Momentum is a tricky thing. Too little, and everything slows to a halt. Too much, and everything spins out of control. And then when you’re tracking more than one project, everything really can get a bit out of control. Just in time for the craziness of the summer craft fair season, I’m starting to get the hang of tracking multiple projects at the same time. It’s something like letting one slow down a bit, speed up another, keep the third at a steady pace. Checking, rechecking, calibrating, re – calibrating. A cross between a switchboard operator and the Wizard of Oz.
These days I’m tracking a few major projects in the studio – developing a fine art portfolio, maintaining a product line for the business, and staying inspired by writing the blog. The current approach is pretty simple – an adapted Getting Things Done system, merging a paper system with monitoring on the Iphone and Cozi – but so far, it seems to be keeping me on top of most things, most of the time.
The most powerful tool towards keeping the momentum at a sane pace has been balancing Next Actions with Tickler actions. Keeping the option to either actually do something about the project, or to remind myself to follow up on the project in a few weeks has been huge in the studio. It means that I have permission to set some things aside, so that I can follow where my energy is pulling me. It makes the creative steps more satisfying – I can doodle and design drafts without spending a third of my bandwidth on worrying that I’m forgetting something.
I’ll keep you posted as the summer cooks along – with any luck I can keep this going and maintain my grip on reality too. What about you? What systems are you using to keep track of your creative projects?