Multi-Tasking & Time Management

Football Season Means Colored Pencils!

#35 Raja Birdwing- Colored Pencil with Decorative Paper Background. Mlighthipe©2012

Yes folks…. that’s what the fall brings to my world. I get lots of questions about how I manage my time as an artist. People perceive me as being very organized and productive….. whew!  So glad that I come off that way. It doesn’t feel like it most of the time. Here are some of the things I do to maximize my time by planning ahead:

  • Colored Pencils are easily transported. I draw while my husband and I watch the football games. This way I am with him and instant replays are awesome in case my face is downward during a very important play! Is there something you can do while watching tv? Sew on buttons, create a shopping list?
  • Record programs on a DVR. I have DirecTv and I am able to schedule favorite programs. I can watch them at my leisure and fast forward past the commercials. I usually watch about an hour of tv a night just before I go to bed. It helps wind down the day. I can watch an hour of tv in about 45 minutes without commercials.
  • Save errands that are on a “loop”. I have friends that make fun of me because I always plan my car route in a big loop or circle. If something is totally out of the way, I save it for another time. I very rarely leave the house to go do one thing.
  • I have a notebook that has a list of things “to do”. Every time I think of something I add it to the list. As I finish each task, I cross it off the list. When I get to the end of the page, I fold it in half and copy all the things I didn’t get done onto the new page. This way I remind myself to get it done.
  • Clean the studio after each project or painting. I am a SLOB! I make a huge mess. Rather than clean up every day, I wait until my project is over and then I do a major cleanup. This makes everything nice for the next painting.
  • Label all my containers. I realized I spent too much time looking for things. So now all my little drawers, boxes, containers, flat files etc… have a label on them that tells me what is in there. When I clean I have a place to put things in. When I can’t find something, I go to the appropriate drawer and find what I need. I probably have  a dozen erasers all over the house…… When I do  “Clean Sweep” they all go back into the “Eraser Drawer”. I can always find one when I need one…. This was an awesome revelation!
  • Buy in bulk when you can. I bought 4 dozen kneaded erasers from Dick Blick several years ago. They were cheaper in bulk and I don’t spend a lot of time shopping online. I do this with my watercolor paper. I buy 20-50 sheets at a time when it is on sale.
  • Set reasonable goals. I look at my list and figure out how much time I should spend on each thing. I prioritize the list by putting a big star next to the neglected or important ones.
  • DO NOT MULTI-TASK when things are super important. I do not draw in front of the tv…. it is too distracting. It is all too easy to try to multi-task with everything that you do. Be smart and think about ways to condense things but don’t try to do it ALL and never try to do it all at once.

These are just a few things I do in the course of my daily routine. Here are some of my colored pencil drawings I have been doing while watching football games. I work on double sided mylar. My next post will explain more of how I work in colored pencil. I saved these colored pencil pieces from my #52/52 Challenge and “Gang Scanned”. It was faster to scan all of them in one sitting. The down side was that they didn’t get posted until now!

#33 Male Wood Duck- Colored Pencil MLighthipe©2012

#34 Goliath Beetle- Colored Pencil- Cast Shadow Photoshop; Mighthipe©2012

#34 Goliath Beetle- Colored Pencil with Decorative Paper; Mlighthipe©2012

#36 Owl Butterfly Emerging- Colored Pencil with Decorative Paper; Mlighthipe©2012

#37 Orange Birdwing Butterfly- Colore Pencil with Decorative Paper Mlighthipe©2012

 

How do organize your time?