Monday, January 04, 2021

projects and planners. oh my...

Because I am back to the library today and will once again lose the free time I've enjoyed the past two weeks and back into the melee, I finally sat down last night with my new journal/planner, aka the post-it depository, where projects and tasks go to either get done and accomplished or linger until the stickiness of the post-it has wane and I either renew my commitment or throw it out.  Adapted from a rather ridiculous productivity tracker at work (it wasn't my productivity in question, necessarily, but I was the only one who liked the format and adapted it to my own needs.)  It was a gamechanger, mostly in that, while not as fussy as a bullet journal, it was a step-up from endless to-do lists scattered all over home and the library. This way, the task is done, the post-it gets uncermoniously thrown in the trash and no longer waits for me.  If it doesn't get done, it moves to the next available day to try again.  I keep better track of things this way, including the morass of dgp projects that move through  a system of process grids until completion. I also jot things down that I don't need to think about now, but don't want to lose track of for later. I track projects across areas--writing, art, library, editing.  I also track things I want to blog about, submissions and places to submit, etc. Also, just things like household projects and grocery list fodder. 

After a few years of just recycling the sketchbook I was using, I decided to get a little fancier.  This time, not only did I include the planning parts and grids, but also goals sections for each month.  From the get-go, it was an untenable year at work, even prior to covid.  February and early March had a lot of obligatory happenings that kept me from other things (of my own and other's design.) Still, I wrote down goals--projects to finish, zines to layout, chaps to proof. I made lists of new techniques I wanted to play with like hand lettering. What it became was a shorter and shorter list as the year went on.  December was basically blank.  I did accomplish quite a lot, though it wasn't always the things I laid out in goals.  Sometimes, really all I was content to do was survive on the basic level.   I was able to rally in October and make some things happen in terms of projects and zines, but it was a late coming.  Meanwhile projects languished, chapbook layouts lingered, reading and visual art, with the exception of the video poems, were highly unlikely.

When I bought the sketchbook for 2021 a couple weeks ago, I had a glimmer of hope that I would retry this again, with some adjustments, but basically the same format.  When I sat down to actually lay it out, flipping through 2020 again, I nearly lost hope in the point of it all. I briefly considered just continuing on, with this year as an attempted do-over, but then, much of the back extra pages had been chewed up in randomness and poem notes, and there was no space for another monthly goal break down, so I carefully taped out and labeled sections.  Moved a whole bunch of uncompleted post-its into the new sketchbook.  I feel both lighter and heavier somehow as I head back to work and into the uncertainty of the world. 

But I will do it with a shiny new sketchbook and something like an ordered system, whether or not I make any progress in making things happen, and I suppose that us something...

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