Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Plate Spinning – Any Tips?

Stephanie

I write, create art, teach, plan events, work on marketing, and sell my art. I keep a journal, about 3-4 individual project books, write in Scrivener and Google Docs, on index cards and tablets. I title, tag, keyword, place edited photos in sets and collections. I highlight quotes on my e-reader, underline and place flags in my books. I use a software calendar app synced to my phone & laptop. Admittedly, I’d love to hire someone to perform many of these functions but for now, it’s all me and it isn’t really pretty at times.

One of the things I plan to manifest this year is a better way to stay organized. I tend to procrastinate with some things and go bullet train fast with others. I’m sure there is a better balance – but then my right brain kicks in and says, “NO! You must write now!” and there I am at 3am blurry eyes drooping and drool leaking out the corner of my mouth pushing forward because it’s an “Inspired” moment.

Tell me, how do you manage to stay on top of everything and manage a healthy creative balance?


8 thoughts on “Plate Spinning – Any Tips?

  1. TubbyMike and Stephanie,
    I just came across this thread, and the Action Method seems very similar to my own method I’ve used for years with a good deal of success.

    It’s quite simple. Using a Rhodia pad (or paper of choice, anything will do), I draw a vertical line down the right side of the page, creating a margin covering roughly a quarter of the page. As I’m taking notes, I write in the larger left portion of the page. Any items that I think of that I need to do, I write in the right margin. Each topic gets its own page. I need only reference the right margins for my to do list, but my notes are right there if I need them. For added organization, I might tear out the pages and sort them by importance.

    By way of background, I’m a writer. I spend about half my time producing my own work, and the other half managing creative teams. It’s important that I keep many plates spinning, and I’ve found my simple right margin to be highly effective. I even use the same “method”, if you can call it that, in my personal time, where I am a photographer and musician.

    Stephanie, I wish you success. I looked for years for something to keep myself organized until I realized that the most unobtrusive and simple way is usually the best. Use the tools you have and enjoy. When inspiration strikes, the last thing you’ll want standing in the way is how you work with your ideas.

    Anyway, I’m long-winded, but I hope this post can be of help!

  2. TubbyMike and Stephanie,
    I just came across this thread, and the Action Method seems very similar to my own method I’ve used for years with a good deal of success.

    It’s quite simple. Using a Rhodia pad (or paper of choice, anything will do), I draw a vertical line down the right side of the page, creating a margin covering roughly a quarter of the page. As I’m taking notes, I write in the larger left portion of the page. Any items that I think of that I need to do, I write in the right margin. Each topic gets its own page. I need only reference the right margins for my to do list, but my notes are right there if I need them. For added organization, I might tear out the pages and sort them by importance.

    By way of background, I’m a writer. I spend about half my time producing my own work, and the other half managing creative teams. It’s important that I keep many plates spinning, and I’ve found my simple right margin to be highly effective. I even use the same “method”, if you can call it that, in my personal time, where I am a photographer and musician.

    Stephanie, I wish you success. I looked for years for something to keep myself organized until I realized that the most unobtrusive and simple way is usually the best. Use the tools you have and enjoy. When inspiration strikes, the last thing you’ll want standing in the way is how you work with your ideas.

    Anyway, I’m long-winded, but I hope this post can be of help!

  3. Stephanie,
    If it’s any help, I tend to apply the Action Method, by Behance. It has been slanted towards “creative” types and is fairly lightweight, not being procedure-bound. I also like that you can choose paper, electronic or both formats to adapt as you choose. I’ve tried other rigourous methods but these fell by the wayside, but I’ve managed to persevere with this. Being a bit of a stationary geek, I’ve gone for the paper version of the method and this might appeal to you too (heh heh).
    Given that you do a lot of creative work the Action Method might be suitable for you and help you keep the plates spinning.
    you can find an introduction to their method at:
    http://www.actionmethod.com/methodology
    I hope this is of some use to you.

  4. Stephanie,
    If it’s any help, I tend to apply the Action Method, by Behance. It has been slanted towards “creative” types and is fairly lightweight, not being procedure-bound. I also like that you can choose paper, electronic or both formats to adapt as you choose. I’ve tried other rigourous methods but these fell by the wayside, but I’ve managed to persevere with this. Being a bit of a stationary geek, I’ve gone for the paper version of the method and this might appeal to you too (heh heh).
    Given that you do a lot of creative work the Action Method might be suitable for you and help you keep the plates spinning.
    you can find an introduction to their method at:
    http://www.actionmethod.com/methodology
    I hope this is of some use to you.

  5. I’m signifcantly older than you, my dear. I can tell you that, if you’re paying attention, one day you discover some things have more value because they bring joy or allow you to give joy to others. Suddenly, all that other stuff just looks like stuff.
    There are 24 hours in every day and you must sleep for some of them.

    I’ve been watching several “gonna get myself orgainzed” blogs for a couple of years. Many of those poor souls are no better off today but they’ve had a great time building the ultimate system.

  6. I’m signifcantly older than you, my dear. I can tell you that, if you’re paying attention, one day you discover some things have more value because they bring joy or allow you to give joy to others. Suddenly, all that other stuff just looks like stuff.
    There are 24 hours in every day and you must sleep for some of them.

    I’ve been watching several “gonna get myself orgainzed” blogs for a couple of years. Many of those poor souls are no better off today but they’ve had a great time building the ultimate system.

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