Do you feel like time is just slipping away on you and you're not being productive in your studio or with your art? This is a big problem, not just for artists, but for all of us humans, where we just feel like we don't have enough time. We're trying to grasp away at all the minutes that are ticking by and figure out how we can get things done. Today on the Bold Artist Podcast, we are talking about time management for artists in a way that has a little twist from our previous shows. So, back in the fall, we had a really, really well-received show on productivity for artists. And then last week we talked about the difference between order and chaos and how, you know, we live in that sort of area of, um, living in risk as artists and
Living on the edge.
Yeah, living on the edge. And that often makes us feel this sense of chaos, but really we have our own order. So we, we explored that last week, but this week it's with a twist. It's about time management and harnessing those minutes to be able to use them wisely and get the most done in our amount of time. 'Cause really, we're all given the same amount of time, aren't we, Charla? And it's what we do with it. It's how we use it that matters.
It is. I often, when I like, feel like I'm drowning, I'm like, I'm running one business . Um, you know, and I feel like I can't quite do it. And then like, just the other day, my husband sends me this LinkedIn article and he's like, this is a, a woman who's running 26 businesses. You could maybe like get some tips from her. I'm like, what? 26?
Yeah. Well, to be fair,
It's possible. Doable, but...
To be fair in your one business, Charla, which is Bold School, and here at the Bold Artist podcast, it's all run through Bold School. Charla wears a lot of different hats. So let's be fair here that time management is crucial for you. And actually, you feel it the most when you don't manage your time. And, and it has a ripple effect through the school. And so it's become of utmost priority to protect and manage your time. Yeah.
Yeah. I think we can do a lot more with our time. I think, I mean, I still am doing it just, just being very unproductive in certain, um, certain days, certain hours of the day, and as well just procrastinating in weird, unique ways to not get work done. So, I know I can, I can get way more done in less time. I know it's possible. So, we've been really personally, like truthfully in our own personal and work lives between the two of us, we've been working really hard to, to be better and to learn and, and do better. And, um, everybody, I think that almost everybody out there is feeling it. So, I think that's why that podcast was really, um, people were really interested in it and it raised a lot of conversations in bold school. So, we wanted to do, to go deeper and tell you some more of our secrets.
Yeah. Who would've guessed that artists would respond so passionately to the topic of productivity and time management? We've just had great influx of comments and support for this, uh, subject, this topic for our shows. And I think it's because, you know, we are thrown into that stereotype of being chaotic or disorganized like we talked about in last week's show. And yet, creatives... Yes, sometimes we bulk at routines and we, you know, we bulk at the idea of being tidy because we wanna be, oh, so creative, um, and in the moment. But there's this, um, reality, the reality is the world, uh, goes by a schedule, and we get things done when we keep a schedule and when we focus. We've talked a lot about deep work and concentration and getting into flow. And we want, as artists, to produce, we wanna bring out the art that's inside of us.
And the only way we're gonna do it is we get on that productive train that, you know, get on the show on the road and get ourselves focused and using time wisely. So, you mentioned, truthfully, in our, in our own world, Charlo, we've really taken time management seriously. And that is something that we had kind of brought to each other's attention earlier in the fall where we actually had a weekend retreat, the two of us, where we brought calendars, and we organized our time, and it was just probably one of the best things we've ever done. We've been able to stick to it. People ask me that all the time. They're, they say, did, did you stick to the, the time management schedule that you gave yourself? And we do stick to it. Um, as much as we can. I mean, we have to remember that artists and, you know, just everyone, we have these busy lives and we, we have these ups and downs emotionally, mentally. And we have to give ourselves grace on the days that we can't quite cut it when it comes to what we expect of ourselves
And be willing to move some of those things around, which is why our system works so well, actually. We'll talk about that in a minute.
Yes. 'Cause our system, our system works so well and, um, because you can move, and you can be flexible, and I think it's the perfect system for creative people. And so, uh, first I wanna say that our system was inspired by a Donestika course by Monica Rodriguez. And that is a system where she teaches time management for creative people. But Charla and I have taken that course and completely transformed and adopted it for our own selves because everyone, each one of us are individuals. So, um, it's the same way within Bold School. If you take one of our Bold School painting courses, you're gonna take it, learn from our instructors, and then adapt it to work for you as an artist. So, in that same fashion, we, we've done that with taking, um, taking this course and then adopting it. So Charla, do you wanna tell a little, a little bit about what we learned and what we've used from that course?
Yeah, I think, uh, you'd already said just now that we had you and I took a weekend to plan our calendars. And I think that's one of the first things that we have to be able to do as artists is set as, as humans, as business owners -- and I think artists are producers and we are, we do have to run a business in one way or another -- and we need to be able to set aside time for, uh, planning and organizing and strategizing for how we're going to get our projects done. 'Cuz I think every single one of us have fallen prey to not finishing projects as either a business project or an art project. So, setting aside that weekend, which is a big deal because we left our families for the weekend. We spent a weekend, you could say just working. I mean, it was a lot of fun and we got to be together in person, which was a lot of fun. But we took that weekend out of our busy schedules and our family's lives and we, we made a plan, and we actually had an annual calendar. We brought four quarters of 2023
Yeah. Actually wanted to show on the YouTube screen. I know the audio listeners won't be able to see this, but this is a little glimpse of one of the quarters that Charla and I worked on with some sticky tabs. I also give a little glimpse, But, um, this is,
That was our, our goal, right? Was to plan our quarters and, and have something that we are, we can look into the future to see when we're gonna get things done. So, you kind of like, are, are forced to stick to your plan because you have an, an end date. But we're flexible. Those end dates can move sometimes. Sometimes they can't. When we launch a new class, there's a lot of moving parts, there's a lot of people involved. Those end dates can't, can't be flexible, but other things can be flexible. But, but just seeing that whole picture, I, I'm visual. We are talking to visual artists, and I think being able to see the big picture, not just in your mind, but in a, a tangible, practical, real way, helps you to kind of see what you're going to be doing for the next little while and, and put yourself into play.
That's how I feel about this whole system. I actually had a similar system when I started Bold Color Bootcamp, which was the first class that, um, began Bold School. And I was just starting this out of nothing. And I was reading a lot of productivity and, and habit changing books and all these, like from these business gurus and whatever. And everywhere I turned people were using charts with sticky notes on them. So, I devised my own charts back then. And that was how I got started with, with Bold School. But then things changed and grew and felt, like, outta control. Like my little charts didn't work anymore for all the stuff we had going on. And then we, I was like headed towards burnout and that's where we came
Yeah. Well, you brought up a good point there because I think that one of the most crucial things that I've learned about time management is that if you don't manage your time, you're gonna get burned out if you're producing to that level. And so by managing your time, what you're doing is you're pacing yourself. And if you think about runners running marathons, they have to pace, they have to know when to push harder, when to pull back, when to reserve their energy, and when to give it full throttle. And you know, I really have learned that the hard way. I think that's one of the talks that we had that weekend where we were just really talking about burnout and how you don't realize burnout is happening until after, and then it's like too late. You're burned out. And so you have to be proactive to pace yourself with time management ahead of time. And the other thing, as you said just there a minute ago, one of the magic words that has completely changed our productivity is the word sticky notes.
We love Sticky notes.
Sticky notes. Now here's a thing is that I, I have been, you know, I, my relationship with Sticky Notes has been like, you know, I always have a few around, and they always stick here and there. Like, there's a few on my, my computer monitor, and a few on my bulletin board. But when we got together that weekend, we harnessed the power of sticky notes in a whole new way. And I will never be looking back, like I've actually begun to implement the use of sticky notes in every area of my creativity in writing, in like, art creation. So, as most of you know here on the show, I am an illustrator and I illustrate storybooks. And so I found it to be the perfect way to try out different thumbnails and move them around like sticky notes.
He's so excited. I could just see your, your happiness and joy is like elevating as you like Sticky Notes.
I, I know I can't even wait to show you all my sticky notes. But, but here's the thing is that I, what I have deduced from all that we've gone through with time management burnout, getting ourselves organized, is that we have to do what works for us. We have to keep trying to find systems that work for us. And I've tried a zillion different kinds of organizations. I've had, I journal, I'm an avid, avid advocate for journaling, and in the intuitive, like let it flow out of you kind of journaling process. But that isn't organization that's just emotional release. I've tried bullet journaling, I find they get too messy 'cuz I wanna move things around. And so I'll, I'll bullet journal or make myself lists, and then I'm crossing them off and rewriting, and it just gets sloppy. But Sticky Notes lets you move things around, which is the creative dream.
Yeah. I think they're, they're colorful. There's lots of different sizes, even different shapes, and they're movable. So you can, you have an idea here as a creative, we, like, we grab ideas, and we're pulling them, them from all sorts of different places in our universe that's inside us and we're putting them together and then we're reorganizing them. And I think that's why a lot of creative people can be, can go quiet, you know, 'cuz we, like, we sit and we think, and why artists do really well, going for long walks and doing um, like getting bored so that you can think, and while thinking we're organizing our thoughts. But if you're gonna produce, if you're going to ever manifest that into the real world, you have to organize them in a way to bring it out. And Sticky Notes is a way to get all of those creative ideas for artwork, for of film and video, for business, for writing everything that you just said. It's a way that you can bring that out into the world. But the genius of the sticky note is that it's not, uh, set in stone, I think is probably like the best way to describe it. You're not, you're not solidifying it in stone where it's immovable. And now it has to be, you've got this colorful sticky note, and you can put them all in order and then you can move them all around.
And you can peel them off. Crumple them up and throw them away. If you want to.
It's so freeing.
Yeah. And I just need to add in here that no form of Sticky Note Company is sponsoring this podcast in any way, shape, or form.
Maybe in the future.
Yeah. And, and if there is a sticky note company out there that wants to sponsor, definitely reach out. Cause I'll love your sticky
We're open to sticky notes being sent to us. But you know, I, I wanna show everyone our project books and how Sticky Notes have helped us as artists. But there's one thing I wanna come back to before we dive into that is that the whole purpose of using the sticky notes and creating project books has been about saving time. And you know, we were looking for ways to kind of be able to gather all of our ideas, choose the ideas that are most important, prioritize them, and then turn them into actual work production system so we could get things done. We have so many dreams, so many things we want to see happen in our lifetime. And then, and then I felt like I was modeling around in them not decisive and not productive. And so, um, the purpose behind Project Books is not only to get the dreams out and sort of like shift things around like I'm so keen about with the sticky notes, but to actually come back to time management, let's turn this into something we can, we can follow, we can do.
I have followed that every step of the way of um, creating videos, creating children's books through sticky note process of like step one, step two step, oh this step needs to go over here, move it there. That's for time management. And that's what this is all about, is like, let's harness your time, let's make it matter. And this could be one tool, one way to do it. You might find a different method, and you might be like, eh, I'm not as into sticky notes as Charla and Marijanel. That's okay too. Um, you find your way, you find your order, but this is one way to inspire you. So, um, Charla, would you like to reveal one of your project books? Your time-saving project books?
Okay. So this is it. It's not that exciting.
Oh wait. But it is, but it is exciting.
It's what's inside here that's exciting. And this is like the artist's brain in here.
First thing is that, like, the pages are blank except for a sticky note
That's not supposed to be there. Um, so the pages are blank. These pages actually have those little dots that became famous in bullet journaling, which I really like having the dots, but they're not necessarily, I have some other ones that don't have any dots, but it's big blank pages, and you never write on the pages. So, your project books will last forever because you don't actually write on the pages. Um, this is what a page, a project page will look like. That's an organized one. This is one I worked on. Okay. This is, uh, a Bold School plan where I'm working out learning paths for all of our classes. So, if you want to learn portraits, you gonna have a learning path. So, this is the outcome of moving sticky notes around from previous pages and like, um, redoing them quite a bit and moving them because you can take them off, and you can move them when they need to be in a different area.
It's the genius behind it.
Yeah. But so this one is quite organized. Now, if you look at a different one, this is a project that's just coming. Sorry, I have to put it in front of the mic. Um, just kind of coming into play. I can't get it all in there. So, there's lots of different sticky notes. They've got lots of notes written on them, and those ones will get moved around. This one is, you know, got some empty sticky notes 'cuz that's a project that's just starting. Um, let's get to, oh here's a messy one. Here's a messy one right here. So, that's basically what it looks like. Each page is a different project. There's lots of different colors. We use some transparent ones. We use, like,, some stickers. These are, you know, classes that are, are completed. These are classes that aren't completed. So there's lots of different systems that you can create on your own in making your sticky note projects work.
Marijanel's are completely different than mine, even though we started in the same place we learned together. How to use, whoops. How to use these, uh, project books. Um, oh, and then the other thing I wanted to show you was our annual calendar that we, I'm kind of jumping all over the place right now cause I get all excited. This is our playing at work. Um, when we had our, our strategy weekend, our sticky note planning weekend, we had those, uh, big charts on the wall, which I have all behind me and I love them 'cuz I can just glance over and see my, my month and my year and my week.
Although you need to put on your glasses so you don't give me the wrong dates.
That is true. I've done that a few times. Glancing over there. So, what we actually did, and this was uh, Marijanel and I's invention, we can call it that anyways, is I actually put our annual calendar inside the project book. So, this is all of 2023. Um, all one quarter down the page all the way along. So, you can see that the end of 2023 isn't very planned, but the first half of 2023, these represent projects. And what these these stickys can do is if, um, something changes maybe, uh, decide to go traveling or someone gets sick or maybe there's a wedding that we, we didn't know, we can take that whole week and just move it, you know, to the next week. Now I'm gonna be messed up cuz I'm gonna forget I did that.
Okay. Move it over. Move it over
So we can you can move and you, this is where the flexibility comes into play. Is that this is the plan, and in order for me to reach the end of this yellow project, I need to work these weeks, but if I need to change it, I can change it. That's where the flexibility comes in. And I think that's where, that's what artists need. I know some people like to set their plans in stone and never change them, and they freak out if it changes. But I think most artists, I'm a planner, and I do like, I like, I don't like last-minute changes. But most artists like flexibility, and we, we need flexibility in order to be creative. And that's what the sticky note system allows us to do. And then, um, I also have this, like, basket of sticky notes as you can see that's sick on my desk.
Yeah. That's heavenly
And I have more, I have more than that. Um, and I'm running low on some, so I have to order some more. So this is, my desk is full of several project books and a basket of sticky notes, and some different color pens and highlighters. And that's how I keep everything organized and on track.
Yes. And I just wanna throw this into the mix is that, you know, we live in a real digital world and we're all taught to use our digital calendars, our Google calendar, uh, there's project management software, uh, software like it's called Basecamp or Asana. And we're taught to use these to organize. And those are especially useful when you're working with a team of people.
But one thing is that artists and creatives, we are tactile. We want to touch and feel. And what I found was that by taking control back on my calendar, like an actual, um, paper calendar where I could move those little tabs around and plan like that in such a tactile way, it satisfied me greatly to be able to move and feel and create my schedule. And that's, I think what I want to encourage artists is that, you know, sometimes we think of time management and all of these schedules as like this box we're gonna be put in, but it is actually creative. And by implementing something that you can feel and touch and creating in a project book and on tactile calendars you are creating, it becomes part of your artistic process. And, um, so I just wanna give you a glimpse inside of my project books because last show I mentioned that I have a messy one and a tidy one because I have one of those artist brains that it fires pretty rapidly.
I have like a zillion good ideas in a day. And usually none of them make it into the to-do book because they're just good ideas and that's all they are. And I've come to peace with understanding that it's okay to have a good idea and not do it. Um, but I like to keep the good ideas and I like to see if I can work them strategically into my creative life. And so I, this is my messy project book with sticky notes where I just basically pile in the ideas, but I organize them. So, if I have an idea for YouTube, I put it on this page and put it in that column. Or if I have an idea for a something I'm gonna illustrate, you know, I might put it here and kind of organize, would that be for a book, or would that be for a character?
What would that fall in a category of? And so this is the Messy Idea book. And then I curate from the ideas I curate what actually matters, and what I feel fall into my priorities. So, then in my, um, my good book, the actual to-do book, you can see my little hedgehog sticker is on there. I actually have some vision statements in the beginning where I wrote some of my mission and vision so that I keep it at the forefront and I read, you know, read it every day when I open and I, whoops, I lost a sticky note somewhere. I'll have to go searching for that one. And then I actually mimicked my website on one of the pages so that I can remember what tabs people are looking at on my site. Because I don't know if you've ever found this as an artist, but sometimes you forget what you put out there where you're like, oh yeah, I have this going on.
And I'm like, oh, right, I have that and that's a vital part of what I do or what's on my website, and I need to remember that everything that I've got out there. So, I mimicked one of the pages and sometimes I've been peeling them off and being like, I'm gonna take that down off my website. I don't need to be offering that right now or having that be in the spotlight. And then I also have my top three goals. But what's really funny is that under the three goals is basically a little list of things. I wouldn't call them a to-do list, but they're more of like, um, goals and things that I wanna have happen from those goals. So like little sub-goals. And, um, so I have the kids' book that I've, I've released, and then I have a goal of how many copies I wanna sell, that I wanna get them in the libraries.
Um, you know, this type of, of goal and what, you know, the movie, uh, 5o Firs Dates, where, um, would you bury more the, you know, her character has to read a book every morning to remember who she is 'cuz she has amnesia. Well, this book is kind of like that for me, where I can open it and read and follow my projects, but then it can get a little bit more task orientated where I can treat it more like a storyboard. So this page here is representing, um, my Curiosity's Apprentice podcast where I, I share my memoirs, um, on a podcast, and I can storyboard the episodes so that the overarching story flows. And that's the beauty of being able to move it around where I can go, oh, that doesn't, that's not gonna go there. I'm not even inspired to do that story right now, and I can move it and stick it somewhere else in the flow, and it's just transformational for me. Whereas, before I had books and books that kind of looked like, um, these messy, messy scribbles, messy scribbles, lots of wriing.
I always found that like my, my books, I've got tons of them just like that. They, it's just all writing, and I just go to the next page, to the next page, and it's lots of even like insightful things, things I'm learning. But I, to go back and find it is really hard 'cuz it all looks the same, and it's a big effort to make it look different so that you can find it. And then you can't just grab it and move it into a new space. Like, if I wanna take an idea that I wrote down three months ago and move it into a new space, I have to rewrite it. I have to find it, and I have to rewrite it. But it's, if it's on these stickies in these projects, you can, you can make a double, you can make two stickies or you can move it, you can take it and move it into a different project. So it's just, um, all these books with all my ideas and thoughts written in them, I just find them so, uh, useless except for going back and thinking about, oh, I had a good idea back then. And please move your ideas around and, and put them into your timeline so you can actually use those ideas.
Yes. Which brings us back to what it's all about today is time management. And so we hope that as you've taken the time out of your day to listen and watch this podcast, that we've actually been able to give you more time. That something from today's show has made you, you know, have an aha moment of how you can use your time, how you might be able to use some tactile planning, how, whatever that means for you. Whether it's sticky notes or, you know, I've, I've used index cards before too. And that, and that worked. Um, but whatever it takes for you to begin to strategize and use your time wisely, we here at Bold School want to support you in that. Make sure that you check out our website, boldschool.com, hop on our newsletter to find out all the happenings that are going on with our classes and our online community. We'd love to have you involved. And you can check us out on social media at Bold School Inc.
And post...Just hold on. You gotta post your sticky note, your newfound sticky note planners on socials, and tag us so that we can see them. 'Cuz we wanna see what you guys are doing and how you're innovating and using them. So, tag us so that we can see them, too.
Yes. And I can promise you this, Charla and I will be just as excited about all your sticky note planning as we are when you post your art and tag us. 'Cause we will, we're excited about that as well. Yes. And I'm guessing that with enough feedback of anyone asking to learn more and more about this productivity that we might even consider putting a sticky note in our project book that says, teach a productivity workshop. So
We're getting asked already. So, if enough people ask...
Yeah, people are asking. So, make sure that if, if that's what you want, that you let the request be made known so we know that there's, you know, people out there that are wanting to do that, and we'll prioritize it. Um, but meanwhile, we're really happy to offer these tips on this podcast right here on the Bold Artist Podcast. Until next time, keep creating.