Three steps to being more productive
For many years, while I worked in the corporate world, I also maintained my art business. I had a successful full time career as an It Project Manager and I had a growing on-line business in the world of art and art instruction. I was a corporate professional moonlighting as an artist.
In retrospect, I wonder how I managed both worlds so successfully. Because really, they were two very different worlds and neither knew about the other.
But I did manage both of those worlds and I did both very successfully.
Today I have the luxury of looking back. The luxury of seeing things from a different perspective. And what I have realized is that managing both of those worlds was not at all by by chance - there was always a plan, there was always a vision whether and where those worlds intersected or did not intersect.
It sounds trivial to say that those plans came together from a simple list, that was written in a simple notebook - but they did!
!f I told you that in 2007 I wrote that I need to make over 100K in my professional life you might not believe me. If I told you that I wanted my art business to grow by 90% you might believe that even less. I achieved both of those goals and more and how did I i do it?
It is all about that simple list:
Here is what I have used for over 30 years - that has never failed me. Never underestimate the power of writing things down.
Here is my method:
I use three journals/sketchbooks in the course of a 1 year period and each has a purpose:
1. Big Picture journal (6 months – 1 year)
2. A Business journal (monthly)
3. A To do list notebook (daily)
In this post I will talk about the Big Picture journal. I will follow up with the next steps in other posts so stay tuned.
1. Big Picture Journal + Tools
This is really the core of the system. This is where everything starts. And this is where it should start for you regardless of where you go with this system. The point of the Big Picture Journal is to capture:
any thought or idea you have in your waking or sleeping/non-sleeping moment about what you want to be/where you want to be
any person you want to meet as inspiration
any activity you see yourself doing that you have never done
any room/house/country you see yourself in
any activities you see yourself in: skydiving, creating pottery, bungy jumping, teaching, preaching, talking
any activity you thought you might do in retirement
any city/country you want to travel to or live in
any way you picture yourself physically, man, woman etc.
any name of people famous or other who inspired you
any colors, countries sources, cities, people, courses that inspire you
I hope you are getting the idea from the list above. This is NOT a bucket list. It is a list of goals, actions and resources.
This is a very effective way to:
Clear your mind
Understand what matters to you
Highlight your goals
See what is important to you in your life
Sort what is key and most important to you
Understand what you want
There is so much power in writing things down and putting it on paper. Don’t underestimate this power.
You may not know what your list means yet. That’s okay - just write it down, it will come to you
Save your Big Picture List rest for a bit - a day or two or longer. This is a powerful list.
Before we move forward I wanted to provide you with some resources to record all of the above.
For me, where I “record” all of this makes a difference; I need to connect with the paper and I need the paper connect to my ideas