Parkinson’s Law: Deadline Reassurance

Parkinson’s Law: Deadline Reassurance

Good Morning!

I hope you have had a marvellous weekend. I had planned on doing even more work, but I had such an eye twitch I had to do what I could offline instead:

  • caught up on my InkTober drawings (before promptly falling behind again)
  • made some notes on the soundtrack I wanted for my upcoming animated film
  • thought strategically about what I may need to outsource in the near future
  • went over the storyboards again
  • And did some general worrying

I was worried about my deadlines: where they too unrealistic? What if I add on another week to the deadline? Plus, working offline was a nice change of pace which I enjoyed. But could I afford the “break”?

Perhaps this was why the habitgrowth.com post on the Parkinson’s Law supported by the Pomodoro technique resonated with me so much when I was scrolling through Twitter last night.

…Although, the Pomodoro technique is 25-minute sprints followed by a break, and mine has been more like 25 days sprints and then a “break”.

Parkinson’s Law: Deadlines and the Elasticity of Work

Parkinson’s Law states that:

work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

If you say that something will take a week, even if it can be done in a day, it will take a week to complete.

Originally, this law was used to describe the growth of democracy within an organisation. However, it can be applied to a lot more than that.

Growth and work, for example, are not as intricately intertwined as one might think.

For example: Getting a lot of “busy” work done will probably not grow your business.

The focus for boosting your growth and productivity here is to instead of being task orientated, you should instead look to be time lead.

As Horstman’s corollary to Parkinson’s Law states:

Work contracts to fit in the time we give it

So in order to get something done in the most timely and focused manner, you absolutely should consider bringing the deadline forward.

For your tasks this week: write them down, give them an allotted time of what you think they should roughly take, and then immediately cut that time frame in half.

Reduce the time allowed by 50%.

HOWEVER.

While it is possible to, let’s use HabitGrowth.com’s example, reduce the time of writing 10 blog posts from a month to 2 weeks, 50 is very much unrealistic. (Unless they are short and largely consisting of photos, quotes etc.)

I think, I will leave my current schedule alone, as it is already absurdly ambitious.

My To-Do List this Week

In no particular order:

  • Continue the InkTober 2018 challenge
  • Finish the rough keys for the animated film
  • Get a colour palette for the film
  • Code checking and tweaking for the Secret Project
  • Don’t panic
  • Have fun with it 🙂

 

Summary:

I really recommend you read HabitGrowth.com’s post on Parkinson’s Law. I have heard and read about it before, but sometimes it’s good to read it again. It’s a well-written article; somehow, it has helped me to not panic about the state of my deadlines. As such, I have greater confidence that I can get everything that I need to do, done.

 

Sunday Letters: Exciting Announcement! Rebrand is on the Way!

Sunday Letters: Exciting Announcement! Rebrand is on the Way!

Exciting announcement! A rebrand is on the way for this blog and with it will come more frequent updates in terms of art, Sass webcomic, and the “secret project”.

I have been really working hard on the main “secret project” these past few months and, unfortunately, this has caused the blog and all the other projects (webcomic Sass, products, art pieces, programmes, workbooks, freebies) and posts that I had been sharing with you to fall by the wayside.

Sorry.

THANKFULLY, while working through my new branding books by Fiona Humberstone, I decided to take a practice run on “branding” with this blog. Then I’ll dive in with the “secret project” afterwards.

What I discovered in defining what the grit of my blog was: what I thought was the mainstay of this blog, wasn’t the mainstay at all.

I had thought that this was primarily a productivity blog. Where I discussed creative techniques and workflow tips only on the side. With my comic work and other creative endeavours serving as an example of the “productivity” working.

What I found was instead much simpler. And much more enticing.

This blog is supposed to be my main creative hub, wherein:

  • I share my creative works
  • discuss all things about my creative ventures
  • share business tips and useful information for other creative solopreneurs
  • I post my comic updates FIRST before adding elsewhere
  • give sneak peaks and behind the scenes of what’s up on all the projects
  • with a side of “productivity” and all the other useful things I’m into

I am going to continue working on the rebrand as well as the brand of the “secret project” this week.

This may include a redesign of the blog, so say a sweet farewell to it – whether this week or not, it will be going sooner rather than later!

I will be sharing more information on all of the bits and pieces as the week progresses and I have more tangible updates. Now that I am getting some clarity on what I should be doing I should have an easier time explaining -and showing – what’s up!

Hopefully, I will have a lot of these bits tied up by the end of the week.

I plan to keep you in the loop more, especially now that I am discovering what this blog is actually about!

Thank you for bearing with me.

P.S. If this post felt a bit scattered, please excuse that. It’s late, I need to be up early tomorrow to leave my brother to the airport, but I was just too excited to wait until tomorrow evening before sharing this news with you.

Cheers! x

Sunday Letters: Balance Multiple Ambitions

Sunday Letters: Balance Multiple Ambitions

It is no mean feat to balance multiple ambitions at once. It is something which I am currently striving for myself, and a lot of the posts you will find here discuss some of the methods I am currently using to get things done.

And done well.

You can read some of these things here (in no particular order):

It is a messy learning process, certainly. Rather than focusing on one thing, I am the type to put on several (very) different dishes on the stove and cook all of them at once. (And some of them even turn out edible.)

That’s just the sort of person I am. I love the challenge, the complexity.

And, I sort of believe I need the distraction. Else I will end up sabotaging my own work irreparably under the intense focus on learning, boundary-pushing, and creative experiment.

But perhaps, that therein shows that I am missing the point. Surely, the whole point is to be hyper-focused on your craft, push boundaries and discover and invent new possibilities under the spell of curiosity and drive for more?

As such, I am going to again minimise my “distractions” – the wild assortment of projects I enjoy working on simultaneously – this coming week.

I had been learning about branding, having come to the conclusion that the branding for this blog is a bit… scattered, feeling.

I would like to complete just something, soon. I enjoy the feeling of completing something, the satisfaction, no matter how unperfect it may be.

So, if I am to complete something, let it be the main project.

Let me apply my new knowledge to the freelance work as well as the odd and secretive “other project” I may have mentioned here or there in the blog and elsewhere.

I look forward to being a bit more guilt-free working creatively and on my blog when the odd and secretive “other project” is completed.

I have so many blog posts planned. I look forward to fleshing them out and sharing them with you, with the new branding in place.

Hopefully, it will look nice and read well. Perhaps it will even be useful to you? That would be nice, I should think.

Sunday Letters: Model Success or No?

Sunday Letters: Model Success or No?

It’s a regular Sunday today. Grey skies blanket the world below. Brief bursts of April showers fall now and again, but never enough to soak the ground.

Gentle lofi plays while I sip my americano – a jazz and hip-hop mix.

To “Model Success” or No?

This week I have been doing a lot of thinking. About what it means to “model success”.

Don’t do something new! One, then many sources seemed to shout at me over the internet airwaves recently. Copy what has already been done and proven to work.

Well. That sounds all right and dandy. But, see the thing is, I’d really rather not.

Honestly, I have always been a “rebel”. Or more accurately – I’d rather do my own thing.

This formula – to model, to copy. To define your brand from the very beginning, and then to only do what is “on brand”. Then do X, Y and Z… but not necessarily in that order.

All these directions on what it is to “find success”.

But then are you truly growing your own unique business (and) creator’s voice?

I recall the story of how some young entrepreneurs leased a store. (Where this was or what kind of store I can’t quite recall.)

There were no “rules” that said they couldn’t make it into both an independent music venue as well as a shop.

It was possible: they checked the lease agreement and so on. But it was new – it hadn’t been tried and tested; there wasn’t really a “model” to copy.

As the town was in the middle of a long stretch between two main stops for a lot of tours, they hoped to bring in artists who would be passing by anyway. And then they would have to go all the way to either A or B to see a particular artist. They’d come to them.

It was an ambitious ask.

They could have “modelled” success and made a specific venue for concerts, but they did it in their own unique way.

And it turned out to be incredibly successful.

My Conclusion…

Sure, there is nothing wrong with “modelling success” if that suits your business and where you want to go.

Nor, indeed, defining your brand. Have a direction sure, but let it grow organically – even just a little. Don’t second guess every decision’s brand worthiness (or you’ll get nothing done!).

But if a business model doesn’t yet exist, or has yet to be tried and tested, don’t stop yourself from doing so. Don’t be afraid to push the boat out. Even for experimenting with the “tried and true” routes.

If you have the vision, curiosity and can-do attitude for it: do it.

Bringing your own original spark to your business. It’s an adventure, there is no right way.

Chill Weekend

Chill Weekend

In keeping with the theme of having an amazing day off, I’d like to take a moment to talk about my amazing and chill weekend.

I am a recent and avid believer that downtime is essential. Before, I did understand this in theory. Of course, I am very hard-core about whatever I do generally and tend to dive into things head first. (Like that time on that one water slide: I fell through the hole into the plunge pool…head first. Oh. My. Days.)

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