Nothing like a deadline

Like many creative people, a deadline can galvanise me into action.  Sometimes (or a lot of the time) I need the frisson which a time limit can give me.  That certain ‘do or die’ feeling can be a good motivator and can engender a great creative output.  I actually do quite a bit of work in my headspace which makes it look like I’m not dong much towards reaching a goal or producing a something.  But once I get started on the work, all of my thinking and figuring out time stands me in good stead to ‘get on with it’.  My writer husband Steve and I often joke that, ‘We’ve thought about it, so it’s as good as done’.

However, sometimes when you don’t know, or forgot, or have mislaid your deadlines, cock-ups can occur.  I don’t know it I mentioned that along with re-painting my studio, I am also in the process of organising my PAPERWORK in a way that makes sense and works for me:  a creative, right-brained person.  I think a lot of us creatives can relate to this.  In fact one artist friend of mine said ‘Organise, paperwork and creative do not belong in the same sentence’.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it is possible.  For a creative person to get organised.  It’s just a case of borrowing techniques from left brained people.  The definition of organising is ‘being able to find it when you need it’.  I’d originally set up my paperwork hidden away in magazine files and it was ‘out of sight, out of mind’.  I’d forget about stuff like applications and deadlines, bacause I couldn’t see them.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve ordered and put up in my studio a notice board and a magnetic chalkboard.

I immediately started pinning visual images to the noticeboard, but have decided to put a dedicated ‘visual board’ above those two, thus reserving the lower one for relevant papers.  I also got a vertical file holder, following a tip from the resources section of Clarity Consulting.  Like most Right-Brainers, I need to see my paperwork or I forget about it.

I recently bought a book called ‘Organising from the Right Side of the Brain’ by Lee Silber.  Before I got started on any hands on paper sorting, I worked through the exercises in the chapter entitled ‘A Method to Your Messiness’.  It was pretty difficult and somewhat emotionally charged, but I stuck with it and treated my self to a cup of tea and a couple of chocolates before going into my studio and faced my main goal.

Which was ‘sort out the pile on my studio desk’.

I had no problem sorting the papers into relevant categories, writing tasks on my blackboard and putting my mind map for organisation on my noticeboard . . . .

but, ‘Ooops!’,  I overlooked writing down a couple of key deadlines.  This morning, I realised that I have to drop my quilt  ‘Suncast Shadows‘ off in Birmingham this Friday.  No problem, because Steve and I will be passing through on our way to Moddershall Oaks for a Spa Weekend to celebrate our birthdays.  But I have to sew a hanging sleeve onto the back.  I have been putting some thought into it though.  It’s a sheer quilt so I’ve adapted the materials accordingly.

I’m using very pale blue organdy and invisible thread.  I’ve pinked the edges so there won’t be a dark, twice turned under seam which could potentially show through the sheer fabric of the quilt.

So this is an example of the power of a deadline, a cautionary tale about being aware of them and an intro to my new and improving organisational system.  I like that it’s flexible, not set in stone and evolving.  I also got some pretty Laura Ashley magazine files for papers that I don’t want to archive, but which aren’t current, such as ‘how to do’s and workshops I teach.  I am also going to start offering my service as a Creativity Coach and will include organising in my repertoire of skills.  So my Coaching materials might go there as well.


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