Productivity Lessons

Productivity Lessons - student project

I don't have a huge problem getting projects done once I get over the middle hump, but getting to the middle hump can be a challenge when I have so many project ideas.

Productivity Lessons - image 1 - student project

Hello, I'm Melody.  I'm a blogger, illustrator and blossoming fibercrafts artist and beginner sewist.  And I have a very serious day job as an infectious disease registered nurse with my local health department.  As a blogger, I'm very bloggy in most of my written endeavors, and this will be no different.  

From ages 12-20 I was all about art.  All about it.  I was constantly drawing, painting and learning skills and wrestling with technology to be a good modern cartoonist and illustrator.  I wanted to work for Pixar or Disney or any other animation house, or maybe create sequential artwork and be published by an independent publishing house.  I didn't really narrow down my goals back then but was certain I needed to do all of it.  

Roughly around 19 to 20 I was suffering for my productivity and was feeling dejected in art school.  I wasn't finishing my assignments, and had completely lost interest in my work.  This lack of interest in art pretty much persisted for the following decade with brief glimpses of my craft coming through in short doodles and quick portraits of friends and coworkers.  Instead, I pivot-turned into nursing.  I'm nosey, bossy and good at health so nursing seemed like a good fit (and I was right!).  But the lack of art making in my life was incredibly disheartening.  

Enter my new year, 2021.  The summer is always the "beginning of the next year" for me as a school year ending and the break in between always triggered resolutions, reorganization and goal setting for me.  Even in my 30s!  

At 29 I bought a Dream Box from Create Room for crafting storage and a large space to work on the projects I did have - mostly a multimedia junk art grimoire and some crochet - but ended up using it as a glorified computer desk for the next year.  

This last month I bought a dedicated and tiny computer desk to set kitty corner to the Dream Box and was motivated to draw and paint again.

Productivity Lessons - image 2 - student project

I had undirected energy to DO THINGS and I knew if I wanted to be the artist I was when I was younger (but better) I needed to be organized and focused.  My sewing dreams were inspired by Bernadette Banner on youtube and she mentioned skillshare and some of its productivity classes as well as video editing and sundry other skill classes, so the same day I talked to my mom about lending me a sewing machine and bought a cross stitch kit and patterns, I signed up for skillshare.

And now we land on this class.  


My big, giant and crazy dream is to make 50% of my current salary as a nurse just from art within a year.  That money would make a massive difference in my life and for me, would signal a return of commitment to art and success in improving my skills (after all, if people buy my art that means I'm pretty good at it, right?).  Also...It might signal an ability to make a whole living off my art and maintain my currently quality of life.  Maybe.    

So lets break this big goal into little ones.

-I want to sell illustration commissions and prints.
-I want to sell at least one article to a newspaper or magazine.
-I want to get good at sewing and complete a minimum of 3 clothing/fibercrafts commissions in the next 12 months.  

From these three goals I have multistep executables to get them accomplished.  I won't bore you with those, they are long and detailed (as my brain needs the tiniest steps broken down).


To be honest, my crafting space and office is in my finished attic and there are no vents up here, and my window a/c unit is rather pathetic.  It's still warm enough in the winter but in the summer it is oppressive.  It's hard to spend the time I want in this room outside of the early morning hours when the room is at its coolest, and while I do get a lot of good writing and learning done then, my after work hours feel frustrating because I have the desire to work but the discomfort is actively bad for my health/lungs.  

- Solution?  Get a better window a/c unit.

Another barrier would be my own tendency to give up when frustrated or bored, or continuously starting and stopping projects based on my whimsy.  I would like more consistent follow through in a timely fashion.  

- Solution?  Execute the lessons learned in this class!


- The time and project management lessons are bae.  I liked the four column one (name escapes me as I write this and my notes are in my work backpack from when I watched some of this lesson on my lunch break) and I think posting that up on a wall where it's visible will help me keep track of the projects I'm in the middle of and need to finish.  I knew the Urgency/Importance grid already for prioritization and that is still a skill that needs refinement.  

- I need to narrow down my goals and make a concerted effort to link habits together.  There are some personal care habits I need to be more consistent with, and I also need to create habits to MAKE THINGS, DAILY.  (also, learn Spanish)

- I am bookmarking this lesson series to rewatch periodically because its so jam packed with goodness I can't unpack all of it in one go - and I shouldn't!  Best changes that stick are made piecemeal.  


Anyway, I've got a few more lessons to watch and will return with further commentary under an edit.