Planning too much?

First blog post for 2018 and I've been planning what I need to achieve for 2018. In 2017 my work load consisted of a lot of lists and scheduling in all my work, and in one sense it worked really well but in another it also felt very over whelming when I didn't complete my to-do-list.


It went something like this:

Complete grade book: break down all i need to do per sitting , each sitting consists of 30 mins work. So for example 'complete grade book' (I never finished it in 2017) is still on my list and I know I have approx 36 more images to draw up to put in it; and with that comes written step-by-step instructions for each image. So that's another 36 steps, each lasting approx 30 mins, so in 36 hours I will have roughly finished. I then went a step further and put down how much I could complete per day so I knew when I should have it complete. (I do like an end point). 

And just reading that back no wonder I bored myself out of work. It felt like I was doing the work twice.

But by breaking it down it sought out certain points in which I needed either further information or help with certain sections, but what didn't work or I didn't take into account was all of life's interruptions or new work I took on for clients or unexpected things I needed to work on suddenly.  Then I would be there at 36 hour mark with an non completed book and feeling a bit shit about it all, not to mention all that time wasted that I had spent planning.

So a new year and new way of looking at  everything, I'm really excited about this year, I'm working with new clients on exciting projects, and aim to complete the grade book and re-launch Vanjo and I've finally gotten in a groove with my working hours.

New planning for 2018

New planning for 2018

For those who follow me on Instagram know that I balance work with looking after two little rugrats, and for a lot of 2017 I felt I hadn't gotten the work/family balance right. I tried getting up early to work before they awoke, working late, trying to squeeze in work in the day with them around, and I began to wonder how anyone else did it and worry that I was failing at both.

November I began to look at what would work for me and not what was idealistic in my head, (ideally I'd love to get up early, work and watch the sun rise then I've got a good head start in the day - realistically, children still wake in the night or get up early foiling my plan). And in Decmeber I took on a project which I wanted finished by January, and as simple as it sounds I worked out what two and a half days working week would look like to split over the working week in the evenings, and when that time came, that's it - I sometimes put headphones on, have a stack of drinks around me and try not move until I have blasted out what needs doing.

I still have a rough breakdown on what needed doing to keep me on track, (I'm still a lister) but with this new found freedom I had working on something, I began to find that planning too much tended to create problems rather than solve them. I wasn't doing work twice as I wasn't going through a list to tick it off, I was back to creating something. Passionately.

Over the Christmas time, I read that for each year you should choose one to two words which you kinda want to live by; in personal and work situations. Words that sum up what you are working for and words you use that get you through times when everything seems uncertain. To keep you on track.

So sit down, take a few moments, let the mind go blank and see what words comes to you. And don't question it. 

Mine for 2018 are "Elegance and Freedom"