I don’t count time management as one of my strengths. ‘Procrastinate and binge’ would best characterize my creative routines. That worked alright as a music student in university and when I was single and often had entire weekends of free time to fritter away.
Now, with a family including two young children and a career as an international elementary school teacher, free time is a precious commodity.
I have designs on writing a novel, articles for my teaching blog, documentation and reflection for my teaching portfolio, music, learning, etc. All of that adds up to a sizable cognitive load that won’t easily fill the tiny gaps between family and work. If I wish to accomplish any of my creative goals, I need to plan a routine to retrain myself to work more efficiently within a limited timetable.
The first step in this process was to input all of my ‘to dos’ into an app called Any.do. Some are daily tasks like writing a journal post, updating social media accounts, or organizing in Evernote. Some are weekly like checking in to a MOOC or publishing a blog post. Each day starts with about twenty five.
Next, I created a personal Google Form to log the number of ‘to dos’ remaining at the end of each day. Although up until now, I’ve mostly added new tasks to my list. It’s taking some time to get used to, but I can sense that I will start finding new ways to tick off boxes every day.
Between those two tools, I expect to find ways to build the kinds of creative habits that will lead to the creative flow I hope for.