What to do: Set your priorities

Mal | Art Process and Creativity | Thursday, May 28th, 2009

On the fence 3

When I wrote my About page, I laid out out my intention for this blog.

This is not a blog about one particular medium or another. This is not an assembly line of amazing and flawless creations. This is not a business site designed to promote a book or a business or a product. This is a place for exploring, discussing, and considering the creative process — the power of making — and its place in modern life.

In recent weeks, you’ve seen me trying to puzzle through this business of modern life and how to fit creativity into it. But what exactly do I mean? What is modern life and why is it so difficult to make time for making?

I guess by “modern life” I mean this whole fast-paced thing — this overscheduled, overcrowded, convenience-driven attitude that is popular in our culture.

On the rail 1

In the old days, people created because they had to. Women quilted because their families needed warmth. They baked because their families needed food. Men fashioned their tools and laid out their farms so that they could eat. Women cared for children, men cared for plants and livestock. All were involved in the slow, steady work of nurturing life, and of making things, and of getting through.

Nowadays, why cook when we can pick something up at the drive-thru window? Why make blankets when we can buy them at Wal-mart for $3 a pop? It takes so much time to cook, to quilt, to paint or string beads or write poetry. Why labor over a hand-bound book, a tile mosaic, or a plein air painting when you can so cheaply pay someone else to do it? Paying will surely free up our time. But what do we do with that time? Well, a lot of us work harder to earn more money so we can pay for more conveniences.

Turquoise in tree

Money will buy time. If I could pay someone to do my laundry for me instead of sitting in the laundromat for 3 hours a week — to do my cooking and cleaning, my car maintenance, and my dog walking for me — why, I could travel the world with my sketchbooks and do nothing but create. But, the only way for me to have funds to pay for convenience is to work more. Working more means less free time. That must not be the solution.

As it stands, you and I and everyone make small decisions every day. For the most part, we give time to those things that are important to us. I say “for the most part” because if we are going through our days without examining our priorities, it’s very easy to fall into some cultural traps. How much time do I spend watching television? And why? Is watching television important to me? Well, no. Not really. But culturally, it is the popular thing to do. It is an easy thing to do. It is a fairly brainless thing to do. It lulls me into thinking I have done something. (Hint: I haven’t.)

On the fence 6

If I wish to dedicate more time to things that are important to me, I first have to know what those things are. I have to set my priorities according to my values and be prepared to make decisions every day — every hour — to keep myself in line with those priorities.

One of my values is a core belief that making things enhances and improves my life. I have worked this year to make making a priority in my own life, and not just in the lives of my art therapy clients and patients. And so, even when I’m tired, or have had a long day at work, or am being jostled about on the subway, I try to make something. When I am upset or sad or sick, I try to make something. When I am happy, excited, or anxious, I make. Making is my priority.

In the tree 1

I’m not a self-help author. There are plenty of people out there who want to tell you how to set your priorities. I’m not going to give you a numbered list of steps or suggestions for what your priorities should be. But, here is what has worked for me:

  • I separate my values from my priorities. Values are things I believe. Priorities are things I do. They are the areas where I choose put my time and energy. Knowing my values helps me set my priorities. Priorities are my filtering system. They help me organize my time so that I can live a life in line with my values. Is that circular enough for you?
  • I try to limit my list of personal values, priorities, and such to only 3-5 at a time. That’s not to say that I only believe in 3-5 things, just that I don’t want to actively be working on more than 3-5 areas at a time. More than this just gets overwhelming and probably sets me up for failure. I don’t like failure.
  • My list is always in flux. What is important to me today may not be as important tomorrow, so it’s important to revisit it frequently. If I were to have children, for instance, this list would be likely to change.

I’m currently in the process of re-examining my list of values and priorities. Certain things have become less important to me and are being jettisoned. Others are making a re-appearance. Here is my current list of priorities — the places where I am trying to spend time:

  • Health
  • Creativity
  • Prosperity
  • Relationships

What about you? What are your values? Your priorities? Where will you spend your time and energy today?


  1. Think about investments that supply fast annuities.

    Comment by Caren — 13 February 2019 @ 9:53 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What an ideal website.

    Comment by Web Design — 14 February 2019 @ 3:09 am

  3. MarquisLoure cialis without prescription generic cialis cialis ed dosage
    [url=http://buyscialisrx.com/]buy cialis[/url]

    Comment by generic cialis online — 14 February 2019 @ 3:52 am

  4. visqueen sheeting

    […]usually posts some pretty fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

    Trackback by visqueen sheeting — 14 February 2019 @ 6:18 am

  5. usually posts some really exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site

    Comment by 안전놀이터 — 14 February 2019 @ 7:03 am

  6. just beneath, are many completely not connected sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re certainly worth going over

    Comment by 토토사이트 — 14 February 2019 @ 9:34 am

  7. I was looking at some of your content on this website and I think this site is real informative! Retain putting up.

    Comment by Travel — 14 February 2019 @ 9:44 am

  8. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Comment by Porno — 14 February 2019 @ 12:57 pm

  9. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this post and also the rest of the website is really good.

    Comment by Treasa Henry — 14 February 2019 @ 1:16 pm

  10. we came across a cool web-site that you might take pleasure in. Take a appear when you want

    Comment by 메이저공원 — 14 February 2019 @ 3:30 pm

  11. This is true for investment advice as nicely.

    Comment by Gudrun — 14 February 2019 @ 4:08 pm

  12. Here is an excellent Blog You might Uncover Exciting that we Encourage You

    Comment by 먹튀검증 — 14 February 2019 @ 7:58 pm

  13. I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    Comment by kaso sablon bandung — 14 February 2019 @ 8:11 pm

  14. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

    Comment by Ponro — 14 February 2019 @ 9:06 pm

  15. I like what you guys are up also. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site :).

    Comment by Travel — 14 February 2019 @ 9:33 pm

  16. I believe this is one of the so much important information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should statement on some common things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Excellent job, cheers

    Comment by papalendir — 14 February 2019 @ 10:48 pm

  17. one of our visitors lately proposed the following website

    Comment by 사다리사이트 — 14 February 2019 @ 11:06 pm

  18. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    Comment by internet access — 15 February 2019 @ 1:03 am

  19. how long do 100mg sildenafil last [url=http://www.viagrauga.com/]www.viagrauga.com[/url] what else acts like sildenafil

    Comment by viagra online pharmacy — 15 February 2019 @ 1:56 am

  20. I simply wanted to thank you very much yet again. I do not know the things I might have made to happen without the entire advice shown by you directly on my subject. It was a real daunting problem for me personally, however , understanding this professional mode you treated the issue took me to jump for gladness. I am thankful for the guidance and then pray you find out what a great job you have been putting in educating some other people with the aid of your web page. I am certain you’ve never met all of us.

    Comment by Travel — 15 February 2019 @ 2:04 am

  21. You can definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

    Comment by Porno — 15 February 2019 @ 5:08 am

  22. just beneath, are various entirely not associated internet sites to ours, nonetheless, they’re certainly really worth going over

    Comment by فیلم سکسی ایرانی — 15 February 2019 @ 5:09 am

  23. I went over this website and I conceive you have a lot of wonderful info, saved to my bookmarks (:.

    Comment by Home Improvement — 15 February 2019 @ 7:55 am

  24. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

    Comment by cialis — 15 February 2019 @ 9:16 am

  25. Here are some of the web pages we suggest for our visitors

    Comment by صور سكس 2019 — 15 February 2019 @ 12:49 pm

  26. I have learn some good stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot attempt you place to create the sort of fantastic informative web site.

    Comment by voirfilms — 15 February 2019 @ 2:22 pm

  27. Hi there, There’s no doubt that your web site could be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic website!

    Comment by Carmelina Wagers — 15 February 2019 @ 2:45 pm

  28. Thanks for expressing your ideas. I might also like to express that video games have been ever evolving. Better technology and enhancements have assisted create realistic and fun games. Most of these entertainment video games were not that sensible when the concept was first of all being tried out. Just like other kinds of know-how, video games too have had to develop by means of many decades. This itself is testimony to the fast continuing development of video games.

    Comment by porno — 15 February 2019 @ 6:06 pm

  29. I do believe all the ideas you have introduced for your post. They are very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for newbies. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

    Comment by News — 15 February 2019 @ 6:16 pm

  30. Take into account investments that offer immediate annuities.

    Comment by Aida — 15 February 2019 @ 6:42 pm

  31. I cling on to listening to the news broadcast speak about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i find some?

    Comment by Health & Fitnest — 16 February 2019 @ 12:10 am

  32. What i do not understood is actually how you’re now not really a lot more smartly-liked than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You recognize thus significantly with regards to this topic, produced me individually believe it from numerous various angles. Its like women and men aren’t involved except it’s one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs great. At all times deal with it up!

    Comment by Travel — 16 February 2019 @ 1:16 am

  33. You really make it appear so easy along with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really something which I feel I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I am having a look forward for your subsequent post, I’ll attempt to get the hang of it!

    Comment by Ponro — 16 February 2019 @ 1:18 am

  34. Here is an excellent Blog You might Locate Intriguing that we Encourage You

    Comment by LolyCam 18+ — 16 February 2019 @ 4:25 am

  35. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube
    sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83
    views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    Comment by kue ulang tahun nemo — 16 February 2019 @ 5:18 am

  36. I will right away clutch your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me understand in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

    Comment by Home Improvement — 16 February 2019 @ 6:11 am

  37. wonderful points altogether, you simply received a emblem new reader. What would you recommend about your post that you simply made some days in the past? Any sure?

    Comment by Beauty Health — 16 February 2019 @ 6:45 am

  38. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

    Comment by african cuisine — 16 February 2019 @ 7:34 am

  39. I’m impressed, I must say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is one thing that not enough persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

    Comment by Film streaming — 16 February 2019 @ 9:15 am

  40. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    Comment by voirfilms — 16 February 2019 @ 11:14 am

  41. of course like your web-site but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I will certainly come back again.

    Comment by Health & Fitness — 16 February 2019 @ 11:24 am

  42. F*ckin’ amazing things here. I am very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i am having a look forward to touch you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    Comment by Ponro — 16 February 2019 @ 1:49 pm

  43. although sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re actually worth a go by way of, so have a look

    Comment by 토토사이트 검증 — 16 February 2019 @ 1:58 pm

  44. sildenafil effect time http://viagrabs.com/ generic for viagra

    Comment by generic viagra — 16 February 2019 @ 2:01 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress | Theme by Roy Tanck | Free SEO by Court's Internet Marketing School | Get Tranquility White WP Theme

Technorati Profile SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline