How to Gain Clarity with a Realistic Schedule

Everyone wants to be more organized, but no one more than a freelancer!  We have the chore of not only being our own boss, the marketer, the bookkeeper, the job searcher but during all this, if we don’t stay organized, it can be disastrous…and this can be an especially difficult task for creative people.  So, I’ve invited my friend Alisandra Wederich to share helpful information with us on the concept of organization through “unscheduling”.  Read on….

Do you (realistically) know much time you have available in a given day?

Before you answer, take a look at the image below. Does your calendar looks like the one on the left or the right?

 

 

 

 

Unschedule Diagram v1 0915 PN

This view on the left is a typical daily schedule listing meetings with other people. The view on the right is what Neil Fiore in his book, The Now Habit, calls an “Unschedule.” It’s a list of activities that most people are ALREADY DOING, but don’t take into account. Even if they’re not tracked, these tasks still take time to perform, impacting our actual availability on any given day.

Building a personal “Unschedule” provides you with a highly accurate assessment of your free time.

1. Realistic Time Assessment. Although building an unschedule can initially be stressful, it’s highly worthwhile to have a realistic understanding of your time. A realistic time assessment means the ability to plan based on your true availability. Instead of underestimating your available time and overbooking yourself, you can provide timelines that work for you instead of against you.

2. Motivation, Focus and Efficiency. Reinforcing the knowledge that your time is limited through an unschedule means an increase in valuing the time that you have. This often helps to improve focus and efficiency because it creates mindfulness around how your time is truly spent. Being distracted by email or social media notifications is a loss of valuable time, and turning those notifications off will provide you with an additional boost of focus and efficiency.

3. Time Value and Appreciation. If your time is constrained, you can be sure that the time of others is constrained as well. This means doing your part to make sure that the time you need from others is spent wisely so they are less impacted by your schedule. Alternatively, sharing your unscheduling habits with people you work with gives them a better appreciation of your time as well as their own, improving team culture and collaboration efforts.

Do It For Yourself

These instructions will work for any calendar application you use. Remember to be realistic when you’re putting these activities in.

1. Open your work calendar and/or your personal calendar.

2. Create recurring calendar entries for all your typical activities for both the weekdays and weekends.

Here are some examples that I’ve frequently seen used:

– Wake Up + Get Ready – Breakfast

– Walk Dog – Take Kids to School – Travel (To Work/Home) – Lunch – Email – Prepare Art Supplies

– Clean Up – Work Out

– Date Night – Wind Down + Sleep

Looking for more productivity tips?

Follow Double Gemini on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or Tumblr or visit our website at http://www.doublegemini.com and sign up for our free newsletter! Hope you found value in this article. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at Alisandra@doublegemini.com.

About Double Gemini

Double Gemini is a productivity consulting and workshop firm that specializes in email, meeting, and project productivity. Our services transform team cultures and help people work better by reducing stress and increasing efficiency. Learn more about us by visiting  www.doublegemini.com

Unschedule Alisandra

Alisandra Wederich is the Creative Director of productivity start up Double Gemini in NYC, the founder and manager for NJ Artists and a professional artist going by the pseudonym Altered Aesthetic. Offering creative solutions from an artistic mind, Alisandra’s background in K-12 visual arts education has developed her natural communication skills, enabling her to find unique solutions in situations of conflict. With a history of professional multi-tasking, and constant focus on improving natural workflows in any environment, she finds joy in bringing increased productivity and efficiency to artists, clients, and everyone else she meets. She’s thrilled to be able to offer this Unschedule article and strongly encourages anyone seeking further productivity tips to get in touch with her on LinkedIn.

 

Making It Real

 

 

Autumn has arrived and as with the start of any new season, it makes us think about new beginnings, letting negative patterns go and working on better, positive ideas.  Like my new guest blogger, Sasha Keen, I also have a background in painting and drawing yet have been working with digital/computer generated media for the last few years as well.  It was a big adjustment, and one I still have a lot to learn about, but a necessity to incorporate into my career path to keep up with the times.  However, I’ll never abandon my traditional art making practices, and often find a way to combine the old with the new.  But I find readers enjoy hearing other creative’s perspectives as well so here’s some thoughts on this by Sasha Keen;

 

“MAKING IT REAL”

by Sasha Keen

I am a painter by nature and a designer by default. I see the world in painterly terms and some of that comes out in my designs although working on a computer takes me in directions I would never follow otherwise.

I think it’s because working with the tools available to me by “drawing” with photo-manipulation programs etc. is so Other Worldly.

(c)Sasha Keen

(c)Sasha Keen

That’s how it is for me. Alien and bizarre. A very odd and eerie experience to create something that exists only as bits of binary code that doesn’t physically exist in what we consider to be the Real World until someone somewhere appreciates it enough to make it tangible. Crazy.

Just think… these designs just floating in the Cloud are nothing but a sequence of 0’s & 1’s. And the 0’s don’t even exist! They are and represent “nothing” and yet there they are visible as cohesive images on a website. And if it pleases someone they order something with it’s likeness and POOF! Shazam! A print or T-Shirt or coffee cup materializes! That too is crazy for me.

(c)Sasha Keen

(c)Sasha Keen

It is the grandest of compliments to see that complete strangers the world over in some way appreciate what I’ve done enough to buy something with one of my whimsical notions attached to it and with the touch of a button share in the process of making something of mine become real.

It’s magic.

https://www.facebook.com/StealthDesignStudio

New Guest Blog: Rubber Stamp Art

Hi again! I’m so glad to have another guest blogger…Anna Mae of Village Impression Stamps. She’s referred a few of her clients to me to design stamps for them and she produces quality items for her customers. Scrap-booking, rubber stamp art & other “crafter” arts are becoming more & more popular so here’s some info from Anna Mae:

“Looking for something a little different, how about making your designs into rubber stamps! You can stamp on anything that doesn’t move away quickly enough….pmc clay, fabric, ceramics, paper, plastic, glass, cement. Village Impressions specializes in making custom stamps from your designs. You can snail mail or email your black and white line art for conversion into a rubber stamp!

Village Impressions is a home based business, set up on the internet almost 10 years ago to service the custom art stamp market. I don’t make my own designs, don’t have the artistic capacity, but you can submit your own designs, hunt down copyright free clip art or contract with an artist like Lauren to design just what you are looking for. Lauren has helped out a few of my customers who are artistically challenged, with terrific results.

If you are looking for a new revenue stream, my sales are up overall this year, as more people stay home and craft. People will get married despite the economic conditions, but now they are looking to create low cost invitations and party favors. Village Impressions offers wholesale prices with no minimums, no set up fees, so you can offer stamps from your design for resale or for the popular craft markets, scrapbooking, card making and weddings. E-Mail Anna-Mae for more information or check out www.villageimpressions.com
Posted are a few samples of her beautiful stamps!

Guest Blog #3: Vila Spiderhawk, author

I just finished reading a wonderful book, “Hidden Passages” by my friend, author Vila Spiderhawk & I wanted her to be my next guest blogger. Here’s a blurb she emailed me about her spiritual, beautifully written and meaningful books about the transformations women go through in all walks of life:

Info. about Vila Spiderhawk's novels

Info. about Vila Spiderhawk's novels