Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How to Develop a Daily Journal

creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.html

This blog post is part of a series that takes a deep dive into the strategies I use to quiet my monkey mind and stay focused on my art making, One morning ritual I find invaluable is the daily journal practice. I have a bunch of journals that I use to help me stay mindful.

Morning Pages


creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.htmlMany artists call this "morning pages" as coined by the author Julia Cameron in her Artist Way book. When I do morning "pages" I generally bend from Cameron's instructions to write 3 full pages. I just write a few sentences or borrow prompts from The Five Minute JournalThe Five Minute Journal comes as a book or an app, For a long time, I was using the app until I started getting annoyed that there was one more thing I need to do with my phone. Now I just use a regular journal to write out the prompts.

A Family Affair



My teenage children have also embraced a regular journal practice. My college age daughter, an aspiring musician, writes daily morning pages and my sixteen year old son uses the official 5 Minute Journal book. He finds the fill in the blank prompts for daily and evening journals helpful. Since he is a high performance athlete hoping to wrestle for a Division 1 school, he has augmented his journal practice with a diet and fitness journal of his own design.

creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.html


My favorite writing prompts


creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.htmlMy favorite writing prompts are for gratitude, daily intentions, and affirmations. This practice gets me in the mindset of being in control of my day’s direction and happiness. You don’t have to go buy a special book or an app to create these productive patterns in your day.


Morning prompts


Just make it a ritual to start your day with the following questions: What am I grateful for? What are three things I can accomplish today?


Nightly check-in


Then do a nightly check in to remind yourself of what you accomplished that day. The prompts here are: How could I make the day better? What were the “wins” for the day?

8 Daily Prompts for Mindfulness


Would you like a list of my daily prompts? Here are three morning prompts and 5 nightly checkin prompts that you can use to make yourself happier and more focused! >> download the FREE 8 prompts

creative daily journaling prompts | journal morning pages | daily affirmations and goals | goal setting | How to Develop a Daily Journal + 10 daily free daily journal prompts free printable → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-develop-daily-journal.html

In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)



Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net

Other Blog Posts You might Like

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How to Find The Time To “Do It All”

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html


Since I sell my art online, write a blog, teach online art classes, volunteer within my community, and have two teenagers, I am constantly getting asked, “how do I find time to ‘do it all?’”

First of all, you don’t “find” time.

In fact, I will go further to say this isn’t about “managing” your time. You can’t “manage” time or “find” time or even “make” time. That just isn’t how it works. You manage your activities… and you can manage your focus to be more productive.

This blog post is part of a series on finding focus and being more productive as an artist. In my last post, I shared with you How Mediation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio. It is now the first thing I do in the morning, before I even roll out of bed.

My Morning Routine

But I actually have a whole structure around my morning routine with each part pivotal to helping me focus.

Some things are obvious.. Like a hot cup of coffee...but others less so.

For example, I have never, ever..not even once...skipped breakfast.

And there are some things I know I HAVE to do in the morning, because if I don’t, they will never get done.

One of those is exercise.

So even before I start answering emails or checking Facebook which pulls me into an endless stream of “urgent” but not important. I have to exercise.

If I don’t exercise, I am an unfocused mess. Last week, I missed my morning exercise class and I ended up backing my car into a neighbor’s car. (shh… don’t tell my husband.. He says he reads my blog posts. But I don’t think he reads them carefully)

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
Developing a consistent morning routine helps us stay focused!
Putting a painting in your bathroom is a great way to improve
your mood for the day. This one is in a private collection but
you can explore more similar floral art for sale

Routines align our actions with our intentions


A consistent routine that includes exercise helps us by setting expectations about availability, aligning our actions with our intentions, and getting our minds into a regular rhythm of creating. I have that time blocked out 5 days a week and I exercise at the same time each day. I no longer choose the “best” instructor or the “best” class but the one I know will make me smile and starts at 8:30 am so I can get on with my day. Exercising my body helps me spend long hours at sedentary work such as creating art or writing blog posts.

Although it “takes time” to exercise, I always get more done when I limit my work hours because it forces me to focus on what's most important and not what feels urgent. 

Set firm boundaries

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
Surrounding yourself with beautiful objects allows you to treasure every moment. Life is beautiful. Here is Bright Blue Bell Blossoms, singing the fresh songs of spring in a cacophony of colors.
During the day, I let the phone go to voicemail and there is absolutely no notifications on my phone. I turned off all noises because I used to be like Pavlov’s dog jumping up to check at the slightest buzz. I wait to check my email until 2pm each day and all the subscriptions come to me as a roll up.

This way I can end my day at 5:00 and enjoy the rest of the evening with my family cooking dinner, relaxing and just hanging out.

Batch it. 

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
For maximum productivity, I batch my art creation in painting sessions and my blog writing in writing sessions.
This room features an orange poppy painting from the spring series, "Spring's Trumpet"

Getting started is always the hardest part. It’s challenging to start a project from scratch, and it’s also hard each time you enter a project after a break. By working the same kind of work until it’s done, you keep your momentum going because you are “in the mood” to do that kind of work. 

You never have time to feel detached from the process but most importantly you don’t waste time getting into “writing mode” or “painting mode.” 

I call this process batching. So, one day I will work only on painting, and another day I will focus only on blog post writing.


Don't context switch

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html
To maintain calm and focus... start each morning the same way


I don’t multi-task and I encourage you not to multi-task either. While it feels easy enough to make one painting, then list it online, then write about it, studies show us that we find it very difficult to “context switch.”

To avoid context switching, I create my art in a series, write a series of blog posts about them and then list them on my website in one sitting. I also schedule (batch) all my social media posts on instagram and facebook.

So there you have it.. In order to “get it all done” ( and I rarely do!) I have a strong structured and disciplined morning routine and then I batch my work for the afternoon.



DOWNLOAD the FREEBIE: Morning Focus Checklist


Since I am always fascinated by others morning routines, the freebie for this blog post is a “morning focus checklist.” Please download the checklist and let a perfectly focused morning set you up for the rest of your day!

morning routine for productivity | time management for artists | How to Find the Time to "Do It All" + free printable morning checklist for focus and creativity → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-find-time-to-do-it-all.html

In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and I’m the founder of The Inspiration Place where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net
Read More »

Sunday, April 2, 2017

How Meditation Keeps me Focused in the Art Studio

how meditation helps artists focus  | smartphone meditation apps | meditation apps | podcasts | meditation podcasts | zen | relaxation | creativity | artist | art business | creative business | productivity | motivation | inspiration | positivity | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html

What is the first thing you do in the morning? Well. if you are like most people.. you roll over to check your phone. I used to do this every morning too but then I realized that I was spending at least 20 minutes each morning with my phone in the air doing random clicking and scrolling in a zombie-like trance.

This was not a good way to start the day.

Something had to change and so last year I deleted soul sucking apps (like facebook and two dots) from my phone and added a meditation app.

I have been meditating daily for over a year now. So after a cursory glance at my inbox (which is pretty lean since I an obsessive filter user) I turn on one of my meditation apps.


Affirmation play lists

At first, I started with affirmation audio by Louise Hays and also guided meditations from the Law of Attraction franchise. However, these grew a bit old and tiresome especially since I didn't care for the saccharine sweet background piano music.

how meditation helps artists focus | smartphone meditation  apps | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html
guided meditation apps

Last summer, I discover a meditation app called "Calm" and have been meditating daily ever since. I sing praises to the effects of mediation to anyone who will listen as I have noticed both long term as well as short term benefits to meditating.

Short Term Affects

I haven't missed very many days since I first started. However, I find that on days that I have meditated in the morning I am calm and focused the rest of the day and it is easier for me to focus on long stretches of working in the studio.

Meditation combined with the exercise and a daily journal practice is the trifecta of my art productivity system. I know many other working artists who rely on these three critical components each day as well.

Long Term Effects

Meditation has also helped me "let go" of negative thought patterns. This helps me while I am painting to quiet the inner critic.

how meditation helps artists focus | smartphone meditation  apps | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html
Moon Child, 12x12" by Miriam Schulman, www.SchulmanArt.com
In this art, a young girl meditates on the moon.
Find out more about the story behind this art on my website.

Want to get started meditating too? I've compiled a list of meditation resources that will help get you started. 


>> click here to download your free guide
how meditation helps artists focus | smartphone meditation  apps | How Meditation Keeps Me Focused in the Art Studio + FREE printable giveaway of my favorite meditation apps and podcasts for creativity and art → http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-meditation-keeps-me-focused-in-art.html

In case we haven't met yet...

About Me (Miriam Schulman)
Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at schulmanArt.com or learn how to paint with me at TheInspirationPlace.net

Other blog posts you might like:


Read More »