How She Does It
Christine Bosch is a talented illustrator and graphic designer and is the creative goddess behind the beautiful, seasonal illustrations used in Liveli Planner. She describers herself as “three spastic children stacked up in a trench coat, hoping they look old enough to fake adulthood.” Who can relate?
Christine juggles a full time job as a graphic designer and a side hustle as an illustrator, along with maintaining her valued relationships. Needless to say, she has a lot on her plate. What we love most about Christine, besides her creative talents, is her honest and genuine ownership of who she is, what she cares about, and what challenges her. And also that her weekly routine revolves around her favorite Mexican restaurant — if that’s not a winning routine, we don’t know what is. Here’s our conversation with Christine, someone we are so grateful to have on the Liveli Planner team:
How do you typically spend your time on an average day?
I am one of a great number of passionate artists rocking a day job. Typically my day would be primarily spent working as a graphic designer making wall art for a home goods company, include a great deal of thought about what I’m eating for dinner, and occasionally then transition to my side-hustle work as an illustrator.
What in your life is most important to you? What makes you feel most fulfilled?
I often struggle with overworking. I find a lot of my fulfillment in my work – especially my side-hustle – and am easily tempted to let it take up all my time and attention. Unsurprisingly though, this is not my most fulfilling life. Most important to me are the relationships in my life – spiritual, familial, romantic, and the rest. When I feel like I can give these relationships the time and attention they deserve – without letting my work and personal obligations fall apart – I feel most fulfilled.
What do you struggle to make time for the most?
The most difficult thing for me to make time for is hands-down creative refreshment. This is so counter-intuitive because inspiration is so essential to what I do, but it’s a real struggle. When I chose to pursue my art passion for my career, one of the most difficult challenges for me was the transition of my hobby into my work. The things I used to love doing – like painting, making projects for friends, keeping a sketchbook – suddenly felt uncomfortably similar to things I had just finished doing for a paycheck. There are real pros and cons to working in a creative field – I really enjoy my work, but I have to really force myself to do art for fun.
How would you define “balance?” What does balance look like in your life?
For me, “balance” is a place in life where all my spinning plates feel stable enough on their perches and none of them are fighting with each other. It usually requires a great deal of discipline and strict budgeting of my time to ensure that my work gets done, my clients are satisfied, the boyfriend feels loved, my friends see my conscious face, my faith is prioritized, my house is navigable if not clean, and my body is cared for.
How would you rate your balance?
On a scale of one to ten it’s not great. Some days are good, some days we don’t talk about.
What would make it easier to improve your balance?
Honestly, personal discipline and time management. I am a person with a perpetual list of to-do’s on my phone and a few dozen alarm reminders going off throughout the day. I am very good at forgetting things exist when they aren’t in my immediate field of vision, and need to keep my priorities always in front of me.
Do you keep a daily or weekly routine? If so, how did you create that routine and what are your secrets for maintaining it?
Usually yes but at the moment I am on furlough because of COVID 19 and all bets are off. My typical routine began two years ago based on the weekly specials at the Mexican restaurant up the street and everything else fell into place around it. Monday is dollar tacos, Tuesday is book club, Wednesday is date night, Thursday is work time, and Friday all bets are off. I am the kind of person who really needs something to look forward to, it doesn’t matter how small, so having a weekly routine like this helps me stay excited even when the days are bad or boring.
What helps you get in the zone and be your most productive self?
My head is a noisy place with a more “quantity over quality” approach to thought generation. For me to get in the zone, I like to give my ever-hangry brain something to chew on so the rest of me can be productive. Sometimes it’s music, but usually I put on a podcast or something absurdly conspiratorial on the history channel – anything that is interesting enough to keep me listening but not too interesting that it distracts me.
“…For a long time I just did whatever was loudest or most urgent, but as a result, I found that a lot of things I really valued were slipping through the cracks… Make sure you know what, at the end of the day, you will feel most incomplete not having done.”
“I believe that creative endeavors are powerful things because they can bring joy, empathy, and clarity to a world that desperately craves these things, and I hope that in my own way, I can make my corner of this world brighter.”
What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you make time for self-care?
I – like many creative types – have a fun cocktail of mental heath issues brewing upstairs, so self care is essential to my functioning. For me, it honestly could look like any number of things, but I usually slip it in by trying to make something I have to do into an outlet for my personal renewal. Often it comes in the form of running errands, since crowds and people are where I get my energy. Sometimes it’s doing some small task around the house so I feel productive, or engaging in a different kind of creativity and cooking dinner instead of getting takeout. Sometimes it’s as simple as an extra ten minutes in the shower.
If you could ask the women in your life one question about how they manage and make the most of time, what question would you ask?
What do you do when you suddenly get an open chunk of time? What activities bring you the most life?
If you could share one secret to success with other women for managing and making the most of your time, what secret would you share?
I would say first and foremost, figure out your priorities. There are a million distractions in life and a million things clamoring for your immediate attention at any given second. It is really difficult to sift through them all and figure out what is most important. For a long time I just did whatever was loudest or most urgent, but as a result, I found that a lot of things I really valued were slipping through the cracks. Make a list if you’re into that. Color code that shiz. Make sure you know what, at the end of the day, you will feel most incomplete not having done.
No woman can do it all herself. What is one thing you find yourself needing help with the most?
REMEMBERING THINGS! I have a very odd way of associating information to begin with, but with the addition of some side effects of mental medication, I have become a top notch space cadet. I basically need a personal assistant following me around all day telling me what I forgot and just where the heck I put my phone.
How She Does It is brought to you by Liveli Planner, a web-based day planner designed to help you connect the dots of your life.
At Liveli Planner, we value the women who do epic sh!t in their communities, homes, and workplaces. These ordinary women do the incredible every day but we don’t always hear their stories. Liveli Planner wants to change that. We believe that by sharing the stories we don’t always hear about, we’ll learn from each other’s wins and struggles and hopefully realize we are pretty extraordinary too.