I don’t. Or rather – I can start playing a game of chess and stay focused and concentrated for like 7 minutes. Then I just make a bold surprise attack without really thinking about the consequences. The other player looks at me surprised – thinks – and will of course win the game. Being a general in real life a surprise attack could work … but in chess? No.
I don’t like loosing.
Time management is like chess – and I am more of a poker player. I can be patient and strategic if I know I can be allowed to bluff and take risks. Poker involves that … but can I time manage like that? Deadline surfing could be like taking risks… but it’s just plain stupid when you have a child who might have to stay at home with a fever at any given moment – especially when something important has to be done. So I’ve decided I will have to play chess when it comes to time planning – and play poker in the studio instead. One important thing for me to remember is to not play too much chess - then I’ll just go crazy and do something totally surprising with my administration and time…
As I am a poker girl my chess players are a bit handicapped – they have really poor eyesight and need to use three aids: normal glasses, magnifying glass and binoculars
Normal glasses(6 -12 months into the future)
These last years I’ve had so many parallel projects going on – and I’ve had such a hard time remembering when to do what that I’ve sometimes missed important things (like applying for grants, making follow-up calls or even missing meetings).
But now I’ve solved it! Since last spring I use the calendar on my computer (iCal). I have more or less detailed planned what to do until the end of April – and I’ve backtracked things that need to be prepared.
For example: I will give a screen-printing workshop in March. When I planned it In December I wrote down in the calendar: when to promote the workshop, when to mail the participants (twice), when to order materials, when to send a nice e-mail after the workshops etc. So now I don’t have to think about it! I look at my calendar every night – and if I’m home doing administration in the morning as well.
I have this great overview of the whole year. I have managed to concentrate some workshops and projects to March, I’ve reserved April for making the enamels, May will be a mix (project, screen printing, enamels) and I’ve planned June for concentrated work in the studio. I’m going to try to get autumn organized in a similar way, but with more studio time (I have two exhibitions late autumn).
Magnifying glass (to do list for the day, the week etc)
- Less than 2 minutes-rule. I’ve started applying the rule that if something will take less than 2 minutes to do: Do it now, Don’t postpone it! For example: answer the e-mail straight away, put the date into the calendar, and pay the bill. Ok, I’m not perfect on this .. but I’m getting there slowly and I can see improvement (less paper on my desk)
- To do lists. I love to do lists. But I have this tendency to put too many things on them and then just feel a kind of despair when I just manage to do half of it. But thanks to using iCal and it’s very little space per day (I write down the things I have to do at night for a week or two) I can only put a few “to dos”. And I do them (ok ... I move some boring ones around a bit!). These tasks are complements to the long term planning (like with the workshops above). It can be: updating my website, do my bookkeeping (YES! I’ve finally started doing it on a regular basis instead of desperately a week before it’s time to do my tax declaration) or writing a follow-up mail.
binoculars (1-5 years)
but … where are they?
Shit – I must have misplaced them. I’ll try to find them until next week (i.e. I have to start using them)… a problem to try to fix. How can I work better on keeping my long term goals in front of me? What do you suggest?