I’ve been preaching to my daughter about the importance of reading and math lately. She’s at that age where she needs to start mastering the basics of each to progress forward. She likes and is happy to work in both, but gets frustrated after a short amount of time and then avoids it for a bit. While she’s learning it in school, it might be days before I can get her back to work on it with me.
It’s not that I’m loading additional work. It’s more that we’re trying to get her prepared for when homework starts coming home. Her frustration seems to be the impression of being stuck at the level that she’s been working at it. She’s been learning, but in her eyes it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. What I’ve been trying to tell her is that small amounts of work done frequently will help build up those skills in a meaningful manner.
I’ve been trying to take my own advice. I’ve got a lot of things that I’m juggling, trying to ensure that I don’t drop anything.
First, I’ve got the Bad Kitty shoot that’s looming somewhere in the near future. I’m the writer, director, and overall architect of the entire shoot. I have help, yes, but it’s largely my program. Part of that work includes the storyboarding, which means another piece of work and another skill to build in 3D modeling and Blender.
This blog is a large part of my workload as well. Aside from when my site was unavailable due to spectacularly bad webhosting, I’ve been consistent with putting up at least two blog posts a week. I suffer terribly from feeling like an idiot all the time, so finding things to write about and not immediately thinking of how obvious what I’m writing about is and how everyone already knows this (they must if I do) is really hard for me.
While the Bad Kitty shoot is my primary focus right now, writing is what actually makes me happy. It’s really difficult to slot in large writing projects at the same time a shoot is running, while maintaining a full time job and family requirements. I still need to keep writing. I’m not sure if it’s a cause or a symptom, but some of the lowest points in my life have coincided with when I wasn’t writing. Mentally stability and balance are really important.
To keep going on all of these things (and more) I’m keeping it simple. I’d tried just using calendar and task entries in Google Calendar, but it kept dropping off my plate. I’d forget about things until I’d reached the deadline. I’d then play scramble to try and make sure things were done around the time I expected them to be completed.
None of my schedules are particularly aggressive. Even when they are, they are self imposed. If a schedule is being to strict I loosen it out a bit. What’s become more important than hitting those deadlines has been touching the important skills at least once a day. The old, 20 minutes a day is better than two and a half hours once a week.
I’ve broken the work into four groups: Backlog, Recurrent, Soon, and Today. These are all fairly self explanatory.
Backlog are things I’d like to do. Some day. If I get around to it. Or things that are so far in the future I don’t care about them now, but don’t want to forget about.
Recurrent are any projects I’m working on. There’s an entry for Bad Kitty in here, blogging, and my writing sketchbook project. These have task lists associated with them.
Soon are things that are coming toward the front of the pile. These are stand alone items, cloned recurrent tasks (blog entries), or subtasks of projects.
Today are the thing (ideally) I’m working on now or as soon as possible.
It’s helping to keep me organized, but also giving me a good sense of the time I’m spending on specific projects. The built in pomodoro timer double functions, allowing me focus on a timed event and also keeping track of the time that I’ve spent. I don’t know if this will yield any useful information in the future, but I’m happy to maintain it just to find out.