Garbage Day_timing is everything.

put it out too early and the bear will get it.
too late for the 8:00 am truck…and it is a stinky proposition in the basement until next week.
(leave it outside and the bear WILL get it)

It may seem trivial to be talking about my garbage – but as a freelance artist/designer, part time nursery staff, some time teacher…garbage day is the ONLY fixed event of my week. The rest is a fluid scheduling conundrum of calendar events, tasks, appointments, plans – that sometimes depends on the whim of a client – but mostly on my priority list and organizational skills.(and Yes – the new phone is an amazing tool and there IS an app for that!) I now use a “blocking” system to make better use and have more control of my valuable time. More…

When I was planning my teaching trip to Mexico several years ago – it seemed an impossible task to create a whole month with no other commitments. But knowing far ahead what my dates MUST be – I “blocked” it out. Lo and behold – the day came, I stepped on a plane and knew there was nothing else I had to concern myself with. It was stunning – and truly a lifechanging event.

As a self-employed person (My art, gallery and teaching is my small business) there is always the fear of no more work coming down the tube. So I believe we tend to pile it on while the getting is good. I can juggle and multi-task with the best of them – so there is always something on the go (poor Brian never knows what my schedule is). I have an ongoing check list of To-do’s.Unfortunately what happens is one job flows into the next. Week after week…month after month and sadly you realize – year after year. All the un-priority stuff (family, holiday, reading a book…) just slides back down the list.

So I took the lesson learned from my Mexico scheduling and have started “blocking” out time way ahead – I mean 12-18 months ahead. It began with a simple 4 weeks each year for a holiday break, but now I manage my “blocks” of time for teaching, for clients, for painting. Time for adventures. It enables me to give 100% to each task, and stepping on that plane or driving away for an adventure is guilt free. (its not a holiday if you are worrying)

my tools for planning:

  • My new Samsung NOTE phone/tablet  lets me make quick handwritten lists and sketches and link them to my planning calendar.
  • I recently connected with LEAH GOURD and her thoughtful direction and templates for Personal & Business planning were really helpful. Merging those two calendars is crucial to my live/work balance.
  • Any freelance contractor or consultant juggling a few clients and working intermittent hours will find the TIMECLOCK app a really valuable tool. So much easier to track hours, expenses & billing.
  • Weekly garbage detail is highlighted on my calendar and an alarm on my phone…so that I can stay one step ahead of the bear ;-)


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