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Getting organised as a creative!

(with Free daily task sheet template- download)

This is my first ever blog post! (yay) I’m feeling so thankful.

I can finally get my thoughts organised and my creative ideas realised. But it wasn’t always like this, I’ve always had issues with organising myself, knowing what to prioritise and when to start and stop working. I always felt like there was this great big grey heavy fog sitting between me and my goals, I just couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get where I needed to be.

I’ve struggled with this my whole life and could never figure out why I was that way, until six months ago when I stumbled upon a post online about Adult ADHD in women (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

My heart stopped, I immediately started researching further, listening to podcasts and reading articles. I ticked all the boxes! Oh my god! I have ADHD? I read further and understood that I am likely ADHD Inattentive type ( the other types being: Hyperactive or Combined type.)

How had I missed this my whole life? At first I felt angry and frustrated and briefly grieved the version of me that might have been, had I been diagnosed as a child.

But, I don't want to feel sorry for myself, that is not going to help me move forward as a person. ( although I recognise these phases are important towards personal growth.)

Instead I started to dissect areas in which I struggle with, such as: losing items, chores, time blindness, rejection sensitivity dysphoria, organising my day, prioritising projects, listening and distractibility etc. (More on these at a later date.)

The next step was to figure out how to get organised, increase my productivity and efficiency.

Why don’t you buy a diary or calendar?

Now, don't get me wrong, I know these kinds of resources are helpful for the majority of people, But, I hate diaries, calendars, to do lists and timetables.

You name it and I will hate it, I just don’t like the linear framework of it and it doesn’t fit with how I perceive time or how I prioritise my tasks. My father would buy me a diary every year for Christmas, I would fill out a week here and there, and then next year would roll along and the damn thing would be empty, or I misplaced it, what a waste of paper!

(No hate to people who can use these resources, but it's just not for me.)

What did I do instead?

One of the first things I did to help organise myself was to buy a lined notebook. This would become my ‘journal’ or ‘diary’.

I use my journal in a way that fits me and the results in my productivity has skyrocketed in ways I haven't seen since my University days.

How do I use my Notebook?

I have a general layout of how my day is broken down. The day is split like this: morning, afternoon and evening. ( I give myself two breaks, one at lunch and one before the evening)

There is a section for notes, where I jot down ideas and things to remember that can be revisited at a later date. (See the photo below as an example)

Download PDF • 63KB

The tasks are assigned into either the morning, afternoon or evening column.

Upon completion of a task I make a note of how much time it took, this helps as a reference for allotting time for future tasks.

Sometimes tasks take a lot less time and suddenly my day opens up, other days I give myself too much to do because I misjudged the amount of time needed to complete that task.

How do you use your notes section?

I personally like to keep a post-it note stuck on the notes section of my day plan. I write all my ideas and thoughts on the post-it for safekeeping and refer back to it at a later date. All these notes get filed away or ‘stuck’ on the first page of my ‘journal’ book. I will go through the notes at the end of the day and assign them as tasks when I’m planning my next work week.

(See the photo below as an example)

Hopefully some of these work-arounds are helpful to you, remember your free download.

Thank you for reading This Months post and for your continued support , Next month I will be talking about “Dealing with distractions as a creative” along with another free PDF worksheet download.

*Every month I will be sharing with you my personal work-arounds by writing about my experiences and creative practice. I will be offering free downloadable worksheets, organisational templates and tutorials.

Tag me in your photo using your free downloads, I’d love to hear from you.

Cornelia Van Rijswijk is A Dutch / Welsh Artist & Designer based in Brisbane, Australia. She studied Graphic & Media Design at University of the Arts London, United Kingdom.

Abstract digital paintings are available as wall art Risograph prints and Giclée prints, which can be purchased in the online store.

Download PDF • 63KB



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