Resources

Time is limited. Routine is hard. Attention is precious. These have been the themes of my life for quite some time. In order to be a better artist, writer, etc. I have had to find ways to manage my time better, actually be organized and use my time more effectively.

Books I recommend

“Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.”

  • Getting Things Done.When time is limited and all you really want is to relax and not stress nearly as much, this book will help you organize your life to set up systems. This book has helped me “empty” out my mind so that I’m not constantly trying to remember what I have to do. The plus side, this once super disorganized person is no more. :D

 

“Start with the end in mind. ”

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I doubted the book because of it’s almost gimmicky title but I am glad I looked past it. Every personal development book after seems to take ideas from this one. The examples he demonstrates in his book are not only business related, but family as well. Some of the habits are self explanatory but somehow a lot of us don’t do them. Covey demonstrates techniques to adopt this habits so that they become “natural” like habits should be.

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. As the books above, this book focuses on habits but most importantly, the “science” behind the habits. The book details personal habits, how some people can change and never go, whereas others fall right back into their old destructive habits. In the second half of the book, it details businesses and their culture, why some work and why others don’t.  This book is a definite eye-opener to why we do the things we do and how to change them for good. I listened to the audio book and both my husband and I were glued to my iPod from start to finish.

“An idea can only become a reality once it is broken down into organized, actionable elements.”

  • Making Ideas Happen. We all have great ideas, but how many of those ideas ever come to fruition? This was one of the biggest problems I had during my college years and soon after. Once I started reading this book, I gradually stopped “binge-creating” and started breaking down my personal projects into stages and “actions.” For awhile, I even started a group with old college friends and colleagues where we discussed our creative projects and our approach (before I moved too far away). Hands-down one of books that geared me towards more doing and less procrastination.

 

Printables

The best way to generate ideas are usually by sketching and drawing it out. Throughout the years, I have compiled my favorite printables that I often used to help with my projects:

  • The Action Method. I got this printable from ‘Making Ideas Happen.’ Love this printable especially when I am tackling big projects.
  • Anything from David Seah. I always go back to this website because of David’s insight on productivity, his attention to detail for his products and the website itself. Many of his printables I use everyday, especially the Emergent Task Planner and the Day Grid Planner.
  • Seinfield’s Productivity Secret/Don’t Break the Chain. A simple calendar sheet. Make a mark on each day that you do the desired activity, such as exercises, writing, etc. The marks then become a motivator in and of itself.
  • A Bowl of Lemons’ Free Printables. Really into the paper-based work flows and organizing everything about your life? A Bowl of Lemons offers free printables for almost every aspect of your life. I tend to visit this site when I get into my cleaning, organizing kicks.

 

Productivity Tools

  •  The Pomodoro Technique. This technique has helped me tackle my To-Do list when I have problems focusing (which happens more than not). I recommend this for anyone who are trying to train their brain to focus on the task at hand. The gist: time is broken up into 25 min segments. You must then focus all of your efforts on the task at hand such as studying, writing, grading papers, etc. without getting distracted. Once your chosen timer goes off, you get a 5 minute break to walk around, or surf your favorite websites. Perfect for marathon sessions and/or dealing with tight deadlines.

  • Lift In the past, I have used paper methods to achieve what Lift does but I like that I can install this app on my phone to take it everywhere. I find that I more consistent with trying to achieve my goals when I can access it via computer or phone. Otherwise, I tend to lose my paper somehow.

  • Stayfocused This web extension has been a favorite of mine for a while. Install it and add your distracting websites to a block list. You are allotted a certain amount of time on those sites per day that you can set on your own.

 

Design & Art

  • David Airey This site provides great insight on everything graphic design, logo design, etc.. I’ve been reading his website for years.
  • i love typography My go-to place for typography love. I get lost for hours every time.
  • Co.Design Part of FastCompany and these articles are always been interesting and I love their print magazine.
  • Blog.SpoonGraphics  Mostly design tutorials and freebies.
  • Pixelovely Figure and Gesture Drawing site. I love drawing and I am fascinated by the human figure.

 

Blogs on Writing

 Note: I do not get any commission for these recommendations. These are resources I have personally used that have helped me with my work.