How Am I Doing?
Tasks from Goals
To keep me on track, I took all of my goals for 2011 and divided them up into months. Calculating how many hours in my studio, how many blog posts, how much art work, etc, that I need to produce each month to stay on track.
I then broke that down into weeks and have a template for the basic tasks I’d like to complete each week. I sit down sunday evening or monday morning and fill in the specifics for the week.
Each morning I then write my todo list for the day, based on this weekly plan. I used to write my todo list in the evening but I found I usually forgot stuff so I just do it in the morning now. I usually have a few notes from the day before so it goes quickly.
Staying On Track
I’ve been doing something similar to this for years, breaking down the bigger work into smaller pieces, starting with the big picture and working towards the smaller tasks.
Yet something still felt missing. And that was a way to look at the big picture to see where I was for the year.
So I’ve added a new tool to my goal arsenal this year – a spreadsheet to track my progress. This spreadsheet can tell me at a glance which goals are on track and which I’ve fallen behind.
Each goal is on a separate line with the final target at the end (for my big new goals, like designing a workshop, this final target is usually 1 – as in I complete the goal).
I add up how much I’ve done each month, and compare it to where I should be for the year. If I’m on track, I leave the line white. If I’ve fallen behind, I turn the line yellow. Once the goal is completed, I turn the line green.
I use my software project management excel talents to do all of this automagically with formulas and conditional formatting. It’s much to geeky to explain how I do it here, plus I suspect it’s rather convoluted as I think like a computer nerd quite a bit, but the above screenshot gives you an idea of what I have.
My intention is to review my goals once a month. After adding in my progress, I can tell at a glance where I need to put my focus to catch up the following month.
I knew with my trip to Costa Rica and my focus on getting my goals organized, that January would be light in the studio. And it was. I only spend 40 hours creating art, as expected. So I’m on track there.
Where I fell behind is the amount of art I want to create as I didn’t adjust that for the light studio month in January (due to laziness on my part). I’ll catch up on that soon in the coming months.
I also didn’t start any drawings so I’m behind there.
On the art business side, I didn’t get my bookkeeping done or my contact lists updated. I did get started on my first big goal: designing workshops and that is on track.
I wrote just 1 blog post for makebigart in Jan so I have catching up to do there.
For personal goals, all is going great and I have my first goal completed in this area – my vacation to Costa Rica. Yay!
Overall, January was mostly focused on writing goals as I hadn’t done annual goals in a while and I wanted to create a reusable and flexible system. I have now that so in coming years it will be much quicker.
I think I will now add to my list of accomplishments for 2011: create a system for goals.