Category Archives: productivity

Getting back on track

It’s been a week tomorrow since the big wreck, and I’ve been at a bit of a loss as to what to post. It’s pretty clear that I won’t be back in the studio any time soon. One of the more painful injuries is a very bruised, very sore sternum. I don’t even like to think about trying to wedge or center clay.

I do have some pieces from my failed attempt to re-familiarize myself with the old #112 claybody that are coming through the bisque firings at the center, so I’ll be able to glaze them soon. I did take the remainder and wedged it up on the tables and sprayed it down. Hopefully it got a good dose of microbes to help it age. It should be good and ready by the time I’m ready for it again.

I never got a chance to say anything in all last weeks excitement, but I’d thrown in the towel, raised the white flag and went back to my old familiar white stoneware. I’d been trying and trying to get the 112 to work for me, and was just being frustrated. My clay time is precious to me, and I just decided I didn’t want to spend my fun time being frustrated and pissed. I threw a 12″ vase on the first try.

I’m also spending some time going through old notes I’ve collected, ideas, sketches, etc. (when I’m not sleeping… I’m doing a LOT of sleeping). Maybe I can get them more organized and possibly share some. And there’s been some interest in more details of the naked raku and aluminum foil saggar techniques, so I hope to post more stuff about all that too.

The blog has been up for a little over a month now and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’m enjoying the community, and have made new acquaintances from around the world.

Getting Things Done

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the ‘stuff’ that needs to be done? I know I do. Sometimes the stress of it all leaves me drained and not able to access the inspired, creative side when I finally get some studio time.
Do you ever have all these fantastic ideas and new things to try streaming through your brain…. when you’re in the middle of something else, headed out the door, or otherwise occupied? Then when you get to the studio sit there trying to figure out what they were? Me too.
Do you own a day planning calendar, and use it (or not), but still have the feeling of ‘there’s GOT to be a better way?’

Since I have a full-time job and do pottery in between, it’s a challenge both finding the time and making the most of it when I do. But time management isn’t the end of it, otherwise we’d all have a calendar and everything would be perfect.

About a year ago I found a different way of looking at the problem, called Getting Things Done, or GTD. Pioneered by David Allen, it picks up where Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits and the Franklin Planner leave off.

One of the principles is that every task/idea has a Context. This filters your todo’s and projects so that when you’re near a computer, you look at your @Computer list, and don’t have to sift through a big list of unrelated tasks. Or if you’re in the mood to do some phone calls, you look at @Phone. A few of my contexts are @home, @work, @studio and @PC.

Other principles address the need for a 100% idea-capture system, a simple fast filing system for all those ideas, and a reliable follow-up system. He contends that keeping all your thoughts and ideas in your head leads to stress and forgetfulness. If you can capture them into a system where you know you’ll find them when you need to, it frees you to give your’ full attention to whatever you’re doing.

I’ve been using GTD for a while now, and although I fall off the wagon for periods of time, it really does help better manage my time. And when I’m not, it doesn’t take very long to notice and get back on track.