Friday, August 22, 2008

Structure for Creatives

Structure stinks. Whenever I add formal structure to my day, my inner rebel sticks out her wicked tongue and gives me a raspberry. Thbfffft!

I know that structure and routine bring freedom from worry, and yet I can't stand the thought of being tied down to a time just because I said so.
(Self parenting is even harder than parenting real kids.)
Even when I write down "make calls" at 3:00-3:30pm, I won't follow my own instructions.

If you're anything like me, you may like the "blob" method. Or you can call it "block" if you want to be all like that.
The blob method goes something like this:

  1. Make a list of the stuff you gotta get done.
  2. Look at your calender and identify the large and small blobs of time between appointments.
  3. Pick small tasks to do during the short blobs.
  4. Pick more difficult and time consuming to-do's for the bigger blobs of time.
  5. If you're working on an ongoing project, just do part of it over series of blobs to get it done.
Visualize & Estimate Time
If you like to draw (and even if you don't) you can help visualize how long each to-do is going to take.
Make your to-do list for the day randomly all over the page.
Draw a blob around each task and make each blob bigger or smaller depending upon how much time you think it will take.
Now you have a visual map of your tasks and can easily identify the big ones and small ones.
Draw lines between any blobs that should be grouped together (errands, things at the computer, etc.)
Color in your blobs when you finish them. You can even color in a pie slice or an inner blob if you only get part of your task done.

This may sound a little weired to some, but the only method that matters is the one that works for you.


Megan@Disorder2Order said...

Amen Allison. Great post... I am really liking your new blog and direction!

I am a "list maker" and if my day has many holes I do the little tasks, if my day has big holes then the big tasks get done.

You are so right... it's what works for you!