Client Work and Personal Creative Project

Client Work and Personal Creative Project - student project

So this class got me thinking a lot.  Some out-of-my-control life circumstances has had me in what I call "survival mode" for quite a long time.  Basically doing my best to excel at work, but everything else in my life was on a just get through the day mindset.  The internal battle for doing more with my life is finally winning out and I find myself trying to exit this "survival" mentality.  This class was perfect for me to asses my productivity and help me organize life (both with work and personally).  

One thing I did, which may help others, is I took time after listening to the class to think it all over.  I did not want to jump into a new way of doing things, find it didn't work and just give up all together.  So I listened to the class, for a few days I scrolled the community and responses, I looked over the projects that were submitted.  Then finally last night I sat down with three pieces of blank paper.  I titled one "My Life," the next "ToDoist Projects and Labels" and finally "Theme Ideas."  I then just started writing down everything that came to mind.  Then I kept those sheets around as I went about the rest of the night and added as things surfaced.  This afternoon I finally sat down with those sheets and my laptop and worked on putting it all together.  Here is what I came up with, some stuff removed for privacy.

Theme Work:

For 2017 Personal:  Create ~ Focus ~ Relax

  • Going to be my personal mantra / resolution for the new year.

For 2017 Work (my 9 to 5 job):  Stretch

  • A new employee soon will be opening up some new type of work for my office and also hoping to work more on professional development, so many opportunities to stretch myself this next year.

For December 2016:  Simplify

  • I have a tendency to overly complicate things, and think on things way to long before moving forward.

For January 2017:  Follow-Through

  • I also like to start new things... I have many ideas... but then have a very hard time completing projects, especially personal creative projects.

For my daily themes, I did something a bit different.  My full time job daily work really is dependent on clients and upcoming projects.  I can't wait for a certain day to do a specific type of work, it has to be done as it comes in.  So I decided to use the themes to help me personally, to assist with my personal project ADHD (I have a tendency to sit around and think over all the things I could work on and take WAY to long to decide what to actually do... LOTS of time wasted on doing this).  So I broke my themes into two aspects:  Hobby (or play/fun things to do) and Craft (or creative/skill things to do).  So on the days these come up I will already have it narrowed down to a Hobby Day or a Craft day.  I may still do small things on off days for one or the other, but will do my best to focus on either a Hobby or a Craft on their respective Theme Day.

  • Monday:  Hobby
  • Tuesday:  Craft
  • Wednesday:  Hobby
  • Thursday:  Craft
  • Friday:  Relax
  • Saturday:  Chores and Craft
  • Sunday:  Family and Hobby

And finally I did a few Horizontal Themes, specific times for certain tasks.  I already talked these over with my wife, so she can be on board and give me the time I need.  So for this I set aside time to Journal (starting this as a new habit, see way bottom for some additional thoughts on this) and for writing and reading time.

These would be daily.

  • 7:30 to 8:00 AM:  Morning Journal
  • 6:00 to 6:30 PM:  Evening Journal
  • 6:30 to 7:30 PM:  Write ~ Read

I then set up a new calendar on GMAIL and added these items, see image below.

Client Work and Personal Creative Project - image 1 - student project

Next I worked on my ToDoist Labels.  I have been using ToDoist for a couple years now, but mainly just for projects and then tasks and occasionally sub-tasks.  So this took a while to wrap my head around and I even asked in the Community section for what other people were using.  Well below is what I came up with.  I used a different color for each section.  


  • Call
  • Meet
  • Talk
  • Email
  • Mail


  • Office
  • Home
  • Out
  • Remember4Work
  • Remember4Home


  • 5 Minutes
  • 15 Minutes
  • 30 Minutes
  • 1 Hour
  • 2 Hours
  • 4 Hours
  • 8 Hours


  • Shallow Work
  • Deep Work


  • Active
  • Next
  • Plan
  • Research
  • Waiting

 Work Type:

  • Tech Work
  • Graphic Work
  • Medical Work
  • Proposal Work
  • Sales Work
  • Training Work
  • Admin Work
  • Professional Development
  • Errands Work

  Work People:

  • Client
  • Named Employees


  • Named Office Locations

  Personal People:

  • Me
  • Wife
  • Son
  • Pets
  • Family
  • Friends

 Personal Work:

  • Reading
  • Watching
  • Hobby
  • Craft
  • Writing
  • Journal
  • Chores
  • Errands Home
  • House Work



With the new ideas I wanted to go ahead and re-organize the way I have projects set up in ToDoist as well.  So here is what I am going to do.


  • Ideas
  • For Review


  • Main Project Name
  • Journal
  • Later


  • Cross Stitch
  • Coloring
  • Nanoblocks
  • Zen Tangle


  • Reading
  • Videogames
  • Board and Card Games
  • Puzzle Books


  • To Do
  • To Go
  • Entertainment
  • Important Dates
  • Goals

 Work - Me:

  • To Do
  • Scheduled

 Work - Shared:

  • My Work
  • Named Employee Work
  • General Office Work

One of the things I had started prior to this is a created what I have called a "Life Book," I got one of the Black Red Journals from the office store to use for this (hard cover, so it can lay open on my desk).  I also have a very small notebook that I carry in my pocket when I am out and about and away from the larger journal.  On the first page of the larger journal I wrote a summary of what I would use it for, see image below.

Client Work and Personal Creative Project - image 2 - student project


I have been just free writing in my morning/evening journal.  I am going to switch up to using these questions in the evening:

  • What did I achieve today?
  • What worked today?
  • What didn't work today?
  • What am I thankful for right now?
  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What did I write/craft/hobby/read today?
  • What's next?  What must be done tomorrow?
  • Other thoughts?

And then in the morning:

  • I am grateful for:
  • Review the What's Next from last night.
  • What would make today great?
  • Other thoughts?

Perhaps not all of these questions every time, but having a template I think will help me be more consistent and help me actually write instead of staring at the blank page.

Well this is all I am working on, let me know your thoughts.  Perhaps my thought process will be helpful to some.  Thanks for your time in reviewing.  Have an awesome day/evening!