A quick recap: a little over a week ago, I decided that I needed to get out of the creative and productive rut I’ve fallen into over the past few months. And it would be good if I could prevent myself from going down a similar path in the future.
So I’ve set some goals for the rest of the year, to build a solid foundation for myself and my long-term goals going into 2019.
I’m going to check in with these goals every week. I still haven’t quite decided what form these check-ins are ultimately going to take (and they’re not all going to be on Thursdays). But for now, one week in, I’m just going to look at each of those goals, and the progress I’m making (or not).
Improve the quality of the art I’m consuming, in order to improve the quality of the art I’m creating.
As expected, this is the first area where I can see actual progress. I’ve gone through all the unread ebooks I’ve been collecting (am I the only person who finds it really easy to do that? Like, even easier than it always is with physical books?), deleted the ones I know are just ‘junk food,’ and made the ones that I do genuinely want to read easier to find. I cleaned up my ‘wish list’ on my library app, doing the same thing (and adding a few new books that I’m really looking forward to). I’ve (re)committed to watching at least one movie a week; I might increase that to two or three later, if I can make it fit into my schedule. I’ve been doing much better at avoiding those horrible, time-wasting websites.
Have I seen an improvement in my work? Not yet (that would involve doing more work than I have been this week). But I do suddenly have an almost-fully-formed outline in my head for a story that could be so good. Except I very much DO NOT WANT to write the damn thing. Or I do, but… I don’t. (There are reasons. Good ones.) So… I’m not quite sure what to do with that. At least I’m feeling inspired; that’s no small thing.
Find a way to structure my time in order to support my bigger goals (creative and otherwise).
I said last week that this is my biggest problem. I’m not going to magically fix it in a week.
Right now, I’m in the research stage of things: reading about time management (and trying to separate the useful information from the dross) and looking at different time-tracking techniques (my natural inclination is to use an app, but I’ve done that before, and while it’s easy and can produce pretty graphs, I don’t know if those pretty graphs motivate me to actually change things).
So… not great, but I’m moving in the right direction.
Develop workflows for writing and photography. And blogging.
Yeah… I haven’t even started thinking about this one.
Experiment with productivity and journalling systems, and find something that works for me.
Hm. I’ve sort of started? Maybe?
I’ve revived the bullet journal I abandoned at the beginning of the year, and I’ve been experimenting with different ways of using that. I’m in research mode, here, too—and, like time management, wading through all the productivity porn and figuring out what’s useful, what’s useful to me, and what’s just empty platitudes… it’s going to take some time. This is actually the area I want put the most effort into over the next week
Finish the work on the office.
More progress! I’m back on track with the decluttering process (it’s a bit slow—it’s a bit of a challenge, even for an unsentimental minimalist like me—but it is happening), I’ve sourced the final supplies I need for my DIY art project, and I’ve finally got good task lighting. I’m feeling good about this.
In all: it’s not terrible. It’s about what I expected for a plan like this, only one week in. Most of my active projects are still in slightly awkward stages, and it’s difficult to build a routine around them just yet. But it’s a start, and everything will start to get easier as I figure out what I’m doing.