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Breaking down Tasks for the Artistic and Disorganized

If you've read my article on Google Tasks, you'll know that I'm fond of clicking off those little check boxes. Indeed, the thrill of finishing an accomplishment is a wonderful thing to not only me, but probably you too.

You may also remember from my Google Tasks article that I, like many other artists, do not come by organization naturally. It's something that I've had to build up over time. In this particular article, I'd like to share a new discovery of mine with you. It's about how to set tasks, and goals for yourself. I've devised these simple rules that I've picked up recently. I hope they help you like they've helped me... Helped me write this article, and complete it, as a matter of fact.

The Bigger the Task, the less likely you will complete it

As artists, we don't look at the mole hill, we see the mountain. We're people that get caught in the fine detail, and as a result, we tend to take a lot longer to finish things. Instead of giving yourself a goal that looks too ominous, try making smaller goals for yourself out of one big one.

If you have to finish a song, don't say, "Finish Song!" Instead, break down what needs to be done. Perhaps, a goal like, "Write Lyrics for song..." or "Mix Drums". If you break tasks down in to smaller, more interesting chunks, you're more than likely to complete them sooner.

Choose the Fun Tasks First!

I try to make things as fun as possible for myself in everything I do. Mainly because I am not someone that likes to do things that aren't fun. I have to trick myself.

One trick I have for doing this is to organize my tasks in order of fun. For example: If I dread writing the article on drums, I'll choose the articles that I really want to write before it. This way I build up momentum, and have a good time in the process. After writing a bunch of articles, I get to a point that I can do them all quickly. Suddenly, the article that I do not want to write looks like a cake walk.

Create some Reward Tasks too!

Don't forget to give yourself some breaks. You can actually have a lot of fun, and get a lot of work done if you make some tasks that are purely for fun. I'll sometimes make three real work tasks, and then make a task for myself after the works ones are complete that is fun. For example:

  • Write a bridge
  • Write article
  • Play X-Box for 30 min

This gives me something to look forward to in my daily routine, and as a result, I get work done in the process. I've also improved my health immensely by adding such tasks as:

  • Do 20 situps
  • Take a Walk
  • Write a love song
  • Work on taxes

Adding in physical fitness has an added benefit because getting your blood pumping in your heart, also means that you get more blood pumping to your brain. Plus, you increase your endorphins, so your over all mood is better, which means a more productive you!

Title Photo by Petr Kratochvil

G.W. Childs IV

G.W. Childs IV | Articles by this author

Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like LucasArts, Lucasfilm, Propellerheads, Cakewalk, Midway, MTV. With all of these exciting companies he's either worked as an editor, or sound designer, even sometimes as an actor. G.W. is currently working as an author for Cengage Publishing. He has written the titles 'Creating Music and Sound for Video Games', 'Rewire: Skill Pack', and 'Using Reason on Stage: Skill Pack'. As a musician G.W. has played for years in the band Soil & Eclipse on COP International Records. Additionally, he's worked as a remix artist for acts like Gene Loves Jezebel, Ray Charles, James Brown, Chiazm, Razed in Black, and more.


May 14, 2011
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