Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What's Up?

So, what's new and exciting? Well, I got a dry erase board; that's a big thing! I know, I know: I need to get out more. (Although, I don't mind a sedate life. I had an exciting life once; it sucked.)

Why is a dry erase board such a good thing? Well, I am a visual person. It allowed me to chart my current projects and priorities in a way that keeps them always in front of me, and to see that though I am always busy, and almost always working, I am not directing my efforts in focused ways, so I end up spinning my wheels.

Right now I have three major work projects going on, and, of course, several minors and budding ones. The big three are:
  1. Current firing cycle: I am loading on Friday and firing Sunday. I am on track with this to fire Sunday. I'd post a photo of the glazed pots - lots of stripes and dots again - but my camera is in Westport, Massachusetts with my husband at his book signing.
  2. Kickstarter. I have done everything except the video, including writing the script, but video is a new medium for me, and getting over the intimidation hump has proved difficult. I need to get some footage of my various processes and a face-on camera appeal.
  3. Improving my firing economics. This has two facets: 
  • Determining if my burners are as efficient as they can be - and it's looking like no, they aren't; but it's really freaking complicated and I am lucky to have the assistance of a very knowledgeable friend in this matter.
  • Determining whether I can fire to Cone 6 and get the same or better results. These are not mutually exclusive; if I can re-work my burners and lower my firing temperature, the possibility exists that I will be able to pay myself this year. So exciting!
Anyway, where I was going with all that, is that the dry erase planner lets me see that I should be spending the majority of my time on those three thing, and I had not been doing that. I'd been blogging, because it's fun; I'd been researching and trying out new projects for my classes - important, but I already have a lot of demos up my sleeve. I'd been trying to organize the Maine Pottery Tour - I want it to grow this year, and it will, but maybe I should settle for a little growth, and let the chips fall. And I'd been doing website work - again, important but far from urgent. I just was not spending time according to importance: poor prioritizing.
All that was pre-dry erase board. I hung it, and divided it into five sections: one for each major goal; one for "Other:" all the stuff that needs to be done that is not one of those projects; and one for "Upcoming," projects on the horizon that don't need my attention right now, but that I also don't want to let sneak up on me.


Lori Buff said...

I've been toying with the idea of painting my studio walls in dry erase paint just so I have the ideas & such right in front of me. Besides, wouldn't it be fun to draw on the walls?

June Perry said...

Wish I had room to hang one more thing in my studio/garage space!

- Cindy - said...

Dry erase boards are awesome. I have one at work and two at home. Since I have a shelving unit at a shared studio space, I don't have any there right now unfortunately.

Another visual thing I enjoy which is similar and can be combined with the dry erase board is post-its. So, say you have a list on your dry erase board. You can add to it or erase. With post-its, you can also easily and quickly rearrange without rewriting (or drawing) anything. They come in all different sizes. You can transfer them to stick in a notebook for keeping or recycle them.

I also love digital note taking and lists too. With Springpad, which you wrote about in a previous post, what I've found awesome is how I can easily take a picture of a dry erase board (or post its or index cards, etc.) with my phone and upload it to a virtual notebook for safe keeping.

Tracey Broome said...

I adore dry erase boards, also chalk boards. I too once had an exciting life and it was pretty awful, haha! I much prefer my dull life and reading about dry erase boards with bloggers :)

Unknown said...

I am salavating at your organizational prowess! I am a chroic list maker- it's the only way I can keep track of my crazy life and get things done. Your idea about a dry-erase board with project columns...Brilliant!!

That and Cindy's mention of post-its has me itching to get to Staples ;)

ShellHawk said...

I am with you on the whole "efficiency" thing! I seem to be perpetually scattered, putting out one "fire" while another one gets a foothold. As for a schedule, that's something I need to schedule time to make!

Thanks for the inspiration!