Getting it All Done

by Lisa Call on June 18, 2013

in Being an Artist

Abstract Contemporary Textile Painting / Art Quilt - Structures #146 ©2013 Lisa Call
Structures #146
©2013 Lisa Call
12 x 12 inches
Fabric, dye, thread, batting
Available at Vision Art Museum Store

Long Lists

I have a tendency to make todo lists that are ridiculously long and just being okay without getting everything done. By aiming high I push myself to do more.

At least that was the theory.

But I’ve grown weary of this routine. Not the working hard, but the not getting everything on my list done.

It’s demoralizing. I’m making promises to myself and then not keeping them, which feels icky. I’d never do this to other people so why do I break promises to myself?

So enough.

Realistic Lists

I’m now making shorter lists and committing myself to completing them.

It’s a new thing for me and I’m still working out what it means and how to do it.

Last week I committed to working in my studio 20 hours and by friday evening I’d only found the time for 5 hours. In the past I’d say “oh well” and be happy with fewer than 20.

But not with my new plan. I got up early Saturday and Sunday and put in 15 hours in the studio to end the week with the promised 20 hours.

It meant less time relaxing and socializing but it also meant I trust that if I say 20 hours I mean 20 hours.

While I don’t hit 100% done every day or week, I’m feeling more confident that when I make a list I will really do what I say. In doing so I see myself moving forward, making progress.

And the interesting thing is – the shorter lists seem to be moving me forward at a faster pace than those long crazy lists.

Pretty cool!


Robyn Ryan June 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Wow Lisa, I too am a list maker… Long list maker… It sounds like the shorter list forces you to prioritize and focus vs. trying to tackle everything with little hope for success… What a great insight! With my own scarce resource of time, I am inspired by your new approach and will endeavor to make shorter more focused lists myself! Thank you!

Lisa Call June 20, 2013 at 9:59 am


Yes – exactly! It really boils down to priorities. What is it you REALLY want to get done. Once you zero in on that you start focusing on it and making great progress. The noise tends to just fall away.

Let me know how it goes with this approach for you!


carol trice June 24, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I am enrolled in Lisa’s Master Class which is just wrapping up and have played around with the list length. Generally, I have found that having shorter lists and accomplishing everything on the list has worked much better. Not only do you get to check off everything on your list BUT you also get the sense of accomplishment of saying you did it all. Somewhere I read that we can get an adrenaline rush from checking things off a list.

LOVE the colors on Structures #146!

Lisa Call June 25, 2013 at 9:12 am


I like that idea of an adrenaline rush from crossing things off a list. Seems like it’s true to me and that rush inspires you to do more things to cross off more items so it builds momentum!


Adrienne Murray June 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Hello Lisa,

I like crossing off list items SO much, that I’m inclined to put things on the list that I’ve already done, just so I can cross them off. Somehow having those broad horizontal lines through items make the whole list more do-able.

Lisa Call June 27, 2013 at 8:34 am

Adrienne! Yes – I do this also. It’s a most excellent way to feel great :)


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: