Keep or Give Away?

It’s almost another New Year. 2017 is happening. Soon. We have to get ready for it.

I’ve spent a day just putting together a weekly task schedule so that I don’t fall so far behind next year. It seems that I can only accomplish half of what I intend to most of the time. The shop is busier now so it’s time to pull a shift getting organized for the upcoming months while there is time. There are a lot of people talking about organization right now; organization, fitness, resolutions. It is a new year… a new beginning in some ways. While I do need to declutter (seriously) that’s not the reorganization that I have in mind… This will be easy and worth it and you can do it too. Keep what makes you better, stronger and happier next year. Then give away the grief, stress, and frustrations that troubled you in 2016.

Step One: Start by eliminating time-wasters. Remove all TV, cable and internet news from your social media feed. This alone is going to make you a happier person in 2017. Of course you shouldn’t ignore the news entirely… just don’t plan to read it when you’re on Facebook. That way all your social media threads are happy places you enjoy going to when you need to put out status updates, post important life events and upload photos of your quilt or your dog or your kids…

Step Two: “Unfollow” anything that does not add value to your life, that does not educate you in some way, or that does not inspire your creativity. Start with eliminating emails that go into your trash folder as soon as they come in. If you’re not reading the emails then they’re not adding value. On social media platforms (I give you permission) you can unfollow anyone or anything that has become toxic or stressful over the last year or so. Instead, follow people, pages, boards, and blogs of other creative people whose work either inspires or informs yours.

Step Three: Plan a routine. Start by making a list of every task you would like to complete during the week on a regular basis. You may prefer a schedule with time slots (easily managed by using Google Calendar) or without tedious notes for every bathroom and snack break as well as time spent interacting with real people (example below). It may be simpler to work off of a daily schedule that doesn’t require rigorous observation of every minute since the hours artists and other creative people keep can be varied.

If there are tasks that have become routine that are no longer necessary to remind yourself of (morning coffee, feed the dog, brush your teeth) don’t put them on the list. If there are tasks you would like to accomplish that you have never tried before or ideas you would like to give yourself time to develop add them to your list for 2017 so they make it on the schedule and crafts actually happen. Don’t let one more year pass without writing your book, learning how to ski, or getting healthier because it didn’t make it into your daily schedule.

dailyscheduleimage-copy

Sunday – Projects Currently in Development: Make sure you’re prepared for the upcoming week so that you have what you need ready to work on projects that are currently in development, tutorials, patterns, videos, blog posts,  UFO’s, etc…

Monday – Manage/post to all social media platforms: List each outlet that you post to so that you may check them off as you go. The more often you follow the same pattern of posting the easier the routine will become to remember. Now is the time to check and answer messages, look for updates, post statuses…

Tuesday – Idea development day: Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying  something new that might be fun. This does not have to be directly related to your current artistic calling. It’s ok to explore other areas of your creativity. Genius is not limited to one form of art. Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, and Prince Charles were/are also painters. Don’t limit your genius. Take it for a run through something else you might love.

Wednesday – Blog Post: Write. You have something to say. If you’re not sure what it is yet spend a little time quietly working on something repetitive while you get your thoughts in order. (I play video games, cook, or cruise Pinterest.)                                                                 Time in the Studio: Make things. It’s that simple. Whatever it is you make… do that. You know it’s what makes you happy so get to work!

Thursday – Time in the Studio: Take time to learn more about your craft or something new you’d like to be able to do. Go through all those emails you get all week from other creative people. Check in with pages, groups and other artisans you admire to see what they’re working on.

Friday – Time in the Studio: Make more things. Isn’t it great getting projects done?!     Blog Post: Ok… you don’t have to blog twice a week but at least spend some time thinking about what your next post will be about.

Saturday – Time in the Studio: Make other things. Do you believe all this time you didn’t think you had?

NOTE: “Time in the Studio” does not mean that you have to have a studio in order to get creative work done, although it does help. Find a place to steal away where you can be loud, quiet, messy, or meticulous. Make sure you have a plan for what you’re going to work on and that everything you need for your project is within reach. That’s your “studio”, or desk, or TV tray, or traveling suitcase, or mom’s basement. It doesn’t make a difference in the finished project (*key word here is finished). Just make great, awesome, beautiful things. Also, feel free to spend time in your studio even if it’s not in the schedule. More time being creative is guaranteed to make you smile more. 

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