Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 3... Overcoming an Obstacle

Week 3 in the 52 weeks of blogging challenge is about an obstacle you overcame. I have to say the painting came easy, and my inspiration cup runneth over. There was always a multitude of classes and books to entertain my artistic cravings, and my drive to create kept me up until 3am most nights. My problem was finding the balance between my day-to-day reponsibilties (work, grocery shopping, laundry, etc) and my new addiction. As I sat on my stool, in front of my drafting table, or at Starbucks watching video after video on techniques, my laundry piled up and I dreaded going to work.

Now let me just say, I love being a NICU nurse. Taking care of babies and developing relationships with their familes is so rewarding. However, over the last 4 years I have slowly started to resent my job because my need to paint was taking a huge back seat. As of two weeks ago, I decreased my hours at work, and I now have 6 days off of work, every other week. Unheard of in my profession. My first stretch of days off, I taped 3 videos and got a week ahead of blog posts, finished up some business license tasks and cleaned my house. I was on a roll, but when the day came to go back to work I was as ready as I could be, and I felt better knowing I had made great use of my time. It was a risk decreasing my hours, but I had to do it for my own well being. It was a difficult choice, but one that I don't regret making.

In addition to cutting back my hours at work, I knew I had to create some kind of schedule. That meant not only scheduling my posts (52 week challenge on Mondays, artistic Fridays, etc), but also my tasks for each day I had off from work. For example, tomorrow is my day off and according to my "to do list" I need to tape a tutorial, and work on editing a couple videos I taped last week. If I get done with that, I can work on an art piece I have in the corner of my studio. I always schedule my tasks at least a week before they need to be done, so if something comes up... like Hank desperately begging for Mommy's attention... I don't have to worry about scrambling to finish on time.

I downloaded a calendar from Blog Guidebook (I also printed one for my gardening to do list), it's the perfect size to tote around with me, yet, large enough to hold my daily notes. I cross out the days I work (I don't get much done on those days) and then I write what posts are schduled on which days, and as I complete them I highlight them and move on to the next task. If I'm more than a week ahead, I spend more time painting the next couple days. All I have to do, in the morning, is grab my cup of coffee, consult my calendar and plan the rest of my day. It has allowed me to relax, enjoy my journey, and become extremely productive.

TO DO lists are extremely important for an organized life. I, however, am a little more anal-retentive, so I have a TO DO FOLDER (yes, that's right, an TO DO FOLDER). It's crazy, but it's helped to prioritize what needs to get done now, from what tasks can wait a couple months. In this envelope, I have lists of possible blog posts (for PHL and PHP), social networking tasks (sponsorship ads, blog buttons, start Flikr account), classes I want to take (Blogging you way, web design class), color schemes I want to try, possible PeachHoneyPreemie products, fabric I need to buy, etc . I also have goals in the folder... attend a retreat, show at art show/festival, plan a getaway for my artist community. If I ever feel like I have nothing to do... which is very infrequent... I can consult my folder, and I immediately have an endless supply of things to do. I love being busy, but crazy/unorganized busy doesn't work... organized/Type A busy works much better for me.

What was your biggest obstacle as an creative person, and how did you overcome it?

Hope you have a wonderful day... come back Wednesday for a post on the classes that are currently inspiring me to make beautiful art. Xoxoxo


Brandi said...

I have to say time management was NOT my forte, and to-do lists help me, too! Since it feels like I live my life in front of a computer sometimes, and I keep losing paper and notebooks, I ended up using to keep me on track. So key!

Jess said...

I'm gonna have to give that a try... Thanks Brandi!!


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