Watercolor Artist and Owner of PAPERFASHION
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up around 6:30/7am (make sure scheduled blog post is up). Walk down to the Charles river to get some air (since I don’t have a commute)! Then, come home and have some coffee and breakfast while checking in on emails to determine what needs to be accomplished that day. Usually spend the days doing these things: prepping orders to be shipped, illustrating new blog posts, finishing client projects. I do tend to work late… but I definitely try to keep a somewhat normal/sane schedule and end the work day by 6pm.
I use TeuxDeux.com for my daily to-dos… and it’s perfect. It’s simple, clean, and straightforward. If I don’t get something checked off that day, it automatically rolls over to the next day… which prevents me from being forgetful.
What parts of your job do you dislike?
I can’t think of anything I absolutely dislike… although, if I had to pick, I’d say email can be my worst nightmare! It’s never ending!
How do you tackle your never ending email? Do you have a certain strategy you use?
Like I said, email is never ending. I usually keep important emails I haven’t responded to unread, until I have a chance to respond. I use Gmail, so I use labels all the time. I mark my emails To Respond, New Order, Shipped Order, Current Project, Receipts, etc. This helps me stay organized, and focus on what needs to be accomplished in smaller doses. I try to clear out all unread mail by the end of each day.
What things do you have to do that you didn’t realize going into your job?
Since I run my own business, I set myself up for taking on anything and everything that comes my way… so nothing really catches me off guard! I will say that there is a LOT more to do than just illustrating. Illustrating is only about 40% of what I do day to day.
What type of calendar do you keep?
I actually don’t keep a calendar! They seem a bit overwhelming to me… so I tend to just make labels on emails for calls and meetings. I also set up alarm reminders the day of meetings, just so I don’t forget. When it comes to projects, I just stay on top of them and keep a project list. I like to take things day by day, and not look too far ahead if possible. That way I can stay sane with a short term goal in mind at the start of each day.
How do you organize your to-do list? How do tackle your to-do list?
I handle things day by day with lists on TeuxDeux.com.
What is your process and/or work strategy? Anything that you have found that works for you?
Like I mentioned, it’s really important for me to do things in small steps (day by day, instead of looking weeks ahead). Once I start with a project, I try my best to complete it before moving on to the next task. It helps me focus and pay more attention to detail when I take one thing at a time.
When you are stuck on a project, how do you get out of the rut?
Take a break! I’ll spend some time looking through my Pinterest boards for inspiration, or step outside and go on a walk. Luckily, I live right by the Charles River in Harvard Square — which is my go to place to do some thinking and get inspired.
How do you GSD at home?
Since I work from home, it is SUPER important for me to GSD at home! I have a hard time focusing in a messy apartment or with a cluttered desk (this includes my desktop)… so I start each day or end each night with cleaning up and keeping things fresh for a new work day. It’s also important for my space to be inspiring, so I frequently hang up new art and design finds on my walls. My space is overflowing with neon!
Nuggets of advice you’ve been given that have stuck?
In case you didn’t get this from my answers above (ha!), TAKE THINGS DAY BY DAY. It’s the best advice I’ve gotten. Small steps to achieve big things make them easier to process and accomplish. I also like to keep my computer desktop SUPER organized. It drives me crazy when there are files and folders all over… I use my desktop background to create labels to sit different folders and files under (see above).
Katie’s Apps, Programs, Websites and Gear
Apps you use frequently/can’t live without:
Programs & Technology you use:
Photoshop / Illustrator / iMovie / Numbers
Websites you constantly use:
Your gadgets and tech items:
iPhone / iPad / iMac / Wacom Tablet
Pattern above is Katie’s pattern, see here.
Photos by Katie Rodgers
Photos by Katie Rodgers
Takeaways from how Katie GSD’s:
Leave a comment or tweet me at @megbiram
with #getshitdone and tell me how you GSD or what you learned.