Prioritization for Creatives: 5 1/2 Strategies to Get Stuff Done | Katie Kindred | Skillshare

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Prioritization for Creatives: 5 1/2 Strategies to Get Stuff Done

teacher avatar Katie Kindred, The Reverie Project

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Strategy 1: Urgent vs. Important

    • 3. Strategy 2: Eat That Frog

    • 4. Strategy 3: Slow and Steady

    • 5. Strategy 4: I want to / I need to / I should

    • 6. Strategies 5 and 1/2: Star and ABC123

    • 7. OVERWHELMED!!!!!

    • 8. Prioritization + You

    • 9. Your Project

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About This Class

Hey, friend! Welcome!

This class is meant to give you your very own Prioritization toolbox that you can pull from and use in your daily life and workflow. It showcases five (and a half!) different methods of task prioritization, which you can then sift through and apply what resonates.

I will cover techniques such as: Urgent vs. Important, Eat The Frog, Slow and Steady, I want to/I need to/I should, and what I call the Star Method. I will also cover what to do when you’re ~OVERWHELMED~ , and how this all applies to us as Creatives.

No Prior knowledge/experience Required!

For anything else, feel free to reach me in the Discussion Box, or at any of my social media handles:

Instagram @thereverieprojectus

The Reverie Project on YouTube

You are known, you are loved, and I am so excited to see what you do!

Hearts and Pianos,




Mel Robbins' TED Talk

One of MuchelleB's videos on I want to / I need to / I should


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - Greg McKeown

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results - Gary Keller, Jay Papasan (spelled incorrectly in the lesson)

*these are affiliate links! Buying through them helps support my future classes at no additional cost to you!



Meet Your Teacher

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Katie Kindred

The Reverie Project


I’m a creative.

I grew up doing Theatre and Choir. I love making things with my hands and performing for other people. I crave beautiful things that make me feel all of the emotions.

I’m a professional.

I grew up with a special place in my heart for Microsoft Office. I love getting into the nitty-gritty and practical side of things. I crave productivity tips that help me do things I care about.

I’m a creative professional.

I grew up anticipating school supply shopping season. I love using conditional formatting to make my spreadsheets colorful and functional. I crave new ways to better visualize and explain data.

I dream of a world where people feel wake up with stars in their eyes, spend their time doing things that ma... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hello and welcome to prioritization for creatives. 5.5 strategies to get stuff done in this class, I'll be showcasing 5.5 strategies that you can put in your own personal development tool box that you can pull from when you have a lot of stuff to Dio and you don't know what order you want to do them in. I will also be covering what to do when you feel literally, so overwhelmed and how prioritization applies to us as creatives without being said, Let's jump into the class. 2. Strategy 1: Urgent vs. Important: There are a couple things that I like to keep in mind when I am starting to prioritize my task list. The first thing is the law of opportunity cost, which basically says that when you pick an option, you are giving up literally everything else, including the next best option. So, for example, because I'm filming this still share class, I am not bullet darling or running or eating a sandwich, which obviously is the next best option. We all have 24 hours in a day, the same as anyone else, including successful people. And time is the only thing that we can't get back. So prioritization helps us use those free hours to make something awesome. When writing out a task list, start with a brain dump. You can even section off a page in your bullet journal to do a brain dump. When I'm doing a brain dump, I use it to get every single nagging task that's been in my head out of my head and onto paper. That's so your brain doesn't have to say, Oh, remember that thing. You need to do that thing 50 million times a day. You should feel a sense of relief. Once you're done with this, don't get overwhelmed. At least not yet. This is meant Teoh. Take the weight of the world off of your shoulders and know you're dealing with because, as I said in my last class, bullet journaling to know yourself better. Once you know what you're dealing with, then you can start to attack it. Go ahead and pause the class right now and do your brain dumb. I'll be doing mine too way. Now that you have your list, let's talk about something that can get overlooked once you have your task list. It's the concept of urgency versus importance. Tasks their urgent are typically time bound and needed to be done yesterday or need to be done very, very, very, very soon. Or there will be consequences. Important tasks are things that actually are important to you, and so there is a framework that you can write out and put your tasks in to sort of clean them out. These tasks are important and urgent, so therefore I want to get them done first. These tasks are important and not urgent, so even though they're important to me, they're not as important as the important and urgent ones and then making my bed is not important and not urgent so that one can fall off the list goodbye. 3. Strategy 2: Eat That Frog: So what's this whole eat that frog business when? Let me tell you, Mark Twain once said that if you have to eat a frog, it's best to do in the morning. And if you have to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the bigger one first and basically as grotesque as it sounds, uh, the prioritization technique that it's getting at is to do the hardest thing first. And that way you get out of the way and you have all the rest of your day to do less hard things, which is great. My adaptation for Eat the Frog is to do the thing that is hardest, the thing that is annoying you the most, the thing that overwhelms you the most, or the thing that keeps coming up into your mind over and over and over again. That needs to get done that way. When you finish it, the weight is off your shoulders and you can just mosey on about your day. Now I'll put a big yellow caution marker right here for this method. Do not do eat that frog. If you get overwhelmed by large tasks, you know who you are. I am one of those people, so I understand you. However, if you resonate with this, by all means, please eat that frog. But if you get overwhelmed by large tasks, you might have trouble with Eat the frog because you'll get overwhelmed at the beginning and then not continue on to finish the rest of your to do list or the thing that nagging you might not get done it all. And that's not something that we want. The hardest task for the one that has been annoying me the most has definitely been clean room, so that one is the one that I'm going to do first. Now with anything you wanna attach why and finding your why will make you more likely to do it. So I want to clean my room because Outer Order brings inner Call has a quote by Gretchen Rubin, and also it makes me stressed. Eat that Frog ties into a concept from the One Thing by Gary Keller and J. Poppa Zahn. In it, they say, What is the one thing that by doing it would make everything else easier or unnecessary? Cleaning my room for me is my one thing because it makes my life easier. And by doing that it also makes everything else a little bit more unnecessary because I'm a little bit less stressed. Once I'm finished cleaning Miram. Now let's move on to the next prioritization method. The opposite a school of thought, if you will, for the eat the frog method, and that is the slow and steady approach. 4. Strategy 3: Slow and Steady: all right. They say slow and steady wins the race. And if it the frog didn't drive with you, this one might. The basic concept for this is that small winds build confidence and allow you to move forward. Having checked every box, this particular method is proposed by the same people who say to make your bed in the morning, because that's one thing already off your to do list that makes you feel better throughout the day. This one also has a big yellow caution sign. Be very careful with the slow and study method. I know how addicting it can be. Teoh. Check off a bunch of boxes and feel great about your to do list. But take a second and evaluate that. Did it really mean anything for you to complete all those things? Or were you just busy all day? This is why I like to combine the slow and study method with the eat that frog method. You take your frog and you break it down into smaller and smaller pieces. That way you can apply the slow and steady approach and then still get some important things done with this month that in my to do list. I could group the ones that are smaller and therefore build up confidence to complete the bigger tasks so I could start with making my bed and doing laundry. Says they're pretty low effort things. And then I checked two things off of my to do list. Next on our list of prioritization strategies is I want Teoh. I need Teoh I should from Michelle Barnes. 5. Strategy 4: I want to / I need to / I should: in her wonderful YouTube channel, Michelle be talks about this concept of listing out your to do's as I want to. I need to I should, and you can pull these from your brain dump. I suggest not taking on more than 3 to 5 tasks so that you don't get overwhelmed. So pull those from your brain dump list and input them into these next few methods. So the way you apply this one is a first use, like your task that you want to do. And this is really great for reframing tasks. For example, if you want to dio the dishes, most people don't really want to do the dishes. But if you say I want to do the dishes, it tells your mind. Hey, I think that I want to do the dishes and you could also say to yourself, I want to do the dishes because I want to actually eat something because all of my dishes are dirty, and if I don't clean my dishes, then I will have to buy paper ones and that costs money and I'd have to go to the store. It would just be ah, whole thing, so I want to do the dishes, and then the next one would be I need to. So this is usually something that falls into the urgent category. Um, it can be either important to you or not important, although definitely things that are urgent and important fall into the I need to category. But keep in mind, you're only picking the most important one in the urgent and important category. Cleaning out my car is not necessarily a high priority item for me, but I would feel a lot better once it's done so therefore, it falls into the I should category and keep in mind these do not have to sound good to other people. This is just for yourself and the speaker. Mel Robbins talks about this in her Ted talk how to stop screwing yourself over which I will also link in the class. Resource is down below for this method. I'm going to list out three tasks that I want to. I need to and I should do. In this case. I want to make dinner because I've got some delicious cabbage in the fridge and I have been waiting to make it. I need Teoh at it this skill share class so that people like you. Yes, you you can see it and so that it can help people. And so that I meet my goal of publishing by the end of October 2018 which is when I am recording this. And then I also should clean out my car because it's honestly been bugging me. And now we're onto our fifth strategy and the half strategy, the ABC method slash star method. 6. Strategies 5 and 1/2: Star and ABC123: to start off the Star method or the ABC method variation. Like all of the methods, you start off with a brain dump, then you star the most important tasks. Keep in mind. This should not be all of the tasks from those starred tasks. Choose five and Onley five to put another star onto and then from those five, choose the top three to put yet another star onto. And then once you have your top three, pick one and do it. Then once you've chosen a night, um, toe work on and finished it, you can complete the rest of the items in accordance to star level. And doesn't that just sound fun star level? It's like we're in some sort of video game. Now we're onto the storm if it where we first begin By starring the most important items, typically with a brain dump, you will have a lot more items than the ones that I've put down here for examples. So the starring the most important ones will be a little bit more impactful. However, I have more than five, so that's a good time, and I will start the ones that are most important all right. So already it takes off, do laundry and make bed from the list. Now, from these five, I'm going to select three. Okay, Now, from these three right here, let's zoom in on him from these three right here. I'm going to select one to Dio. And then now that I've selected at its skill share class, then after I'm done with that, I will move to either clean out my car or make dinner, depending on hunger levels. And then once I'm done with both of those tasks, I will move to cleaning my room and doing schoolwork. And once those tasks are done and Onley after those tasks are done, then I can move on to doing laundry or making my bed. No, let's move on to variation the half step, if you will. The A B C 123 mark all of your tasks as a which is top priority B, which is medium priority, or C, which is less priority. Now. I learn this method for my mom, which she probably learned from somewhere else. Um, but it follows the same lines as thes start method, which I've devised from a B C. 123 Watching my mom do it, so gonna list out the tasks. Okay, so we've got our tasks. Now we're going, Teoh, assign each of them a letter based on priority. Now, from this, we'll assign each of those categories a number. So this one at its sculpture class is a one because it's my top priority. And then between cleaning out my car and making dinner both days, I'm gonna say making dinner is more important than cleaning out my car because I'm actually pretty hungry. And then now we'll move on to the bees. So from doing school work and cleaning room, I'm gonna say cleaning room is being one because I can do that before doing schoolwork. So stat is be to and then sees. I should probably make my bed for I do laundry. So now we've got clean room is B one do laundry. A C two clean out car is a free make dinner is a to do school Work is B two C one is make bed and then edit sculpture crosses a one. So in that order, I would at skill share class, then make dinner and clean out the car, then clean room, then do school work, then make my bed and do laundry. And then I'll have all those tasks done. This one also comes with a caution. This method may trick you into thinking that all tasks are important, which in reality, they're really not think about if this task actually has to get done today and how you can make the most of your time, because often things that are important are not actually important. So definitely refer back to your urgent versus important matrix that I talked about in the second video. There's a great book on this title entitled Essential Ism by Greg McKown, and I will link that as well. In the class. Resource is portion of the class description. The most important thing with all of the's strategies is that you find one that works for you, and one method may work with you on one task and be completely wrong for you on another set of tasks, depending on your mood and if you've eaten or if you've showered or anything, humans are so fickle, so don't feel bad If one method that you've tried before just simply isn't working now, We're going to talk about what to do when you are feeling incredibly overwhelmed. We've all been there. Let's get through this. 7. OVERWHELMED!!!!!: Okay, Brief. Seriously? You're OK. Everything is gonna be OK. Close your eyes. Feel the weight of your body and take five deep breaths. You can't get stuff done in this state. So rather than judging yourself for feeling overwhelmed, think about how you got into this state and also how you can take care of yourself in this state. Not from I. I'm so overwhelmed. And I want to get rid of this because I want to be productive kind of way, but in a very caring way like you would do for a great friend. Accepts that you're feeling overwhelmed. I've accepted it. That's OK and that we're human and in perfect. And that's really cool, because if everyone was perfect, everything would be boring. Now let's move forward for you. This could be grabbing a coffee or a match a lot because the caffeine and Elfi anin, which is an amino acid in green tea when paired together, makes you have a focused calm. This could mean drinking a large, large, large cup of water. It could mean walking outside and getting some fresh air, and especially, it could mean that you need to charge your phone out of sight out of the room if possible, because I don't know about you. But for me, when my phone has a little battery, I usually do, too. If you're able, Teoh set on the Do not disturb or turn off your phone completely. I know, at least for the android you can set. Do not disturb to allow calls through if someone calls you more than once to prevent any missed emergency calls. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can set a routine with your Do not disturb where it comes on and shuts off automatically at certain times of the day, which I have done on my phone. And it's super helpful, especially setting it for right before I go to bed so that I'm not looking and staring at my phone first thing before I go to sleep. And first thing when I wake up, I actually try not to even look at my phone for pretty much an hour after I wake up just because I know that I am so prone to get overwhelmed easily. Now let's talk about the tasks and how we got here. What is annoying you the most. Is it laundry piling up in your room? Is it messy dishes in your room? Is it missing a deadline? Is it not completing a task that you wanted to complete? Is it that your workspace is chaotic? Consider those. If you're like me, you're probably a little bit overwhelmed because you spend all day watching YouTube videos and this is not me calling you out. I am talking to myself. However, there is a time and a place for that. If you are looking at YouTube videos and you're actually getting a sense of enjoyment and value, by all means keep watching. But I have definitely experienced washing things or putting things on just for the sake of having something on and not actually enjoying or really paying attention. If you put on a 20 minute video and you don't remember what it's about, considered that you may not be being present when you're watching your content. Because of this stimulation from being on my cell phone, I tend to get sensory overload really easily. It seems really tempting to put on music as you're trying to work as a way to focus in, but it can actually be harmful and detract from your progress if you're already in a state of overwhelm and you add another stimuli now, I am not a therapist or a psychiatrist or a counselor by any means. So these are my anecdotal signs of sensory overload. The 1st 1 is irritability over really, really tiny things, like someone setting a plate down too loudly. The 2nd 1 is furiously skipping songs on your playlist because nothing feels or sounds right. I do this constantly, and that may be assigned to actually turn the music off, just telling myself that and also you, but mostly myself. One super important point on that is to refrain from putting on personal development type things when you are feeling overwhelmed. I know that it sounds counterintuitive to put on a podcast or in an inspirational YouTube video or even a skill share class. The's may negatively affect you, not just in a sensory overload sort of way, but you may find yourself comparing yourself to these people, and I'm getting down on yourself because you're not being productive like they are. And there's just no place for that because there is nobody you were than you, Dr Seuss. Let me show you a really creative diagram that has helped me when I am in a state of complete overwhelm, especially being a college student. All right, are you guys ready to see the thing that has saved me so many times in college? From debilitating Overwhelmed? It is this schoolwork savior chart I have so affectionately named, um, first created by the how to music major tumbler account. And then, um, put into this handy dandy chart by alley design. So left get into it and explore the nitty gritty, shall we? So on the left side, the row labels are the time it takes to do whatever it is you want. Toe dio, Um, like any assignments. So you've got five minutes, 30 minutes, hours and days and then on the top of yesterday, tomorrow on later. My only critique with this particular chart is that there's no Today column which can get kind of hairy when you're trying to do assignments and things or do before other things on certain days. But I like to manage just fine. This is really helpful if you're doing it on a Friday, and you really need to catch up for school on Monday. Um, but other than that, you can see, for example, this is the priority. So right here. If it takes five minutes since do yesterday, then that's the first thing you should do. If it takes five minutes and it's due tomorrow, then that's the second thing that you should dio and so on and so forth matching the columns and the rose with the different requirements slash characteristics for your assignment and or task. Now, I love this so much that I've created my own Google sheet for all of my assignments and hard coded in these priorities using a bunch of really grossly nested ifs. Uh, and if that sounds like something that you want to see, definitely leave that in the, um, class discussion. Otherwise, I will spare you from the gnarly Excel formulas. It took me to get to this state right here. 8. Prioritization + You: all right, You say I don't know about this whole personal development business. I'm just trying to be creative, and the man is holding me down. Well, dear creative, I have some news for you as to why prioritization applies to us creatives and why we really need it. As creative people as creatives, we tend to place our identity in things that we do and create, and the fact that we can do and create when we're not working on a project, it can be a catalyst for self doubt. It's all fine and good toe. Want to do better and toe want to be better. But there's a balance that needs to happen between hustle and rest. Just because you aren't productive or whatever that means doesn't make you a bad creator. You were never a bad creator in the first place. You can never be a bad creator. You are valued even when you aren't productive. You are not just what you create and you can't place your identity in something so fleeting . Let me say a huge side note slash disclaimer and a word of caution, as I have so many times in this course as someone who suffers from depression and anxiety. I thought for a long time that I had to be some suffering artist, and I had to be, um, depressed or sad or just feeling deeply to create anything. And I had to be in a really bad mental state before my work mattered and that that is straight up wrong. You can use your emotions to create fantastic projects in a healthy way, but you will not lose your creative spark if you decide to get help or if you take medication. Or if you talk to a figure pissed, you won't it will still be there, and it may even burn brighter. You can make the greatest piece of art that anyone on this Earth has ever seen, but you can't allow anyone to be moved by it or see it. If you can't get out of bed to make it so, take care of yourself. Police in your creative person and the world needs your creativity so desperately in a world of darkness, You, you creator, have the opportunity to be a light. This is a quote from Marianne Williamson that you may have heard, but it's worth stating again. Our deepest fear is not that were inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be? Brilliant, gorgeous, talented, Fabulous? Actually. Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people don't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God. That is within us. It is not just in some of us, it isn't everyone. As we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. So don't dim your wife. Use the tools presented in this class to do something amazing. You owe it to yourself and the rest of the world. I can't wait to see what you dio, whether it's finishing a manuscript or finishing the dishes. Now let's get on to the project 9. Your Project: your project is to use one of the prioritization methods discussed in this class to choose the task and then complete it before and after photos are encouraged. Of course, the more the merrier. And I'll see you in my next class.