Don't let your to-do list scare you

7:08 PM

A cute and efficient way to work through your busy day of chores and tasks, without loosing your sanity in the process
We all have these kind of days, you know, the crazy busy days that can drive you up the wall with pure insanity before the day even starts.
The days of you running around like a manic headless chicken and has you collapse on the sofa at night with a glass of wine and an un-healthy amount of chips while watching Netflix.

On these days, I usually find some sanity in jotting down all that I have to do on a piece of paper, otherwise known as writing a to-do list.
If you are anything like me, it only helps to an extent, and it's replaced by wondering where to tackle the list, and freaking out at the end of the day because you left some important stuff undone because they were lost in a mayhem of words and you end up your day frazzled and miserable feeling like a total failure for not staying on top of things.

This is probably because your to-do list wasn't very clear about what needed to be done and what was less urgent, in a to-do list writing frenzy, it's easy to lose the sense of what matters and what doesn't (don't blame yourself, we've all done it).

The way to beat the insanity is to take a few extra minutes and decide what is urgent, what is less urgent and what can be optional (aka the world wont stop spinning if it isn't ticked of the list).

Over the years, I found that putting a priority order to the items on my list really helped me get things done more efficiently, so much so that I ended up designing my own to-do list notepad :

Stay sane and on top of your game by prioritizing your tasks and chores for the day.
The list above, is one I drafted in early June, just before we left for Lucknow. I had packing on my mind, and the prospect of having just one week after we came back to do it all before my mom came to visit, I also knew that as soon as I would be back from said trip, I would also be plunged into a packed schedule of art classes.
That day I also had to ship an Etsy order, pay the newspaper, ironing and our cook, and the instant I realised I was letting stress eat me alive, I wrote down all the things that were not part of my routine but needed to be done, then I went right down to work on checking what was important, and what was not.

My to-do list notepad has 3 categories of tasks : Must be done, Should be done and Could be done. I usually put no more than 3 tasks in each categories (We have to stay human here).

Must be done Is for all those things that ABSOLUTELY have to be completed by the end of the day. They are the top priority tasks that I should not make excuses not to do, or should not postpone at the expense of something less urgent.
On that day you can see that going to the post office, ATM and buying snacks for the trip was on top of my list.
It so happened that I could also all club them into one errand run : Heading to the post office first, then stop at a bank to withdraw money and go buy the snacks before making it home.

Should be done Is the section for all those still quite important tasks that should be done by the end of the day, they are urgent, but not as urgent as the ones in the "Must be done" box. They are the task you can do without having to worry about a shop closing deadline, or that do not involve stepping out and drive around. They are the tasks that you can comfortably do later in the day and let drag into your evening if needed.
On that day it was scheduling all my June art classes, what project I would do in each class and jot down how many hours each student would be present for to draft the total fees to be paid to me. The second task was to clean the bathrooms because they were quite messy, and there is nothing I hate more than coming back from a trip to a dirty home.
And also because with a line up of art classes in the one week before my mom came, I wasn't sure I would have the time to deep clean everything, so I decided to tackle it before we left for our vacation.

Could be done Is where you jot down all the things that ideally you would want done by the end of the day but that in reality aren't that important. They are those tasks that you need to be prepared to drop if you realise that you either won't have time for after your "Should be done" is all ticked off or those tasks that you would half ass out of sheer exhaustion after you completed everything else.
It's the category for all those tasks that would be great to tick off, but also the ones that won't send you in a melt down if left undone because they could totally be postponed to the next day.

That day it was getting the July spread done in my Bullet Journal, I had all of June set up, but with my mom coming for 3 weeks between June end and mid-July I wanted to have my July spread ready before she came. Mostly because I am a weird creative who hates having people around when I doodle, draw and create stuff. I also knew I would be kicked out of my office, and working on the bed or dinning table with my art supplies scattered everywhere is not an ideal scenario.

That day I ticked them all off my list, ALL OF THEM, on top of cleaning the flat, doing all my other regular daily things, and even found time to go Swimming in the evening.
This could have been a day of me burning out, but because I took the time to sort out my priorities, things went quite smoothly.

As I said, this cute little notepad is one I designed myself and currently sell in my Etsy shop, but you can also just make 3 priority boxes on a blank piece of paper and sort out your tasks that way.

The advantage of that cute notepad is that you can also write lists for your kids to follow, pin it on a memo board or the fridge and have everything sorted out in a fun and VERY visible way.

If you live in India

The prices in my Etsy shop are in US Dollar, but for the domestic market, I include speed post in the price (you don't pay anything extra for shipping). 
If for any reason you have issues using Etsy, or PayPal, do contact me, we can work out shipping and payment options. 

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  1. Hi there...I'm Shivani, I'm a watercolour artist and live in Delhi. I've lived outside India alot of my life and now moved back so could relate to you and enjoyed reading your posts on the various print on demand sites as I too have just begun looking at posting my work on them, but was wondering if people in India actually pay in USD and buy stuff from there, along with how you market the stuff once you post it say on society6? I just created my society6 account yesterday!
    Also being in India I wasn't sure how useful Etsy would be. I saw that you've been using has your experience been?
    Would love to hear from you in terms of tips etc you could offer for someone starting off in online marketing. I have a website but it's down...but I have work on FB and my just started society6 account is

    Thanks for your help! Cheerios

    1. Don't aim at the Indian market on these sites, for some crazy reasons, people are put off the instant they see a price in USD, even though once you convert it, it's fairly reasonable considering the quality and the fact it pays an artist.

      In the world of PoD site, there is sadly nothing comparable in India, I was on Cupick and Paintcollar, both went bankrupt without warning the designers, I still sell occasionally on Colorpur, but they only do phone cases and the quality is just Ok and Daily Object asked me to upload 40 designs in TIFF format only to reject me once they viewed them.

      Etsy is again something for the international buyers, few in India buy from Etsy, again because USD prices scare them away. With Etsy though you are 100% responsible for the manufacturing and shipping and you need to account the Etsy fees, taxes and PayPal transaction fees in account when you set your prices.

      With any of these websites though, don't expect sales overnight, it take a lot of time to start making regular sales.
      At the moment, many artists on S6 are complaining about a slump in sales, myself included. Nobody really knows what's happening with them. So my advice is don't just license your art on one platform. Sign up for a few of them, these days I do much better on Redbubble than S6, though when I started it took me 2 months to start making sales on Society6 and over 6 months to make my first sale on Redbubble.

      These days I make several sales a month on Redbubble without having changed anything about my marketing strategy.
      Chose 2-3 social medias to devote your time to, I am mostly active on Instagram and Twitter, but started being a bit more active on Pinterest on the advice of a fellow designer.


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