’m stressed and therefore blocked and I can’t continue to work or my music production suffers, I go out for a walk.
I will do something that I really enjoy and I need right now. Might be something as little as ice cream on a sunny day. Playing with my cat. Just going for a walk and recharging sun energy.
Do what makes you happy and that makes you feel grounded again. If you keep pushing and pushing until your stress level makes you feel exhausted, isn’t your creative work going to suffer a lot?
Of course there are deadlines or you simply want to finish a project. These are cases when you really want to push through and work until very late at night but don’t make it a habit to work until exhaustion.
If you want to know my tips to develop a positive mindset and reduce stress as an artist, then check out my last article right here.
Set Yourself Deadlines
A new thing I’m trying right now is setting deadlines for myself so a project won’t drag on forever.
Finishing a project feels awesome and opens up time and space for new things to come.
Wether it’s a song or a painting or chapter of a book… set a timer when this particular piece should be done and train yourself to get it done in time. Your productivity might skyrocket because you can work on other things now.
It also prepares you for the real world, were time is not an infinite resource and companies want you to deliver quick.
Go little by little though. Don’t force yourself to finish a whole song in a week, if you know for sure that it’s not possible. But you can try to finish the lyrics and the chord progression for a song. Or start working on the composition in your DAW.
For me, it’s writing multiple blog posts in a week. In order to finish within my deadline, I start writing in the morning before work or at night after work. It pushes and motivates me enough to work more quickly.
I hope you enjoyed todays post and I could inspire you somehow.
Take care of yourself and I will talk to you soon.
Did you learn anything new today?
Or do you have awesome tips to share?
Let me know!
I would be super excited!