Routine Inspection & Maintenance

Accountability Review, Advice Requested, Art, Ink & Watercolor, Pen & Ink


Each month, my planner ends with a number of questions to help recognize achievements, identify challenges, and assess progress. The idea being, that regular introspection will help keep us from veering too far down a path that won’t lead to our goal. The activity of writing this down, rather than leaving it to shower thoughts and disjointed moments of quiet, makes it much more useful. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes it truly is hard to find time to think.

Here is one question from the planner:

Assess your priorities. Are you happy with how you spent your time? If not, what steps can you take next month to adjust them?

I spent a lot of time on the computer this month. Revamping this website, cleaning up my Etsy shop, scanning, posting, etc. It was a lot of screen time. Once I’m on the computer, I find it very easy to get off track, be underproductive and completely forget about the task I set out to accomplish. This month, much of the computer use was necessary, but in the future, I will need to figure out a way to prevent myself from getting lost in unnecessary details and mindless time sucks (Instagram, Facebook…). It’s true for everyone, but especially with small kids around: There is no time to waste. I need to do a better job of noticing when I’m wasting time and just stop.

More importantly, I need to focus on making art next month. I can’t enter a craft fair or ask for wall space in a cafe if I don’t have anything to show! I need to create a body of work that is cohesive. My flitting nature makes this very hard. I get an idea I like, make one, two or three, and then I’ve totally lost interest. How do people stay interested in one subject/medium/style? I need to give that some thought.




Organizing & Planning for Action

Advice Requested, Pen & Ink, Subject of Thought, Taking Charge, Today's Focus

I’ve had many failed attempts at keeping journals, but the journals with the longest successes have been fill-in types. To maximize my success here, my blog posts are going to be laid out like a fill-in journal with prompts. I’ll type in a statement of the week and day’s focus, followed by a list of current tasks, and a quick progress report. After I get the important facts laid out, I’ll go into a subject of thought. I will not guarantee relevance.

This layout reminds me of Bridget Jones’ diary… Except there will be no accounting of my weight, alcohol units consumed, or fags smoked. Definitely no romance. And less self-hating. I hope. But the important stats will be logged. So in that way, similar.

Here’s the first:


This Week’s Focus: Finalize website, restart blog and work on art

Today’s Focus: Write a blog post that explains what I am doing here


  1. Decide what I am doing here
  2. Decide how to organize these blog posts
  3. Write this blog post
  4. Upload something new to Instagram
  5. Work on a drawing of a vintage phone

Progress: 3 of 5 tasks complete.

Subject of Thought: Organizing & Planning for Action

I needed a tool for organizing goals and tasks in this endeavour. Something more robust than scribbled to-do lists on Steno pads. I searched the internet high and low for goal organizing apps, calendar apps, and planner apps. I even downloaded no less than 3 and spent a good 20 minutes each filling in all my plans, only to find them unusable and/or unfree. Then, I came across Passion Planner and realized all I really need is a good old-fashioned, very well-designed, physical weekly planner. Free downloads = radical.

After spending several hours with my new planner, I began looking at a book I checked out from the library: The Artist’s Guide: How to make a living doing what you love by Jackie Battenfield. It devotes a whole chapter to identifying goals and task planning. I’m quite pleased that I JUST did this. Pretty much exactly as she details it in her book. Sweet validation!


+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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