Post 18: Another ‘Little Steps, Bigger Picture’ Post! 104 to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Working many hours during the weekend and then sleeping until lunchtime on my days off turns me at night into an owl. I had one of those moments this week after finishing my post. ‘Hmmm what can I do to use up that sudden whirl of energy’, I thought to myself. Finally I decided to tackle my studio table, which over the time got covered in piles of receipts, notes and all sorts of objects. My ‘in’ basket included reminders like driving theory book, bank statements and notes of what to do. As we all know, there is always something better to do than writing down your receipts.

End of the month is just gone and it is time to write one of my monthly reviews about resolutions of this year. And when clearing the table I soon realized there are too many to deal with in my case especially because I want to do them all at the same time. And right now in the best case scenario. I decided to find a way how I can get them tackled often enough, even in small amounts, but at least getting them moving in the right (or perhaps just some sort of) direction.  My 3 Days Challenge seems to be working well that way, so I decided to write down how often I need to do each of them. They vary from every two days to once a week. I then organized all the pieces of paper and wrote the plan for the whole entire month ahead. I was right on it, so if I had an actual diary for 2014 I would keep going until I reach the end.

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So the next morning I woke up and here are four things I planned to do- write a blog post, deal with social networking, figure out all money related things and do prep for my teaching classes and interpreting. The first two I thought they can be postponed or dealt with another time, so I wanted to tackle the money next. I have finally ordered Moleskine for this year (I know, I know 2 months into year already, shame on me) and shorts for cycling as unfortunately the other ones are on their way to fall apart soon. As you know clothes in my wardrobe must be practical and they stay there until no longer repairable. Than I paid some bills, sent money to save and treated myself (shhh) to a new cheap offer subscription of an interior design magazine.

Do you feel like you are turning your parents sometimes even you really do not want to?! Especially doing the things you hated or had no idea why they do it?! There is definitely one thing, when I have turned into my mother. But I guess a good one. I write down every expenditure I have made. I have been doing it for years- actually way more than last ten. When I let myself go on a shopping spree sometimes, I look at the items and if it was the ‘stocking the cupboard’ kind of shop, it is fine. However if there are too many ‘night out’ expenses on the Emergency/Entertainment list, I better watch out. With transport, clothes and shoes I spend only the absolutely needed minimum as I still treat it as a luxury. Writing things like this make me feel less guilty about shopping as I know the purpose.

After I started catching up with the lesson plan for both of my students now I have two. It was great to see the improvement my first student did in such a short amount time just by looking for other relevant materials and preparing more topics to talk about.

Obviously the schedule for next month is just a guide, but it will be nice to have something to follow the progress. Back soon Kat

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Day 45: Please, can you send me an e-mail with your real name and a photo with your bookcase?! 47 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

I am finally getting back to the normal myself, although still a bit tired and a bit slow. I have taken time off other jobs until the usual Friday and Saturday night shift, so I have enough time to recover for the next adventure. And so there should be one soon. I have literally just finished writing an e-mail with a request for a meeting about new art proposal and instantly got very positive reply. How lovely! So I shall see when this meeting is going to happen and I will obviously let you all know once it is confirmed and happening. We have been discussing this with my friends last night and positive thinking and visualising method seems to be doing the magic trick.

I spent the day catching up with my usual needs such as cleaning, hoovering, cooking, sorting out banking and paperwork and collecting everything organized into “In basket”, so I can make a sense of what I am doing next.  Since I have been running around for the last two or three weeks, I though I will spend some time today on the computer catching up with e-mail, blogs and my own blog page. I have clicked through vast mount of piled up blog notifications, cleared my e-mail account to some sort of acceptable level, but it still needs more work and I updated my WordPress page. If you are reading this post, you must have noticed already. I am not going to lie, I have been taking inspiration from other bloggers and since the blog settings are so vast, it takes a while to figure what would like to keep on your page or not.  Please feel free to comment, how are you finding the new set up.

So Firstly I got rid off the Meta Category and moved all of them around as I felt they might be working better together. I have added groups such as Posts You Like, but at the moment it is only showing the latest week, so hopefully it will update soon as it says in settings. Straight after I added shortcut to my Facebook Page, so feel free to like it. At the moment I have 92 likes, so hopefully will be celebrating 100 soon. And Instagram straight after. As I occasionally blog about posts and blogs I like I thought to the addition of Posts I like, I will also add the Blogs I like. It makes it clearer, what is going in the world of others, who write about similar interest I have.  I know I have not written a review for two last two weeks, but hopefully like this you can always catch up with the latest updates.

And now can you help? 2 questions to ask you!

1. What is your real name? Please send me a quick e-mail with your name to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com as  I will be preparing a nameday post soon (about two weeks time) and telling people, when to celebrate the day of their name. Simply explained something like a second birthday. If you are still unsure what I am on about, read this post: Day 29: The new lot of Posts and Blogs I like! 63 days to go!

2. What is your bookcase like? Or perhaps even you may own a library/the whole room is filled with books. Please take a photo and again send it my e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com I am planning to do a post about bookcases and reading and cute reading corners. So if you feel like you would to share some inspiration and show how it is organized, please do. so.

Good night and back tomorrow. Kat xx

Day 7: Week one review! 85 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

7 days! Hellooo!  I am feeling very excited as I managed to not only do something creative every single day for the past seven days to get closer to my career, but I also managed to blog about it. What is rather more exciting, I feel a bit of a thrill from blogging and the adrenalin is high pushing me more thinking about ideas. I have now actually that many, I feel almost as 92 days may not be enough to write about all of them. And I know this must sound pretty hilarious. I have also noticed the speed I am writing these posts with. Depending on the subject, but it takes me somewhere between hour or two with the corrections and adding Instagram (katerinatdesigner) picture to make it look more exciting. I am also starting to feel that my written English is improving. Obviously long way to go, but I am working on it, so it is a progress. There is a Czech band called Mnaga & Zdorp and they sing this beautiful song that ‘even a journey can be finishing line’ (search for ‘I cesta muze byt cil‘).

In one week I have done and wrote about more things than I would imagine if I did not make so much fuss about it to the outside world. The push has certainly worked. I am fearing the moment when someone  will message me asking ‘Where is your daily post’? So far I covered topics from purpose of this blog to tips on how to organize yourself and get things done based on the advice given by David Allen. From the important theme of cv, different cv sites and useful feedback on mistakes in my own cv to joining Twitter (@katerinatdesign) in order to get more people to join my challenge, update me achieving their dreams and obviously making my point of looking for creative career more obvious. I started tackling my fear of driving and got myself to watch the theory dvd. Having a bit of emotional roller coaster from high to low, to high and low again I am finishing the week on high celebrating when getting to this point by inspiring people with scrapbook ideas in yesterday’s post and going to pass on another little paragraph from David’s book today. During the past 7 days I received some really wonderful supportive messages, had many new followers and even few people telling me what they would like to achieve. Although no one has confirmed officially what they will do or if they actually started. So come on people, take an example from me and get on with it! And trust me, you will feel great! Don’t be shy and e-mail me on katerina.t.designer@gmail.com

Since this post is about weekly review, David Allen is giving out these tips to do so:

  • Loose paper into basket.- Get a basket or a box and fill it up with anything you feel you need to deal with. From receipts, postcards, objects, your diary ,pieces of paper, notepads, drawings etc. Absolutely anything. If it doesn’t fit inside, describe bit on a piece of paper. Go around the house and do it with every room(for example decorating the room, fixing broken light in the hallway). Like this you will end up with clearer space to work on and all your things to do in one box.
  • Process data.- Go though the box and use simple diagram technique I have posted in Day 1 post.  Do I need this, if no, Trash it. If Yes, do I need to make some kind of action with it? If not file it into review or read, if so and it takes less than two minutes, do it. If longer divide it- put into to pile Next Action, Waiting for (e-mail reply, buying certain equipment or something else to happen in order to do it, last pile is future someday/may be things to do)
  • Previous data from calendar review.- Fairly straight forward, look at what have you done this week or add tasks or things to relevant pile.
  • Upcoming calendar.- the same again, but this coming week or possibly a month if needed.
  • Empty your head.- Do you need to pop in to see your friend or send timesheet in, write it down. There is a very high chance it may disappear from your head and you will totally forget it.
  • Review projects (and larger outcome).- Look at projects  you are working on and want to work on and don’t leave until you write a note of what is the next task on it. Do you need to call Pete to start organizing event in order to promote your products, either call him now or put it on the list of calls. You won’t move on with a project until you establish what is the next step.
  • Review next Action Plan list.- Go through the pile of tasks which make take longer than two minutes and do as described within the point above.
  • Review Waiting for.- Waiting for phone call (were you expecting one, did the person forget), has your order arrived yet, so you can get on with things etc.
  • Review any relevant check list.- I hope that speaks for itself.
  • Review Someday/May be.- You would like to learn French, take an exam, learn how to drive, plan trip around the world. Think what is the next step to make it happen. Do you need to start researching language schools online, start saving etc.?!
  • Review Reading& Support files- Go through magazines or leaflets or anything you collect over the time, if you find something interesting to read, tear the pages out and put in pile of reading, which you can do before going to bed, or keep it together and just highlight pages it with sticky post it notes.
  • Be creative and courageous.- 😀

Advice points above taken from the book of David Allen: Getting Things Done and explained by me.

Have a lovely day, take care and don’t forget to update me on your progress. With love, back tomorrow. Kat xx

day7

Day 1: Keep motivated! 91 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Staying focused can be very difficult. I am bright example of that. Unless it is exciting enough and does not involve food or paint brush, my mind wonders off miles away from thinking is it cup of tea or lunch time yet or what is going on in the world of Facebook. Getting myself recently into position, where my room/studio is getting into the right shape, purchasing new A3 printer and just generally sorting stuff out, things are moving in the right direction, but how can I stay focused and motivated.

Well, I turned back to my “friend” David Allen and his theory about “Getting Things Done”, which I have been practising for more or less year and half and it worked wonders for me. I recommend to read his book to fully understand the theory and how it works. In a simple way he is telling how to make the things happen from little idea in your head into the final outcome by following simple rules. So for example when I have been hassled for years by my family members to get that English certificate done. To me although I did not feel I need to, as well as looking like a very daunting task. I went from little tasks such as researching online to doing little practice test on the Cambridge University website. Then moved on to researching the exam days, paying application fee, ordering test book, going for the first part of the exam and then passing the second part. Now more than year late holding my certificate, it feels like it was not difficult at all. Why was I even scared of it for all these years? I am applying the same technique now with learning how to drive. Some of you surely know from reading my previous posts.

So here I have my challenge. Today as it is 1st of October 2013 I start and by the end of this year, which is another 91 days away I would like to be fully free lancing or employed as an interior designer or anything to do within the theatre/ visual merchandising/ decorating industry. Turn my four jobs into one and show there is hope and it is achievable since I am sharing this blog with readers in similar situation.

Recently ordering my new set of business cards I ended up with many empty boxes, so I turned them into reminders and I keep them now next to my computer. Each task with a date on it is written on a separate piece of paper and they are constant reminder of what to do even I wonder of somewhere else for a mili second. You start with ‘In basket’, where you put any pieces of papers, receipts, objects, notes of things to do you need to deal with. The next step is ‘Process’ them, after ‘Organize’ them, ‘Review’ them and finally ‘Do’ them.  During practising this theory I have realized there are two types of tasks I tend to do. Practical ones like file this bank statement into right folder and computer based ones like research this particular company.  I have decided to divide second group into four different boxes and name them : “At mac”, “When Online”, “E-mail Account” and “E-mail to:”.  As I am not feeling very well at the moment, I have taken that time off today to go through “E-mail to:” and managed to sent 19 e-mails,  11 Facebook messages and 2 LinkedIn InMail messages.  Obviously you don’t want to spend every day just answering e-mails. However  it is that little by little, which gets you, where you want.

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To finish this post I am adding the basic diagram David Allen is using for working out tasks to give you an idea. Are you currently thinking of starting personal challenge yourself?  Is it loosing weight, learn certain skill or saving money for trip to Australia. Please do get in touch here or send me an e-mail katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and share your challenge. We can support each other  in this process and make it happen. Take care for now and looking forward to hearing from everybody.

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