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I am often interested in the ways other people manage and organise their lives. One day I might do pie charts or something. Person A spends 14% of their time washing up. Person B spends 26% of their time gazing out of the window. Guess which one is me?

(I am fond of a diagram.)

Anyway… My friend Nicki is able to sort her time as if it was a school timetable. It can include lovely art-related things, but it also includes work, meals, exercise, reading… a very organised daily routine. I couldn’t do that. I’m more:

  1. Wake up, shower, breakfast
  2. How come it’s already 11:00?
  3. Look at my diary, panic, supposed to be in Wolverhampton by 11:30
  4. I will do it, because paradoxically, I hate being late.
  5. Swan about doing all sorts of other stuff which will definitely contain some art-related activity
  6. Remember I need to cook a meal
  7. Eat meal
  8. How come it’s already 11:00?

I have been talking to the always busy Stuart Mayes recently, and something he said has really stuck with me. People say “oh I must make time to sew/draw/chit my potatoes!” But actually you can’t make time. We all get the same 24 hours. By changing the phrase it makes things more manageable. I must USE my time in order to cook/exercise/prune the raspberries. We USE it. And we can choose how that happens. We can choose how long to spend on some things. I am a speedy washer-upper. My husband is a slow, contemplative washer-upper. I don’t want to use my time doing that. It is important to me to make sure I use that 26% with my feet on the table.

Feet on table time is crucial to the safe and healthy working of my brain.

But I think I will take a little bit from Nicki’s book. I shall start looking at my diary the night before.