Time Management For Creatives: Make Your Side Project Happen | Giulia Martinelli | Skillshare

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Time Management For Creatives: Make Your Side Project Happen

teacher avatar Giulia Martinelli, Animation Director / Illustrator

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

    • 1.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      Define Your Project


    • 3.

      Breaking Down


    • 4.

      Priorities & Non-Negotiables


    • 5.

      Grab Your Calendar


    • 6.

      Schedule a Checkpoint


    • 7.

      Motivation Booster


    • 8.

      Flexibility & Rescheduling


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Dopamine Kick


    • 11.



    • 12.

      Wrap Up


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About This Class

This is the class to boost your productivity and finally find the time and space for that side project you always wanted to make.

It's all about creative planning:
Together, we are going to fill up some worksheets and make a plan, to optimize your time and get a structure to accomplish your goal.

If you’re like me, you are fighting to find space between work and the rest of your every-day-life, to focus on a personal fun project.

This class is for anyone who struggles to find some extra time to dedicate to a creative side project.
Whether you are a creative professional, who wants to make art for yourself other than the clients, or you are simply trying to find time for your new creative hobby, this class is for you!

I will share with you tips&tricks to organize your schedule and dedicate time to progress with your personal project.
We will go through some exercises to define your priorities and the best strategy to tackle your project planning.
You’ll learn how to optimize the resources you already have and how to stay motivated.
Finally, we’ll also cover how to adjust and be flexible with your schedule, when life happens and your plans change with it.                

As a freelance artist, it is hard for me to only work for client commissions: I feel the need to dedicate some time to personal projects.
Over the years, I learned some tricks that allow me to keep exploring and having fun on the side.

This can be a valuable space to explore, experiment with new techniques, enrich your portfolio or even consider a career change.

I personally like to balance my “main job” & client commissions with personal projects:
Alongside client commissions, I managed to make a short animated film, self-published zines, riso print experiments, animated stickers, Instagram filters, fun collaborations with fellow artists and friends… and other small or bigger personal projects.
Personal projects are good to keep playing, trying new things, and collaborating with friends, but can also lead to new opportunities, attracting different types of clients, or allowing you to discover a new passion.

Planning can be scary, but through this class, I hope you will learn to have fun with it, be more forgiving with yourself, and learn flexibility.

Sounds like a good plan?
Let’s dive in together.



Together with the class, I am providing you with a workbook that will guide you through every step of the process.
You do not need any particular software to take this class. You can print the worksheets, or fill them in digitally if you prefer.

The workbook is also a flexible and evergreen tool: it will be there for you throughout the months, to go back to it, get a motivation booster or re-evaluate your schedule.
You’ll be able to use it over and over again for your future creative projects.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Giulia Martinelli

Animation Director / Illustrator


Hello, I'm Giulia, a full-time freelance animator, and illustrator.

After graduating from the National Film School, Department of Animation (Turin, Italy) with my multi-award-winning short animated film MERLOT, I started my journey as a freelance artist and I hopped around Europe for a while, before settling down in Zurich, Switzerland.

In my daily practice, I juggle client commissions, teaching, and personal projects.

Here are some of my favorite students' reviews:

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1. Class Trailer: I bet you know the feeling. New Year's resolutions, all the best intentions, good ideas. And then life gets in the way and it feels impossible to find time for your side project or more in general, it is challenging to juggle work life and find extra time for your personal creative projects. I think passion projects are particularly hard because they're personal. And this means that the rest of life and work easily come in-between with their priorities. Hi, my name is Julia. I'm an animator, illustrator, and director. As a freelance artist, I tried to balance plan commissioned with personal work. And I soon realized how hard it is to stick to them. The plan, especially when it comes to side projects. In this class, I want to share with you all the tips and tricks I collected so far in order to accomplish my personal projects alongside client commissions, I managed to make a short animated film, self-publish scenes, result printed experiments, animated stickers and other small or bigger personal projects. Personal projects are good to keep playing, try new things, collaborating with friends, but can also lead to new opportunities. Attracting a new type of client, or maybe allowing you to discover new passion, whether it's to carve time to write, or you want to develop a short film, or you want to illustrate a book or make a podcast, whatever your side project is, this class might be useful for you. You don't need special materials to follow this class. I will provide you with worksheets that you can fill out digitally or print. The workbook will guide you through every step of the process. This is also an evergreen tool you can refer back to over the months. To find inspiration, motivation, or guidance. You'll be able to use it over and over for future projects as well. Planning can be scary, but through this class, I hope you learn how to have fun with it, to be forgiving with yourself, and to practice flexibility. 2. Define Your Project: Welcome to the class. Let's first define what is the personal project you want to develop. You might have 100 ideas or maybe you just know you want to do something creative but you don't know exactly what it is. It could be that you have a big personal projects on the back burner or maybe a couple of smaller ones. I usually have way too many ideas popping up in the most inappropriate moments. E.g. while working on a big client project. For this reason, I have dumped list to write those down in order not to be distracted from the current project. I then go back to my list later when I have the chance and the time to start a new side project. Let's start here and let's go to the resource section to download the workbook we're going to use. I'm going to fill the workbook together with you as we go. So maybe you have already some very clear goal in mind. Maybe you have too many, or maybe you just know that you would like to deal with a certain topic or use a certain technique. All works in this phase. We are here to brainstorm and brings out all the ideas and inputs that you got in my list, e.g. I'm going to have some more clear ideas, but also some more general topics that I know I want to work with. I'm going to fill my worksheets digitally, but you can totally print them out and do it on paper if you prefer. And here we go. We start with the big messy project dump. I'm just going to go ahead and write down all the ideas and inputs, really without thinking too much, just writing down what comes into my mind and what I know as being a side project in my head for a long time. Maybe it could be defined, maybe could be just star keyword. Doesn't matter at this 0.1 thing I want to write. And I always wanted to make animated stickers for social media. You know, those animated stickers that you can use on Instagram stories and so on. Then I thought if I'm making any media stickers, then why not making real stickers? And real seekers could actually become very nice temporary tattoo. I always wanted to make some temporary tattoos. Then I'm passionate about recipes. I like cocaine. I like to exploring new recipes, in particular plant-based ones. I would really like to do something with it. I always wanted to make a coloring book. At some point I will. I love houseplants. I don't know if you can tell. And I thought that I could do a plant journal and house plant journal to keep track of your plans and so on. In general and very much passionate about environmental topics. So I'm going to write out Environment and Sustainability. Because I know for sure that I want to use my free time to do some projects on these topics. I want to do a new Skillshare class, ops and making it. Maybe you want to create your own newsletter. I need to make a new intro video for my patron. That's a side project I've been postponing forever. I would like to make an illustrated book. And I also want to try making some illustrated notepads. I think they're fun and useful and I would be nice, I think, to try a new product and to have something new to sell on my online shop or markets. Alright, Those are my messy nodes. All of the ideas that come into mind, it is a mess, but that's just the first step. Now we're going on. The next step would be to put a little bit of order in this list. And what I'm gonna do is to grab a different color. Or I'm going to highlight two different things in this list. I'm going to find out the what, which is the topic, the teams that I'm passionate about, the actual content and the how, the how is going to be the technique or the format or the product. So now I'm going to explain what I mean. A technique or a format or a product is e.g. a class, or a newsletter, or a video. Or an illustrated book or notepads or a journal, another book or stickers, animated stickers. Those are all house. And the what, which are the topics that I wrote down, the topics that are dear to me, the topics that I want to develop, our recipes, plant-based, environment, sustainability, ABC, intro, and houseplants. This is already helping me to understand what is what and what is our how. Because it happens to me very often that I write down my ideas and I realize that some of them are about the content and some others are about the technique or the tool or the format that I want to explore or dry out. So e.g. I. Do want to make animated seekers. I really want to learn how to implement them in my Instagram stories. But I didn't think about the topic of those stickers, but I know I want to try now to make animated stickers. So the next step would be to connect elements from this massive list, e.g. yes, I want to make animated stickers, but about what? I'm passionate about sustainability and environment. So why not making some stickers about that? Or yes, I want to make illustrated note pads because I think they're fun. And I never made this product. I would like to try it out. It's gonna be about recipes. Why not? I'm thinking I could make two different types of notepads, one for the recipe itself and one for the grocery list. And then illustrated book. Again, I could illustrate recipe, so it could be an illustrated cookbook. Finally, some specific projects start to take shape. If you prefer to mind-map for the brainstorming phase. The second page is for you. Of course, you can go back and forth between these pages. It's up to you. Whatever works. In this case, I'm going to use it to brainstorm even further about some topics that are dear to me. I'm gonna give you an example. But in general, this mind-mapping technique is good to come up with keywords or for more connections between ideas or between words. I'm going to brainstorm about the topic of environment because I realize this is something that is dear to me and I would like my side project to be about this topic. Environment for me means Sustainability. I'm also thinking about awareness. Global warming. Really, any word that comes into mind at this point is useful to just write it down. Plant-based plants. Next, what I'm gonna do is to try to connect elements. Some connections are already in place. Recipes come out here again. If this is useful for you and your brainstorming, use this mind-map technique. Otherwise, the big messy project dam could be enough. And next, we're going to make a little bit of order in our Messi list and name the project or projects depending on how many you came up with. This is a way to clearly see them better to visualize the project and give it a name. We're going to describe the project in this table, describing the how, the what, and finally also defining the effort for it. And you should be specific like in this phase, we're going to describe the projects. So the more specific you are, the better. I'm going to show you what I mean. A series of, let's say, six animated stickers for Instagram stories. What about the environment? And I could be even more specific and write about global warming about the effort we're going to talk later. So I'm going on describing enlisting my projects is a set of two illustrated notepads. One about recipes and the other one grocery list. So finally, I want to make an illustrated cookbook of my favorite 24 plant-based recipes. So I'm trying to be specific. Not only an hour, I want to make an illustrated cookbook, but I know it's gonna be about my favorite 24 plant-based recipes. So go ahead and write your own projects in this table. It could be something like this, but it could also look completely different. Maybe your project is a novel that you always wanted to write. Maybe it's a podcast, maybe it's a series of paintings. The next step is to define the effort. So how much time consuming, energy consuming is a project of vigorous one-star is going to be an easy project to stars, medium effort and three stars, a big challenge, a big project. In my case, I think I'm the first project animated stickers. One is quite easy and straightforward. I've done GEFS before. They are all digital. I think this project is going to have one star, which is simple to stars for the grocery and recipe notepads. Because I've never done that. And it's a little bit of a longer process, I think, because it includes printing and a physical product. And finally, the cookbook for me is a big challenge and a big project. Lastly, it's time to pick the projects that we want to make. Of course we cannot do all the projects are the same time. And that's why we could actually should pick 12 or three projects depending on our time and energy consuming. They are. So I am always quite optimistic and I think I'm going to be able to make all three of them. Of course, I left something aside, e.g. their house plants journal or the Skillshare class I'm actually doing right now. So here we are. I defined three projects I want to do in the next year. They have different weights as the animated stickers can be done quite quickly. The note pads are a medium effort for me and the recipe book is the big challenge. You might have only one project, which is totally fine, or multiple small ones. Just try to keep it realistic when thinking about the time and effort. In the next lesson, we'll go into details to start breaking down the steps to reach our goals. 3. Breaking Down: Now that we know what kind of final project we want to make, let's start breaking down the to-do list to get to the final result. Those are the steps to accomplish one of your project. Of course, if you have multiple projects, you will want to make a to-do list for each project. So let me first explain you why are we doing a to-do list? There are actually multiple good reasons too often it's easy to underestimate the work that goes into a creative project. This means we can get discouraged when we encounter some obstacles. Breaking down and defining each step, we need to get their alphas to realize the effective work which is required to accomplish a certain goal. In fact, often you don't realize all the steps until you go through them and you name them. Secondly, breaking it down into smaller, more digestible steps makes it more approachable and less scary. We all have big and good ideas, but then it looks like a huge endeavor and we all get scared and not knowing where to start tackling the problem one step at a time makes the whole process more digestible and easier to start. So for each project you want to do, you're going to have to write a different to-do list, of course, but I'm going to do now is to duplicate this layer three times. Because I don't wanna do it for the animated stickers, for the notepad and for the cookbook. So let's start with the animated stickers. This to-do list is quite straightforward, but I'm gonna go through it very quickly. For sure. The first thing I have to do is to sketch some stickers, ideas and then select seeks that I like. Then I'm gonna have to pick a color palette. Finally, I have to animate them. Then to save them as GEFS and upload them to Giphy my case. Then once I uploaded on GIF here, I have to choose an hashtag which is going to be useful to find my stickers. And that's it. Then I'm going to have to share and use them. So this is quite straightforward and of course, you can also start from the goal if it's useful for you. Sometimes were bigger projects is better or easier to start from the final result we want to achieve and break it down backwards to see how to get there. But let's move to the next one, which is going to be the note pads. For the note pads, I want to do first and I'm going to add it into my list, is to brainstorm and research a little bit because I never done such a project. Maybe it's worth scheduling some time for research or mood boarding. Then I'm going to sketch the elements. In fact, I'm thinking that I'm going to reuse some elements, some illustrations, and move them around in the different notepads. Reuse. Finally, I'm going to design the notepads and work on the composition or layout. And then I'm going to do a print test to check the colors and the size of the text and adjust when needed. Then I'm going to find the best print service. I'm gonna write down even finding the best print service because this is going to take some time. So I should as well scheduled this. And finally, I'm going to prepare the files and order. And after it is all the marketing phase, but that's another list. Lastly, I'm going to share with you the to-do list for the cookbook, which is the biggest and most challenging project. Here again, I want to schedule some research brainstorming, mood board to visualize better the result I want to achieve. Then I'm going to learn in design. I realized that I don't know how to use InDesign. I never opened it. So I'm going to need to schedule some extra time to learn a software that's going to help me to achieve this project. At first, I didn't think about it. But then while making this project, I realized it was actually crucial to schedule some time to learn something new. And then I'm going to write the copy, the recipes. And actually, now that I'm writing, I realize there's another step in between, which is choose the 24 recipes. So after I selected the 24 recipes, I'm going to write the copy for the book. Then I'm going to make flat plan or basically a layout to see where the coffee and the image go on the page counting and so on. Then I'm going to sketch and design the illustrations. I'm going to decide the font and finalize composition. Finally, I'm going to prep the files and then upload an order. And in this case, with such a big project, it would make sense to start from the goal. And so asking ourselves, e.g. do we want it to be an e-book or do we want a paperback or both? Then going back. So what do we need? We need like digital files. But for print or not, etc. Start thinking about how much time you need for each step. Be realistic. Compare this with the previous estimation you made. This could help redefine how difficult the project is. 4. Priorities & Non-Negotiables: First, let's define our priorities and non-negotiables to find out how much time we can free in our typical week or month. So here's the phase where we define our priorities and non-negotiables and how much time we actually have in our daily life. Everyone's priorities and non-negotiables list is going to be different. Of course, we're all different people with different lives and different responsibilities and different jobs. So I'm just going to give you some ideas here, filling my own list. But of course, your lists could be completely different. E.g. in my case, one very important priority for me is to have my 8 h of sleep every night. So I'm going to write this down because for me, 8 h of sleep are necessary and I would never wake up, let's say at 05:00 A.M. to do my passion project, I'm going to write it down. Then, as I mentioned before, each one of us might have different responsibilities. If you have a child or you are working for a charity. And those are non-negotiables for you. This is something you want to write down because those have priority in your schedule. Of course, I'm going to write down quality time with loved ones. In this phase, you also find out if there is any time you could free up or use better, e.g. commuting, screen time, social media, et cetera. And so in this phase, I ask myself, is there any current endeavor I can avoid? Can I free up some space if he has where? Maybe I could use the commuting time. If it's only 1 h in the evening or the full, we can just write it down. Sometimes I tend to give priority to decline job because it's a client job and because usually it brings money in. But I'm not going to write it down in my list now because that's usually my problem when trying to make a personal project, I tend to always give priority to any client work. While sometimes I could just say no to as well client commission and work on my passion project instead. Another thing we could do is to use this graph on the right in order to have a more visual representation of our time. This pie chart is about your typical week, but of course you can do your typical day or month or or whatever works best for you. I'm going to allocate around us time of my week to work on commission work, sometime for family and quality time and some meantime workout. I keep some space for other, for some any kind of unexpected things. And finally, I'm going to have some extra time, which is for my side project. This is a further exercise that could help you define your priorities together with the previous page. So while we have here is a graph dividing tasks or projects based on the urgency or important. With this graph, we understand better which project is more urgent or important. E.g. in my case, I know I want to make the animated stickers as soon as possible because I want to use them in my Instagram stories. So they're going to be quite urgent. Not super important. So maybe I'm going to put them in the middle. On the other hand, the recipe book and the recipe pads, they're not so urgent because my goal is to have a product for Christmas. So I have our earlier in front of me. So I'm not so urgent, but still important. So there's going to be in the lower right box. Both of them. But I think the pads are more urgent than the cookbook. What is in this corner of your graph as priority number one. And then this is gonna be the second one, et cetera. This is probably the least important or urgent. For sure going to work on animators seekers first, and then move to the recipe pads and Cookbook along the year. So grab your calendar in the next lesson, we're going to start looking at timing and scheduling. 5. Grab Your Calendar: This is the time to have a look at the months ahead and see how we can fit our personal creative projects into our busy lives. When I look at my calendar and start imagining where I could free up some space or where I already have some space to work on my side projects. So e.g. maybe I decided as a freelancer that I'm going to dedicate one day per week to my side project, which is maybe your day off in my case is going to be Wednesday. And the rest of the week is going to be client work. And then there are the weekends. In the weekends, maybe I'm going to have some friends and family or hiking, road trips. Maybe you think you could dedicate Alpha day of each week and do your project. So there could be something, maybe you do have a general month schedule, maybe you don't. So you could totally skip this phase. But maybe I know that every last week of the month I'm full of deadlines for deliveries. So maybe it's always busy and hectic. I'm not going to add some work there. And the same thing goes for the year. Maybe you already know when you're going on holiday. Let's say August. It's holiday, Easter holiday, Christmas holiday. Or maybe, you know, you're going to have a big client between February and March. So I'm not going to schedule passion projects there. That's already something we're going to dig into those calendars deeply in the next slide. Now I'm going to think in detail about my ideal week or typical ideal week. I said Mondays and Tuesdays are going to be for client work. Wednesday is my passion project day. Sunday is family and friends. Then here at this point, we can add more. Maybe I know that every Tuesday night I'm going to work out, going to the gym. Maybe you know that mostly Friday or Saturday nights there is some kind of party. Can be a birthday party, could be hanging out with friends. So maybe you could write this down. In this way. We find out e.g. if we add some extra hours urine there, e.g. in the evenings, maybe we want to dedicate 1 h every Thursday evening and every Monday evening. Or maybe you know that you are commuting a lot and maybe you can have 1 h every day in the train or something like that. So this already looks like we know a little better in our weekly, ideal weekly plan where we could feed our side project. Next, we move to the month. First, I'm going to write down which month and I'm gonna put down the dates. This is the month of April. Maybe I already know. I'm going to have some events going on that are going to change a little bit. My planning, e.g. I have a birthday, I have to attend. Or maybe I have a road trip planned, or maybe a family lunch. Or maybe you also have a Dr. appointment and maybe even a big deadline. After we have written down all the things we know we're going to have to do. We're going to find out if and where our project fits. So we said to ourselves, every Wednesday is going to be dedicated to our personal projects. So here we can work on our project. But e.g. the day that I'm going to the Dr. appointment, probably it's not going to be the full day. So it's gonna be a part of it or e.g. the 23rd year because it's so close to a deadline. Maybe I'm not gonna be able to work on it. Maybe I'm going to be very tired. So I will not work on my side project during my free day. Maybe I'm going to catch up with work in order to meet a deadline, maybe I'm going to rest. So probably not working on my project. And then we also said that we could work on our project on Saturday. So as you can see, maybe we could work on these first three Saturdays, but not on the one where we're going to be on the road trip. Then we also said Monday evening. So here there could be some space for our work Thursday evening. So here we have a plan to work on our project in the month of April. And I would do this at the beginning of the month or like planning for the next month. And of course, you will have to adjust and revise this calendar as you go. Now we move to the yearly calendar year, of course, again, it's gonna be hard to predict all the unexpected events they are going to pop up. But we can start with what we know. So I know that February and March, I'm gonna have this big client. I'm going to write it down. And I know that in May, I'm going for a trip maybe a couple of days that I know that in August I'm gonna go on holiday. Maybe not the whole month, but still it's going to disrupt a little bit our rhythm. So let's keep it in mind. Then. I know that the risk Christmas in December, which is both a holiday, so I'm probably going to spend time with family. But also, there are Christmas markets. And Christmas markets are important for me because they represent a deadline for my products. Because I want to have my projects ready and done in order to sell the products at the market. So now I'm going to start thinking where I can fit my three projects that I picked. And I'm thinking the animated stickers are fast. I want to make them quickly in order to use them as soon as possible. I'm going to make them in January and a month should be more than enough to complete this project. Then I think I'm going to start work on my note pads in April and in June or fully print them. And then I'm going to schedule the recipe book work until mid-November because usually Christmas markets are also in November. This is how the general plan looks like when I finished to complete my yearly calendar. And let's move on. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about scheduling and checkpoints. 6. Schedule a Checkpoint: It is important and necessary to check along the way how you are doing and how is your project progressing. When you reach a Check Point, a milestone or a deadline? Don't see it like a scary test, but rather as a chance to learn about your process, see how your creative year is going. And if you needed to adjust, as we said, it is totally fine to tweak your plan. You will learn more about yourself and you will reschedule as you go. Especially for bigger projects, it is important to have checkpoints or milestones in order to check out the work in progress is doing to keep track of the schedule. Otherwise, a big project can be quite overwhelming. This is the case for my cookbook project, which sounds like a huge endeavor. And it's easier if it's broken down into small deadlines were achievements throughout the year. Check if you're progressing on your to-do list, schedule some reviews or feedback on the work in progress. Of course, you can proceed on the plan only if the checkpoints are reached. This could also be the opportunity to realize that we over planned or field our plate too much, or on the contrary, that we are faster than we expected at any point, you can reconsider your schedule, work on it again and polish it to your needs. Maybe your life work schedule changed. Maybe your project is going smoothly and you want to add some small beat. Or maybe you need to trim it down and simplify it. Always remember to stay flexible and forgiving with yourself. For my cookbook project, I actually have to be very much flexible and readjust the schedule along the way multiple times. In my personal experience, the cookbook plan was very overwhelming. In fact, it is a big project and it was a much bigger effort than I imagined on the first place. If it was at the beginning, at 24 illustrated recipe collection, it became than smaller. And actually towards the end of the year, I even decided to simplify it to recipe cards rather than a book in order to have a product for the market and postponing the actual book and printing for the next year. So now we're going to go ahead and schedule checkpoints in our calendar in order to keep track of our progress, I'm going to schedule checkpoints on the yearly calendar. Because most of my projects, the notepad and the cookbook, they are spread across the year. I'm going to work in a yearly calendar to set some milestones. Then after I'm going to go into January month in order to schedule some milestones for the stickers project. Okay. So I'm gonna start with the note pads. I'm going to put a milestone at the end of April for my notepads. It's going to be style and layout. Then at the end of May, it's going to be design. And then at the end of June is going to be none. For the cookbook I actually already wrote before. I want to work in July on the plan and copy. So by the end of the month to have the copy ready and an overall plan. Then by the end of September of all the designs, by the end of October, all the layout. And of course, by mid-November must be done. So I'm gonna write 15th November. You see now I'm realizing that if i in order to receive the copies, I have to order by the end of October. So probably send to print. By the end of October. Yes. Now I'm gonna go in the month of April to put some deadlines for the stickers. So let's pretend this is my months of January. And my side project for the month of January is going to be the animated stickers. So now I'm going to set some milestones in order to complete this project in a month. I read from my to-do list that I need first to sketch some ideas, then pick a color palette, then finally animate the stickers and export them as a GIF. The biggest chunk of my work is going to be the animation. I'm going to dedicate the first week to the design. So by the end of the week, I want to have the design, the ideas, and the colors decided. The second week. And probably the third is going to be dedicated to the animation, which is the biggest chunk. So by the end of the third week, I'm going to have a milestone for completed animation. And actually, because I know how the animation processes, I'm going to keep the 21st free for any kind of retake. It's actually very small considering is just to an hour, but we're going to keep that as retake. I'm going to set Then the 30th of the month as a final deadline, which means that I'm still going to have more than one day in order to export all of them. Upload down g fees at the hashtags. So gives me still a little bit of retake time. Actually, you're going to write it down. Yeah, I think this is a good plan for my animated stickers. And it's also an example of a shorter project, while the other ones are a little longer. So of course, you could also get into details in this way for the big project, e.g. for my cookbook, I would also then getting into the monthly plan and try to break it down even further. For instance, if there is a Month dedicated to the illustrations of my cookbook, I would then go ahead and divide each week in order to, let's say, illustrate two or three recipes per week. The next lesson is all about motivation and how to boost it. 7. Motivation Booster: During the process, you might find yourself losing motivation or focus. It is totally normal, especially if the project is diluted in a long period of time. And if you're doing it on your own, you might experience times of confusion and despair, discouragement, destruction, etc. This is a lesson you may want to rewatch for a motivational boost in order to remind yourself why you started this project in the first place and to find new fresh energy. This motivational worksheets are also a good section to go back to along the process. Lastly, make it easy to start. Setup your material in space so that it's always ready. Remember, starting is the hardest part. Let's get to the worksheets. So here we have our motivation worksheets. If you're working on multiple projects, of course you're going to do this process multiple times for each project. I'm going to start with a cookbook project. And here there are a couple of questions we could answer. Those questions are supposed to help you realize and then later remind you, what are your core reasons? What are the reasons why you're doing this project in order for you to find new motivation and refresh it when you need it. So why did you pick this project? In my case, for the illustrated cookbook, I'm going to write, I feel I need to work on a side project that is meaningful and useful. And I believe it's important to switch to a more plant-based diet. Plus those recipes are delicious and the world needs to try them. Or e.g. I. Could also write, I would like to challenge myself and try to work on a printed product because I never did it before, like a whole illustrated book. So that could be a nice challenge. Just ask yourself, what are your reasons? And you don't have to show this to anybody else. If you don't feel comfortable, you don't have to share this in the project section, but ask yourself why? Really? What are the reasons why you want to do this project? The second question is, what is it going to change once you complete the project? Once you complete it? What is this project allowing you to do? This question, L2 to project yourself to the end of the project to visualize what are the benefits that you will get once the project is completed. And this helps for sure for the motivation and to keep going for me for sure, I will be able to have a physical product to sell in markets. And also, I would for sure learned a lot along the process because it's the first time that I'm working on an illustrated book. Other examples could be that you are going to enrich an, a larger portfolio, try out new techniques and get better at those. Or it could be to share finally, with the world that story that you always add in mind. And the last question is about success. Asking you what does success mean to you? This question also helps to manage expectations, to understand what is the sign or what will be the sign that we actually succeeded and did a good job isn't just to finish the project, is to get one person excited about it, or is it to become the best seller in the world? So in my case, it's probably mainly just to get some good feedback that will be enough, even if just one person will be affected by it. I think that will be already a huge success. So I'm going to write, I'll be satisfied to see this project completed, printed, and to receive some positive feedback. Even just one person telling me that the recipe is delicious or like a deletion. Deletion discovery would make my day and make this project work team. Okay, so now that we completed this first part, I should go ahead and feel the same motivation page also for the other projects. But this one is the biggest project for me, sorry, It's the one that needs more motivation to keep going for many months. The next page is about writing a letter to yourself or to your future self. And I'm going to go ahead and do that. You can do it like this on a piece of paper or maybe on your notebook. But another thing you could do is to write an actual e-mail to yourself that it's gone to reach you in the future. There is a service online doing this. It's called Future me. Probably there are also others doing it. Sometimes I do receive e-mails from the past me and I find it fascinating and fun. So I'm going to do this right now for my illustrated cookbook. The following page is about social commitment. You can find and create social commitment in real life online, e.g. telling your friends, colleagues, or family about your project or sharing your progress on social media. The people in your life are going to hold you accountable actively if you ask them to passively because you feel the responsibility to do what you said you wanted to do. In my case, I create social commitment online on social media with my patrons, sharing my plans and progress, but also with the subscribers of my newsletter and with family and friends. Ultimately, the hardest part of a personal side project is the fact that we are usually alone doing it. The people in your life can help you stay motivated and engaged, checking if you're on track and holding you accountable. Another trick to stay inspired is to surround yourself by creative people. Following some artists on patriot and listen to podcasts, or even make your own moodboard for this particular project. Last but not least, keeping an achievement log can help with motivation as well. You can and should write down every smaller achievement, such as reached Milestone, a solved problem, a nice feedback, or simply a good feeling about your project. We will talk about the importance of celebration later and how this is connected with your motivation. Up next is a less than about flexibility and rescheduling. 8. Flexibility & Rescheduling: Of course, despite our best efforts, sometimes our plants have to change. Life happens and we cannot expect the plan to go exactly as we imagined. That will be ideal, but often it doesn't work. So this means that checkpoints and milestones not always are going to be met. Actually, most of the time things don't go according to the plan. There is a quote that says, life happens while you're busy making other plans, right? Yeah. I think it's pretty accurate and that's a fact. So let's just be aware of this fact and embrace it. I'm going to show you some personal example. I'm going to share the delay that I had with some projects and how I manage to shift it in the timeline, readjusting, resizing, et cetera. I'm going to share this so-called failure, even if I don't want to call it failure because that's how the process go. And this is what happened with the cookbook. So here I'm going to show you some examples for rescheduling and for readjusting the calendar when something doesn't work. In my January month, the plan to make my animation stickers. I'm going to go ahead now and try to fix some problems. So let's pretend this the 19th of demand. And we didn't reach our milestone to complete the animation. Or in this case, I was already good in the planning phase because I did calculate to have some retakes before the final deadline. In any case, what I would do is to postpone the deadline. Maybe I'm gonna put it on the 28th. So this is the new deadline for finalize on emission. So that in this way I still manage to hit the deadline on the 30th. If not, it's also fine to go on the next month and postponing even more. But now I know in my planned the following month, I have this big client. So probably I'm going to try to keep it in the month of January on a larger scale. I'm going to show you how I postpone or readjust my planning in the year e.g. and in particular, now I'm going to share with you some real facts about my own planning and particularly about the cookbook I did plan to make this year, but but things didn't go as planned. So I had to readjust my schedule. So what happened is that I didn't manage to get the plan and copy ready for June. Actually, the copy was not ready, so I postponed the coffee together with the design in the fall when milestone, which was copy and design at this point. But then what happened is that this was for real, a big, big project. I totally underestimated the amount of work that was necessary to complete it. So what I ended up doing and that's why I want to, um, to share with you. Not only I try to reschedule and to give myself more time, but then what I ended up doing, I think in September, was to realize that I actually didn't have the time to complete all these tasks before the Christmas market. So before the end of the year. So I decided to change my plan to re-size the project. And what I did was to, instead of making a cookbook. And that point, I decided to make some recipe cards. So I already had some copy and already had some designs. Instead of publishing a whole book, I decided to print separate recipe cards so that I could still have some products to sell at the market. But at least it would have not been such a huge project and efforts such as a cookbook. So now it became recipe cards project. And also from the 24 recipes that I scheduled at the beginning, I decided to cut it down and go to 12 and to make just six recipe cards. So that was more doable, more realistic for time available. And I decided to postpone to the following year the actual cookbook. I still want to do the cookbook project, but it's going to be postponed a little bit. And actually making the recipe cards ended up being a good choice because I actually learned a lot about InDesign anyway, and layout and composition. I printed them, so I did manage to check the colors in print. And also, it was a great test to see how my audience is reacting with this kind of product. These are, by the way, the recipe cards I'm talking about. It is like a page in the cookbook, but they're all separate. And this allows me to still make my project but in a more doable size. So why planning if it's not going to work exactly as we imagined? You might ask, That's a good question, but I think I have a good answer as well. Even if I know the plan will most likely change a little, planning gives me confidence and helps me to start. I feel like I have a plan. I got it. I can tackle this project. I'm allowed to start. The plan needs to have a built-in resilience, which accounts for uncertain events. The plan is malleable, implies that we are flexible, that you can adjust and forgive yourself. And this also means less pressure on the planning. I think that planning is a matter of projecting ourselves into action. Planning is in fact the first step to start a project. It allows us to consider all the variables and come up also with a plan B and C. And accepting advanced effect that it might work differently. Flexibility is crucial and that's why I dedicated a whole lesson about it. Some people think that the plan fails the moment it doesn't go exactly as written? I don't think so. Shifting, rescheduling, resizing, postponing. These are all possibilities and they are part of the process and will help you to reach your goal. So let's embrace the imperfection of our plans and say flexible rescheduling is fine. And in this part of the process, in the next lesson, we're going to start. 9. Start!: This is a lesson to remind you and myself that planning is great. But the next most important step is to start working on your project, define your start date and go for it. Don't get into the procrastination loop of planning. Yes, it is a thing. And I've been there. Once. You will get to the end of this class, you will be ready to tackle your projects. You get this. This was a short lesson and there are no worksheets here. In fact, it's all about action, not planning anymore. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about dopamine kick. 10. Dopamine Kick: This class is about not forgetting to celebrate your success. It is important for your motivation and your reward system. If you met a milestone and you are one step closer to the final deadline, this is worth celebrating. Let's just acknowledge the power of the tick. How good does it feel to take something off list? It feels amazing, right? And this is the dopamine party going on in your brain and giving you energy and motivation to keep going on these worksheets, you can track your success and remind yourself to celebrate. Milestones check also helps you realize at which stage of the process you are and what percentage of the whole project is done. You can see how the celebration and motivation here go hand in hand. And some parts also in the worksheets do overlap. So don't hesitate to go back and forth in your worksheets to check your milestone lists, to check your achievement list, and to keep your motivation and celebration going. In fact, the moment you feel good about your project and yourself, you feel energized to go on. Even planning for a celebration is going to boost your motivation. You will protect yourself into that pleasant situation, and this will give you fresh energies in order to reach it. The reward can be a treat you give yourself, but it can also be organizing and hosting a party. In my case, I always tend to celebrate both online and in real life. And I try to involve all the people that follow my process and kept me accountable. Write down the ways you're going to celebrate a certain achievement or goal. In this way, you're going to visualize the reward and boosts your motivation even further. The perfect place to celebrate your achievement is in the project section down below, where we can support each other and celebrate small or bigger victories. Remember, celebration is an important step of the plan. So don't skip it. 11. Bonus: So let's say running is that this class is about planning and learning how to be flexible with your plan. At the moment, I'm very upset because the weather is really cloudy and very bad for lighting of this class. And I guess all I have to do right now is just put into practice what I'm preaching and be flexible with my plan and readjust it and make it work anyway. So on another node, here are the results of my side projects. For the purpose of this class, I recreated in front of the camera for you the planning I made for myself for the year 2022. I showed you step-by-step how I preceded and edited my plan as I went. These are my animated stickers that you can find a news on Instagram stories. Here is my set of notepads that I already printed twice because they've been a great success. And finally, here are the recipe cards and the working progress of the cookbook that I shifted for the next year. All in all, I did not manage to complete the recipe book, but I learned a lot from the process. On the other hand, I managed to make the plan journal and to Skillshare classes. 12. Wrap Up: Congratulations, You made it to the end of the class and now you have a plan to tackle your side project. Here's a little recap of what we learned in this class. We define what is the project that you really want to do. And also define the time that you actually have and which ones are your priorities are non-negotiables. Then we worked our way through the calendar to find the actual spot where we could dedicate time for this project. And we learned all about motivation and tips and tricks to keep us engaged and committed to the project. Scheduling milestones and check points will help you to keep track of your progress and to motivate yourself even further. Most importantly, don't forget to celebrate your success. So I'm going to start now celebrating you for finishing this class. And I hope that not only you have now the tools to rock your side project, but you also have a more comfortable relationship with planning in general, remember that the worksheets are there for you, not only for this project, but also for future ones. You can come back to this structure whenever you have to tackle a new planning. And we are going to support each other and keep each other accountable in the project section of this class. So be sure to upload a work in progress. In the project section, we can track each other's progress and motivate each other. So let's share what we've made. This will also encourage one another and help put the motivation booster We all need. If you have any question along the way, please ask down below. Not only you will get personal feedback from me, but hopefully this might be useful for others as well. Lastly, if you share anything from this class on Instagram or other social media, please use the hashtag time management class. In this way, I can follow your progress and be proud of my students. I wish you all the best with your creative projects. By the way, if you're looking for a creative challenge, I have another Skillshare class about animated morphine loops. So that may be, could be your next side project. If you could leave a review for this class, this would mean a lot. It helps other students finding the class and he helps me to understand what you loved about the class so that I can improve and make better new ones. I really appreciate your support. Follow me on Skillshare and on social media and check out my website if you want to learn more about me. Thank you for taking this class and see you soon.