Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thing-a-week: Productivity edition

I've been listening to more   podcasts lately, especially when I'm making art. My favourites include: Art and Story, Artists Helping Artists, and Paper Wings.

This week, time management was the theme of both Paper Wings and Artists Helping Artists. The timing couldn't have been better.

My blog posts have been late for the last few weeks as I've scrambled to finish up a whole bunch of writing and editing work. I'm realizing that as the economy improves, this is likely to continue. Also, I find that work begets work: having regular bylines means editors and clients think of me often and, consequently, I'm assigned more work.

Well, that's a theory, anyway!

But, like any creative, I've got to find time to nurture other projects. I've usually got art markets or shows on the horizon, and I'm currently developing a comic. And, of course, as an MFA student, I've got lots of creative writing to squeeze in, too.

Since I refuse to let any of my interests fall by the wayside, I need to juggle them better.

Fortunately, I have a few more tools in my arsenal after listening to the podcasts this weekend. I'm going to work harder to:

- "Eat my frogs" everyday (that is, do the most dreaded tasks first)
- Find ways to double-up (for instance, listen to podcasts while painting/dog-walking/cleaning the house)
- Spend less time on social media
- Be more conscious of my energy levels during the day, and when I'm most productive at certain tasks (I'm an evening painter, for instance)
- Re-order my tasks to be more productive (for instance, dog-walking before I create artwork or do any creative writing, since it's often a very creative time for me)

But, I think I also need to cut myself some slack. Sometimes, work and life are harder to manage, and certain tasks and responsibilities will be neglected. The house will be dirty. The dog unwalked. The painting unpainted...etc. There's no such thing as perfect.

That said, accountability is a really weird productivity booster, so thanks to my Thing-a-Week buddy Mike Kendrick for nudging me, now and then.

And check out his blog, too! He's a very creative dude.

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