How to make work easy PLUS a few daily drawings

{Soaring through the week, and crossing things off my list one by one}

It is a sunny, sweet day: perfect for sitting in the breeze and dreaming. 

Next door, workmen are clanking, whirring and banging. It gives me a false sense of industry. I'm not doing much, but someone nearby is working very hard. It feels like that work transfers to me by proximity. Like when I'm drinking tea and the washing machine is spinning loudly. I'm not doing anything, but it is working very hard, and so I feel satisfied and accomplished. 

I have been thinking a lot lately about what work means. 

My Dad always said that we should "work smart, not hard." 

And I've spent my entire life trying to figure out what that means. 

It means being efficient. It means figuring out what is absolutely necessary, doing that necessary thing, and then resting. It is when we rest that we get our best ideas. 

The trick is figuring out what the necessary things are. 

The other day I made a list of my "necessary" things. It is small but mighty: daily drawings, daily journalling, writing stories, working on my illustration projects, reading novels and poetry, keeping detailed to-do lists. (Playing with little-one and hanging out with my husband are necessary things, but they don't fall under the "work" category; they are unadulterated fun.)

That is all. 

Six necessary things.

Of course, my day-to-day life contains a million and one things I need to do: hanging laundry, cleaning the toilet, making my toddler's dinner, making our dinner..... These all huddle under the umbrella of "keeping detailed to-do lists." 

My to-do list umbrella protects me from the storm of tasks that constantly hurls itself at my door like a monsoon. I simply write down the things I think are most important.

And then I stick to it. 

Then powering through the drudgery becomes automatic. For example, I don't question whether or not I clean the bathroom on a Wednesday, I just do it. And, while I'm cleaning, I go through the motions by rote so that I can let my mind glide off and spin in circles, thinking about my wonderful, confounding ideas. 

But, that is tangental.

Meanwhile, I'm focusing on daily drawings, journalling, and doing good work in my studio. 

What are your necessary things? 

How do you work "smart, and not hard? 

Is anyone interested in reading a more detailed post about how I structure my to-do lists so that I can minimize my effort on a weekly basis?

{Don't forget, you can download all sorts of to-do list and planner printables if you join my

"Studio Friends" mailing list.

I'll add more printables every month.}

{The work in progress}

{Hippity-hop hippity-hop}

{Drawing faces on paint blobs}

{I can't get enough of cherry blossoms: I captured these on our morning walk to little-one's nursery school}

{A weekend trip to the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, a short bicycle ride from our house}

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