Systems simply make my life easier.

How do I approach my work day as a Textile Artist?  It used to be a bit hit and miss.  Yes, I did the work, no problem.  But did I really look after the behind-the-scenes work?  The answer is a resounding no!   Now I have in place a number of systems to support, save time, ensure focus and most of all achieve consistency in my work day.

Magic Card System Cathy Jack Coupland

My Magic Card System for Planning throughout the year

Last year, I really learnt the benefits of systems through an on-line course.  I thought I was doing OK, could do better, but OK.  Is OK good enough?  NOT FOR ME, AND NOT ANY MORE!

The back-end or business side of being a Textile Artist is important.

At the end of the day, being creative is only one side of being a Textile Artist.  The other side is the business side or what I like to call, the back-end.  Being confident that I’m on top of paperwork and admin required, is a huge asset for me and my work.

Last year confirmed my need to have good systems; systems that worked for me.  I read and researched, became more and more confused and bombarded with wonderful, exciting, productive information.  But it was befuddling.  Most of the ideas were great, but just didn’t suit me or the way I work.  But then, the penny dropped.  It has to be all about me.

Make your systems work for you – if they don’t, change them!

My systems may not suit others, but I’ve ensured they work for me, and if they don’t, I change them. The trick is to review them regularly.   For instance, for my Planning system, I tried Notebook, writing up endless notes on the computer.  But I’m not really a computer person. It wasn’t in my face enough.   I had to re-think and make a stronger system.

I know how I like to work.

What did I do?  I’m a visual person, so I used old-fashioned cards taped onto the window ledge in front of where I work. I can see my entire year at a glance.  I’m reminded of: teaching commitments, exhibition opportunities, deadlines, routines-daily, weekly, monthly, six-monthly and annual, research I want to do, Gallery and workshop proposals, writing up a new teaching course and commissions.

Each and every day they are there in front of me.  I can’t help but see them.  Perfect!  I currently have 15 cards encompassing what I needed to achieve this year.  And….I’ve done it!

My MAGIC CARD SYSTEM  helps ensure I achieve what I set out to do.

These are arranged in chronological order, so I see when I have a commitment or when I need to have work finished.  MY MAGIC CARD SYSTEM helps me maintain focus, helps ensure I achieve what I set out to do and is a great way to review how much I can do in a year – if I’m organised!

Review what you achieve each year.  You may be surprised.  I was!

I’m not perfect, but I really try to keep on top of everything.  Using MY MAGIC CARD SYSTEM along with my BULLET JOURNAL, marries my work life with my personal life.

I’m looking forward to clearing away my cards for this year and starting again.  I have learnt the value of good systems.

So guess what I’ll be doing at the beginning of next year?  Being mindful of my creativity, ensuring I meet commitments, continuing to research, learn and grow as well as continuing to improve the basic routines which help me do what I do, like having my machine serviced, buying office supplies, reviewing what works and doesn’t work for me anymore.  It’s all about you and good systems.  You’ve got to love them!

I wonder how many cards I’ll have in 2019?