Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting Where You Want: Organization

Sketch on Tracing Paper for new piece

This is the start of a series on achieving goals, I'm calling it "Getting Where You Want". The series will look at practical ideas of how to balance a busy life and achieve what you want.

School just started. Around our house that brings new rigor...my husband is a professor, I home school three days a week - there just isn't "slack" around our house during term time. With all this busy going on, I still want to work on my art. So, I have been reminding myself of the tools that I have used in the past to get it all done.

Getting Where You Want Requires Organization.

Two Simple Ideas:
  1. Put it all together - I have one notebook to hold everything I write down. There are art sections for my art to dos, possible blog posts, goals for the future, books I want to buy, things I want to research, notes I take when reading art books, etc. There are home sections for my to do list, preprinted grocery lists, menu planning stuff, inspirational pages, address book, calendars, etc. Stop spending your life looking for scraps of paper! My notebook is large so I do carry a small pad of paper to write down anything while I am away from home, but transfer it quickly when I get home.
  2. To Do Lists - I have two types - masters and dailies.
  • A master that lists everything I've ever thought I need to do. (My household master is subcategorized by planning, online, errands, household, phones calls, etc. My art master is subcategorized by blog post ideas, drawing/painting ideas, business, website updates, research, etc.) This is so that I don't ever have to remember to do anything. I just keep checking this list and cross stuff off. Having to remember things stresses me out, I try not to have to do it.
  • A daily that tells me what I need to do today.
  • How I use them: Once a week I scan the master list, decide what needs to be done and slot it into the week on days. Each day, I scan the daily list (written on my calendar.) So, if I don't do the daily list on the day, then it won't get done for another week. This is surprisingly motivating. I did a huge mound of ironing last night simply because I knew that I wanted to paint later in the week and if I left the ironing until then I would get one less painting done.

8 comments:

"JeanneG" said...

You are way too organized. You put me to shame. I do things when I get the urge. I have never had children so didn't have that need to make me organize.

I want to see that notebook. It must be huge with all those sections.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Great post Rose - I'm referencing you on Sunday!

In terms of series posts I always find it very helpful if they have the same opening word(s) - but sometimes I forget! :)

Jeanette said...

I have semi organization along the lines you've written about. I do keep notes, both written and electronic and my Outlook calendar is my lifesaver!

I am not stringent about keeping to it, but then again, I don't have the additional demands of home schooling and small children around. However I do work full time, so I need some degree of organization and preknowledge of what my day/week will look like to remain in control.

Rose Welty said...

Jeanne, I am not very good at spontaneity...organization is the only way I can keep my head on. If I had to just do things when I felt like them, I just never would - I can be very moody. :D Oh, the notebook is only a 1 inch 3 ring binder, but I could use 1.5 inches. I'll try and get a photo up soon for you. :D

Katherine, thanks.

Jeanette, exactly, it's the only way that I can remain in control.

Stacy said...

You have begun to answer one of my questions for you...how you get so much done with little ones at home. You and Maggie are my inspirations in this category. This week I am working to figure out a schedule. The kids are back in school and due to the leg breaking accident, summer really had no schedule. So I feel I am working with a blank slate. A wonderful opportunity to start fresh! I really like the "if it doesn't get done today it waits a week" idea. May have to try that one!

Valerie Jones said...

This is awesome, Rose! Thanks so much for sharing. I keep a notebook for things that I don't want to forget so the loose papers aren't lying around. I might have to add an art section. (((HUGS)))

Sydney Harper said...

I have an organization scheme similar to yours. I don't have children or homeschool, but I work. My small sketchbook that I carry around with me has major goals, lists, inspirational material, ideas, and sketches. There aren't any sections but it works for me. Most other lists, phone numbers etc. go into my cell phone.

Jo Castillo said...

Oh my gosh, you amaze me. If I write a note, I never look at it. Ha.

And ironing?? I haven't bought anything that needed to be ironed in many years. I'm not on the best dressed list, but I don't have to iron!

Great organization ideas. Hugs.