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Spring 2021 ︎︎︎ CUNY Queens College  ︎︎︎ (ARTS395) Senior Capstone

Time management


Your project should be well underway. As you’re working on it you may notice that the state of your work is not aligned with your original timeline. This is okay.

Productivity + Time

When people talk about productivity they talk about something called Parkinson’s Law. This is basically that the time it takes to complete a task can and sometimes, must, alter to the vessel of time into which is poured. That is to say that, you can do great work in a semester, you can do great work in a week, you can do great work in a day, you can do great work in an hour, but how you apply that time will change.

Below are some examples of “speed drawing” challenges showing how different artists approach drawing something with 10 minutes, vs 1 minute vs. 10 seconds. I would argue all these drawings could be considered good, but they are good relative to the time they have been given.
All this is to say that you must adapt with yourself, with time, and your idea, and you must be open to that adaptation. You must, be like water.

Self assessment

Here are some questions to ask depending on where you are with your project:
    • How much of a difference is there between what I wanted and what actually exists now? 
    • What are those differences?
    • What kind of tasks are those differences related to (sending emails, designing in inDesign, creating logos, illustration, photography)?
    • Is there “anxiety” in those tasks? Why?
    • How realistic was my original timeline? 
    • Did I find that when I set aside time with a task (4 hours, 8 hours, whathaveyou) that I achieved said task?
    • What does the project actually need to be?
    • Am I “happy” with the project, how is it going?

Tracking time on tasks (an exercise)

This could be with a single task, or over the course of a day, or a week, but take the list of tasks that you have set out for yourself and actually see how much that you accomplish. I would go as far as using one of these apps and seeing what kind of patterns that you have. I’d hesitate to recommend doing this over a long, long time but I think these can be really informative for making you aware of what’s going on with what you’re doing and what you set out to do.

File organization

This is the file system that I use. This is not to say that you need to do this but that you shouldn’t overcomplicate the systems you create. I use this folder structure for animation, illustration, and music production and I just adapt to unique situations. I also create this is a template and just copy it over for each project.

home folder

Spending time on tasks

As you’re spending time on tasks, the thing you need to think about is how you think about time related to tasks. Do you simply say time to work on tasks x,y, and z and then stay up until those tasks get done? Is that process reducing the amount of sleep you’re having? Do you simply take 2 hours out of your day and see what happens? How effective or ineffective has this process been.

Mental Health

As always, make sure that you are checking in with yourself and your mental health. I’m not sure what things are like for everyone with work, competitiveness, and sleep but I when I was in undergraduate school there was an internal pressure for to “evolve” to be beings with no sleep. Sleep really adversely effects my mental health, and I think I may have been super depressed and not really been real with myself about what I was going through. I think this ultimately made me less productive, less happy and really hindered my general progress as a maker/designer of graphics.

In conclusion

This is to say whether you want to be there or not, or because you’ve neglected where you should be or concentrated on other things, it’s okay, but you need to take stock of where you are in order to get where you may want to be.

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