white painted road marking direction arrow

Direction Determines Destination

Routine and structure for home-based businesses

I work from home. My commute is from the kitchen to the studio. I live one day at a time. Yesterday has gone. I am excited about the future but I focus on today. Having a daily routine helps me to maintain that focus. There is a lot of freedom that is attached to what I do. And I enjoy it. However, without any structure that freedom could be my undoing.

Getting started

I don’t just wake up and start painting. There are times when creativity does take over and I can’t wait to get started. On the whole, there is a process that I go through. It keeps me on track, and passionate about what I do.

My first thoughts upon waking are usually encouraging thoughts. I’m thankful for another day. Another 18 hours to live out my purpose. I remind myself, what a potentially exciting day I have ahead of me. A day of new discoveries. New friendships. New opportunities. It’s exciting!

I sit quietly reflecting.

After that, it’s time to make the bed, get dressed and cleaned up etc. Breakfast is usually something pretty quick and easy. I’m not too hungry in the mornings. But I can’t go on without at least a cup of tea or coffee to get me started

Morning walk

At this point, it’s time to take a short walk, come rain or shine. Get some fresh air. Get the body moving. I enjoy strolling along the riverside. I begin to take in various observations. This is when I visualise my everyday surroundings quite literally as a living painting. I see houses, trees, rubbish bins, expressed in various brush marks. I begin to identify interesting textures that catch my eye. I memorise those hidden colours lurking unseen in the shade. I have a fresh appreciation of the line and form of familiar objects. Often I’ll see before me a vista of tone, tint, or hue. Mentally I’m taking it all in and I’m preparing myself to paint. For me, creation itself is my inspiration.

Morning pages

I get back home and I’ll brew another cup of coffee and open up one of two notepads. I write three pages. I call these my morning pages. To the casual observer, many would assume I’m journaling. It’s a bit like journaling but more. I write whatever comes to mind. I don’t stop to think. I just keep writing and writing. I have used this technique to declutter my thought processes over the years, by getting them out on paper. I find it’s a great way to filter out the junk and negativity. And it helps to get past those times of painters block. Most of the time I am writing utter rubbish. It’s important to process those thoughts on paper. Occasionally, a golden nugget will flow through the ink onto the paper. A new idea waiting to be explored and developed further.

After morning pages, I’ll open up the second notebook. This is a list of things that I want and need to achieve during the day. By writing things down, they will get done. I’ll make brief notes. Schedule in painting, blogging, posting art to social media, frame making, and what aspects of the business and day to day life I need to take care of. I also make sure I fit time for something new to learn, or to improve. That could be research, a new language, or a new skill.

I’ll head to the studio. I glance around the walls. They are littered with photographs and memories. I’m surrounded by happy times. I switch gear and remind myself that I am a prolific artist. I am thankful for my abilities and my blessings. I’m thankful to do something I love doing.

The oil paint is in place on the palette and immediately I’ll start playing and enjoying the mixing process. Mixing a batch of those colours I saw on my walk perhaps?

By having a daily routine, I get to ensure my day is not wasted. I allow plenty of room for spontaneity so I can follow my creative urges. My goal is to make the most of what I have been given. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow.

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