Multi-tasking & time management follow up

I’ve been meaning to write this sooner, but I was too busy making stuff to blog about it.  Which is great for me, not so great for the blog 😉

Every day I’m getting up and writing my Morning Pages (see the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron). It took a few weeks to establish that daily routine and not forget to do them. Also, to open up into full stream-of-consciousness and not edit or be too polite and superficial.  The idea is to get to my real thoughts, not the ones I homogenised for others.

I’ve returned to using a paper diary rather than my computer one.  The computer one just wasn’t nagging me like my paper one did.  Remember when you were at school and teachers would give out gold stars and such for your work?  I find writing things in my diary is like giving myself a gold star.

I use a cheap diary with enough space to list my work/creative activities each day.  You don’t need to have a diary, just a blank notebook with space for each day.  I write in how many morning pages I do (all 3 or less) and any work/creative things I do.  The diary stays open on my desk. I see how well I did yesterday and how the current day is going.  The blank space nags me to do something and fill it in.

The worst thing in my diary is an ’empty’ day, if I can’t think of any creative thing I did that day it spurs me on to do twice as much the following day.  Or frantically rush to get things done before bedtime!  It’s been months since my last empty day, so this works well for me.   I never lie to myself in there, though one of my early entries makes me laugh…. It just reads: “I created…..a fruit salad!!” It was one of those days I meant to do something and all I made was this fruit salad.

I only use to-do lists when something specific needs to be done that day.  I let myself do a range of activities each day and I’m not feeling guilty about it.  My output has multiplied so much it’s incredible.  I feel happier and I haven’t been bored or stale in weeks.  So the proof is in the pudding. Or the fruit salad 😀

I seem to be spending time evenly considering I don’t schedule anything.  But I’ve spent days where I’ve written, made some jewellery, sketched and then done some cartoon practice.  Other days I’m doing just a couple of things.  It all balances out in the end. Once I stopped feeling guilty at moving from one activity to another, it made all the difference.  I keep things where I can see (and be tempted by) them.  Shoving something in a drawer is the easiest way to forget it.

I still use timers if I’m on the PC – it ensures I take regular breaks and I’m aware of how far I am through the day.  When you’re at home alone all day it’s so easy to lose track of time! If I’m not on the PC I’ll set up a playlist of music that will run out when I want to take a break.

So a big thumbs up for multi-tasking artistry and managing time effectively.  Even if I can’t tell you what I’ll be doing tomorrow.  But that’s the whole fun of it!

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