The Problem With Todo Lists when You’re Self Employed Artist


Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to get lots of work done.

I’ve been building up a proposal for education workshops; making new valentine card designs, working on a couple of pet portrait commissions, developing new work for my stall at a burlesque event and working on some acrylic seascapes. I’ve also got other more mundane but equally important things on my todo list which I won’t bore you with.

Whilst writing todo lists is great because I fear I will forget something vital living with them isn’t! Being self employed you can fall into the same traps you left your ‘proper’ job for (having no work-life balance). There is nobody there to tell you its home time you’ve got to make that judgement call, something I haven’t got the best track record at. I think as well unfortunately more hard work doesn’t equal more money… more smart work might do. [ps let me know if you figure that one out!]

Whilst I’ve got a fair bit done it is unsustainable because I think I’ll get grumpy and then go a bit bonkers (whilst I’ve used the word bonkers which sounds quite flippant Im not in an amusing way in a I don’t want to do anything at all way).

I’ve toyed with this for a while now but I think I need to set a new routine and stick to it… perhaps in future Monday will be my day off. I already keep a record of the hours I work each week and I know I should be having more guilt–free free time!

So if you write to do lists instead of putting it all on one long endless piece of paper why not think when the task needs to be done by and how long they might take then set yourself appropriate reminders in your diary, on your phone or computer. That way yes you will be organized and not forget things but you wont feel swamped and unable to celebrate your achievements because you still have so much more to do. Or maybe put socializing and free time in your diary as well as deadlines and targets my new years resolution was to see one friend at a non-work related event at least once a month. Totally doable and really good for your wellbeing.

This is a good link for anyone who wants to be more organised and feel happier about what needs to be done Building a Smarter To Do List.

Couldn’t do a post without some sort of art the wonderful Scott Adams sums up beautifully…

"As if I Had a Pencil" Dilbert comic strip by Scott Adams
"As if I Had a Pencil" Dilbert comic strip by Scott Adams
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2 thoughts on “The Problem With Todo Lists when You’re Self Employed Artist

    1. elizabethkane says:

      I don’t think the lists are the problem per se its the way I regard the tasks on the list… when I’m drawing Im think oh I should be doing my accounts for the weekend, when I’m on photoshop Im thinking I need to do some drawing, when I’m updating my blog or facebook page Im thinking I really need to open an online shop, when Im at Tynemouth Im thinking need to get my cards into more stores!

      For me lists take the joy out of concentrating on getting one thing done as well as you can and emphasize what you still have to do but appreciate that they probably do make you more productive I just need to find a better way of setting myself achievable targets. I guess I need to develop some more self-discipline as a self-employed person.

      Thanks for your comments Yvette Ill look at 43 folders a bit more but I don’t feel I would want to put my list in public Yvette its too long!

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