To Do Lists
Lately I’ve been having problems with my todo lists. I’m great at making them and I’m really good at crossing things off the list but I’m feeling like I’m running in quick sand. I’m still not making it to my studio as much as I want and the big todos never seem to get done.
I’m super busy yet the progress forward is incredibly slow.
With the help of my support system – my coach, mastermind partner, a couple of new accountability partners and my boyfriend – I’ve come to identify the problem as a complete lack of priorities to help structure my activities.
I make long lists of goals for the month, break them down by weeks and then eventually by day. It’s all very impressive but everything on the list is of equal importance.
So when its time to do stuff – I certainly do it. Heck – I’m always doing stuff!
Yet I pick the easy stuff on the list – like call the credit card company instead of rewrite my artist statement. Or I’ll update social media instead of working in my studio.
The result is I can usually cross most things off my list but I find what remains are always the big tasks, so I’m just treading water, not moving forward.
I might dive into the ‘why’ of this behavior in a future posts but the quick summary is that it’s about being sneaky (I look busy – go me) and avoiding risk (never trying new things as I’m busy with the old ones) and fear (the unknown and success are pretty terrifying).
Is it Really Important?
My coach gave me an assignment to prioritize my list of goals for November. So yesterday I managed to avoid that job by jumping from task to task getting essentially nothing done in a fit of amazing unhealthy multitasking.
I’ve been stuck wondering how the heck DO I prioritize my goals. As I sat down to write this blog post I was wondering what I would say… “um, yeah, well I need to do this”.
Fortunately, as happens very frequently when I write, a good idea popped into my head. I remembered the extremely useful Urgent/Important Matrix (read the linked article if you aren’t familiar with the concept).
Awesome – I have a place to start – I can sort my list out by this matrix.
My goal will be operate in the Important and Non-Urgent quadrant as much as possible.
The hope is for things never to reach Important and Urgent as this tends to be a result of procrastination. Doing things that aren’t important or urgent is distraction and I need to hire someone to do the urgent but not important things – like cleaning my house or calling credit card companies.
Although I suspect this is just a start.
It will help me identify exactly the tasks that will allow me to move forward – but within that quadrant I will need to assign each task a priority as they can’t all be equal, or I’m back to the same place of confusion.
I have decided that working in my studio is going to be placed firmly at the top of the list. Over the last few years it has fallen in priority and I need to reinstate it as Queen.
Because none of the marketing or teaching or writing makes sense if I’m not making my own art first.
Portals #5 is an example of what happens when my studio gets the desired attention.
A new direction. A big textile painting (over 4×7 feet in size).
New doors opening.
How do you prioritize your tasks and goals?