The Limitations of Time

Have you ever rebelled against your own schedule? When you have become your own boss and suddenly you find yourself ignoring what you set out to do.

Initially, you feel so happy that finally almost every bit of what you believe are the right things to do, are being followed. Each of the most important aspects of the project is being carried out. With daily repetition, they become automated processes that help immensely to remain focused and to continue working even amidst many distractions and usual life emergencies.

During those processes, there is always a part of oneself that wants to do more and better. I should do this and I should do that, (the Should Monster as Jessica Abel calls it). Sometime you try to follow these voices but they are out of the automated processes and require much attention so we skip, and the unease continues to grow.

The schedule is tight and practically all the hours of the day and part of the night are filled, but with all this work, and there would be much more you would want to do, results are not in sight. There is so much you want to learn, but when? Patience you say. And continue.

But at one point disillusionment summed up with physical burned out, make you the rebel that is going on a strike!!growing-gills-cover-1

What came to my rescue at this point was a great book from Jessica Abel, Growing Gills. I did not think I needed it at first because I thought it talked about Procrastination, and my problem was that I had too many things on my plate and did not know how to carry them all without freaking out. Instead, after listening to her Live video on facebook, I realised it is a very useful book which guides you and prepares you with worksheets and tools to be able to manifest your creative ideas even within a busy life but in a sustainable way.

The one turning point was that above all my projects came the realization that Christmas was in sight and I needed to think about presents. I thought first of buying my own products from Zazzle, but finances not permitting, I decided to hand-paint a design for each person on a purse or keyring. The idea was electrifying and exciting, so I made a conscious decision to sacrifice some of the other projects, like new designs for Zazzle to be able to dedicate that time to paint.

I was happy I was able to maintain my blog schedule of posting once a week, but it soon became obvious that it was not possible to continue if I was to finish in time. I usually have ideas for writing while I draw or paint, these words come as a form of consciousness for any process or insight I am going through in those moments, but to be able to manifest them I have to stop what I am doing and write on a paper, otherwise, they are gone.
This obviously slows down the time I am making the design, it is like my attention is split in two. One side is looking at the drawing and the other is imagining words.
But with this new project a deadline was involved, so the limitation of time, and the nature of the project, painting small designs with extreme details on fabric, with very little, if none, margins for errors, required my attention to be whole, undivided and without time to wonder, or to write anything on the side.

As a result, the posts for the blog had to be ignored, as any beautiful reading of all of your blogs. And surprisingly this has caused a lot of anxiety, every Saturday when I usually like to post, I felt emptiness. And so decided to find time to write about the process I am going through which may be of help if at any point you are struggling with your creative practice.


Reading Growing Gills has given me the awareness that we all go through the same difficulties while creating, from the inexperienced to the most successful, and this has created a sense of forgiveness and patience with myself that has helped clear most of the anxiety and overwhelming. It is a book that it is useful for a lifetime because it helps you organize and put into perspective any project you intend to do, at any given time.
It has helped concentrate on that One Goal that was the most important one in this moment, making Christmas presents, and not feel bad about not attending to the other projects as much.
When writing a post became a necessity, I was able to give myself the time to write these words, but because previously I had followed the schedule for my One Goal by Time Tracking every action, I then knew how much it took me really to finish each one and the time left available, so I was able to find this time.

There is still much work I want to do with this book. And I have already set up the perfect time to do this, once this One Goal will be achieved. Once Christmas is over, I will set up probably the whole week to work on preparing a sustainable schedule and goals that will allow me to continue with the project that I prefer, giving up the ones that are less important or are not in line with what I want to achieve. And free time and mind!

And another tool that I have learnt from this book is reviewing, every week prepare the schedule for the next week, make changes when need to be, as a result of the experience of the previous week, so the timetable is set with realistic expectations. Reviewing the whole project after 6 or 12 weeks, checking if goals have been reached and what other strategies can be implemented.


As always, everything is a continous work in progress, constantly changing and evolving. But with a clear system we will be able to give patience and forgiveness to ourselves, and as a result we will with others. The only way anything is achieved is by taking one step at the time, and always checking if we are in the right directions or if somehow we have lost the way and something needs adjusting.

You can find Jessica Abel “Growing Gills”, Jessica Abel website, from Amazon and you can also check her facebook page where you will be able to listen to 4 live videos where she explains about the book. Jessica Abel Facebook

Happy creating!



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