Time Marches On

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me time is king, queen, emperor and so on and so on.

As a creative, time controls everything. Work back schedules. Deadlines. Promises (kept, broken and stretched to thread-bare). If I had a proverbial dollar for every time I said “when is it due?” I would have at least, like $8,351.  Give me too much time and I am lulled into a false sense of security – “I’ll do it tomorrow, I have lots of time.” While some people struggle with alcohol and drugs, the most damaging vices in my life are procrastination and poor impulse control. In other words I waste time. Lots of it. And on occasion I make shocking life choices (but that’s another blog entry). In addition to wasting time, I also have an uncanny ability to find time. “Oh look, there’s some time. It was in my pocket all along. Silly me.”

The effects of time are potent and palpable. No matter what happens. No matter how bad it seems. It’s only a matter of time before it gets better. Time, as they say, heals all wounds. Anybody who has had their heartbroken knows that. Yes it hurts, but it hurts less and less as the days go by and sooner or later it’s gone. Sure, the scars may remain, but even they fade with the gentle abrasion of passing time.

Time is often viewed as a constraint. More often then not, people lament a lack of time and celebrate a surplus. For people in the creative profession, the opposite holds true. Without the pressure of time, most creative people will let their tires spin freely in the mud. Time adds structure to the creative process. That’s one of the fundamental differences between being a paid creative and being an artist. Artists have the luxury of a blank slate and more often than not, time. Creatives work within a set of parameters. And time is, arguably, the most important parameter of all. Because when the deadline looms, the creative juices (AKA stress and adrenaline) start to flow and usually, so do the ideas.

I’ve been told that time management is a skill. I must have skipped that class in high school. Just, kidding Mom, I never skipped class in high school. I think you can even take a time management course at community college. But seriously, who has got the time for a time management course? Unless they can break habits I have cultivated carefully for nearly 20 years, the only thing a time management course will do for me is cause more stress. Besides, if I learn to manage my time properly then it will just get harder for me to waste time. And I love wasting time.

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