Mini Marathons

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Timing is everything when you set yourself a dozen deadlines in one day.

My daily drawing habit has slipped.  But I know I can do it again, if I follow my own advice.  More recently housework has kept me distracted for the best part of a morning, so it’s usually mid-afternoon before I settle down to draw, if at all.

To quicken my pace I’ve been setting a 20-minute timer.  It’s amazing how much you get done when you know you have a deadline; you make every second count.  I’m allowing myself short bursts of housework alternated with creative work.  I’m getting better at not putting off, and scheduling ‘mini marathons’ of activity is helping me get more done in a day.

The post Mini Marathons first appeared on Filbert & Smudge.

 

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All for One?

I’m almost done.  My casual winter wardrobe is set aside, and I’m reviewing a few other items that I haven’t worn for a while.  The rest will have to wait until spring beckons.

Focusing in on just one project isn’t such a bad idea.  I see that now.  Picking a wardrobe category and giving it my full attention has helped me get close to this particular finish line.  But I’m not sure whether I could approach my creative work in the same way.

  • How do I balance building my technical skills with the joy of exploring an illustration or design project?
  • What if I get stuck?
  • How do I make the smooth transition from one finished project to a brand new one?

Seeing how my wardrobe has benefited from my (almost) undivided attention, I’m sure my sketchbook would appreciate some quality time with me, too.

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Minimalism

As I siphoned off a capsule collection of warm clothes this week for my chilly weather wardrobe (brrr), I wondered whether minimising my choices would improve my focus and save me time.

If so, would this strategy work elsewhere, too?

At the moment I do little bits here and there, but it’s not enough.  I wonder how to gain focus, keep on top of everything, reduce the time I spend on routine stuff, make my creative work count, and do much more of it so progress happens in hours instead of weeks.  And a question keeps popping into my head:

…what’s the minimum you’ll accept, the minimum you’ll be happy with?

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Fail to Plan…

Only a week has passed and I haven’t drawn a thing.

Last week I was a beginner again, considering my next creative stride.  However, a few unexpected distractions meant my focus since then has been elsewhere.  Yep, my daily drawing habit is currently on hold (grrr!).  At the moment I’m resisting regret because: 1). tasks can take longer than planned; and 2). unexpected opportunities don’t hang around for long.  Are these genuine reasons or practiced excuses?  Perhaps I’m just in limbo between the end of one project and the start of another.  Haven’t we been here before?

So, rather than grabbing one of my pencils to doodle just for the sake of it (although it’s still an option), I’ll figure out whether the problem was with the planner (me) rather than the plan (my To Do List).

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Side Effects

“When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.”

James Clear – Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.

With yet another turn of the calendar there aren’t many weeks left in 2017.  17 in fact.  That’s 17 fresh starts.  Or 17 opportunities to choose, act, repeat, if you’re developing a new weekly habit.

And I am.

Every week, I intend to complete one ‘sewing’ task.  They will vary in magnitude, and distance from my current comfort zone.  But by the end of the year I should have 17 more items to wear, and a new set of sewing skills under my belt.  But it’s okay if I only complete one.  As long as I turn up for weekly practice.

Oddly, I feel more comfortable problem-solving with fabric and trying out new (and often complex) sewing techniques, than I am drawing with pencil on paper.  Yet there’s more at stake.  Maybe it’s the way I’m looking at things; I’ll be asking myself about that while I’m mindfully sewing.

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