Lately I ‘ve been feeling a tad overwhelmed. Not only is there my usual work of slogging through the third draft of the next book in my fiction series and toiling away with my colored pencils to keep up a steady stream of artwork, but there’s also the many things I need to/want to/should do such as
- figuring how to improve my Etsy shop and drive more traffic to it
- getting better at social media
- trying new styles and mediums with my art
- getting more exposure for my art
- staying on track with my writing
- improving this blog, including getting more readers to interact
- and, of course, trying to earn a bit of income through all these efforts
Sorry, My Brain Is Full
While I like to think of myself as fairly organized (anyone who knows me for more than ten minutes will know all about my array of to-do, to-read, to-draw, to-etc. lists). But I had so many little chores going around and around my head, I felt as if my brain was full and that I could never get to any of them.
But I had to get to them or these things (Etsy shop, social media, blog, income) would just continue plodding along as slowly as ever. If I was ever going to improve the business side of my creative endeavors, I needed to organize my plan of attack.
And so I sat down to a bit of brainstorming.
I’m not much of a brainstormer. In fact, this was the first time I’d really made an effort to use this approach to organize my world. But brainstorming seemed a good fit in this case since the ideas that were floating around in my head were orbiting central points like little idea planets around a thematic sun. Or rather like a brainstorming diagram.
On the first day of Project Take Over World with my Creative Genius I wrote down the main “themes” I needed to sort out and spaced them along the center of my page. Then, I went crazy writing down everything that came to mind for those themes. Some of these things were pretty basic (“stay on schedule”), but others were more specific (“look into how to lower shipping costs”).
Luckily I had just gotten a lovely variety of colors of LePen pens. After all, when you’re plotting to take over the world, it’s very important to color code your plans.
The next day I headed several pieces of paper with one “theme” at the top of each page then, after deciphering my brainstorming scrawl, I numbered and wrote out each idea or goal I came up with for that theme with a short description of what needed to be done.
On Day Three it was time to put the plans into action, or rather to schedule out my battle plans. Using time frames of a couple weeks, a month, three months, or six months, I gave each idea a time frame for when it could feasibly be completed and – using lots of colors – I pulled out my very professional cartoon elephant calendar and set to planning.
To complete this World Takeover Plan I did spend about three or four hours of time that could have been spent working on writing or art projects, but I don’t feel it was wasted time. My head feels much clearer and I feel uber-organized and, yes, ready to take on the world. Although if a spy ring comes along and steals my calendar I could be in trouble. Hopefully Finn McSpool isn’t a double agent!
Thanks for reading everyone! Over the next few months I hope you’ll enjoy joining me on my journey to implement My Plan. (Step One was to put a couple social media links on my blog, as you can see over there on the right if you read posts via my blog’s web page.)
So, how do you stay organized, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed?
Tammie Painter is the author of The Trials of Hercules and an artist who dedicates herself to the tedium of creating Images with colored pencil. Each month she features several Showcase Items on the virtual shelves of her Etsy shop.