Posts tagged ‘practice board’

A Third Practice Board Check-In

Time for a third practice board check-in!

My practice board is where I track my skill progress. One half-hour of practice gets me one tally so if I watercolor for an hour, I get two tallies. Once I reach 40 tallies (aka 20 hours), I give myself something off my curated prize list. Then I make a dot above the skill title, wipe that section clean and begin again.

Any idea how many hours I’ve accumulated since starting? Give you a second to guess…

I’ve practiced a total of 98.5 hours since the start. HOO-RAY.

That’s 53.5 additional hours since last month for an average of 1.4 hours a day. Not too shabby, but I’d still love to see more more more.

The 98.5 HOURS worth of practice includes acrylic painting, watercolor, calligraphy, illustration, writing, and play. Writing wins, which is ironic since I share that with you all the least. I write every morning, steady like clockwork.

Turns out that the non-practice side of things is not only tedious, but it’s also not practice. If I had a business hat tally of hours, well that might be alarmingly high. But hey, as we know from the past two What I Read This Weeks, at least I’m not spending my time staring at the computer and reading other people’s words.

One other new thing—I tried using the practice board to motivate on a short term goal. I wanted to get a dozen donuts ready to go into my Etsy shop. It worked, sorta. There’s too much back work behind each donut for me to have felt like it was moving steadily. Womp. Lesson learned.

The practice board is still a good, useful, motivating tool for me. It works. When it came time to wipe clean two areas post-reward (camo pants and kickass red lipstick for watercolor and writing) I worried that it’d be demoralizing to see such big blanks. But the other skill progress compensated while these two areas grow back. This really highlight how this works for me, the swing of things. It’s an ebb and flow, not unlike a tide. Maybe it’s the pull of my creative moon, and the gravity of planets, stars, and the universe on where I settle my attention and focus.

45 Hours on the Practice Board

Every couple days I count the number of tally marks and hours since starting my practice board. Today? 45 hours of practice! I am encouraged, hopeful, and feeling very happy with myself (but also a little embarrassed, more on that later). But how long did it take me to get here?

Turns out it took one month. I posted about Making Up the Right Schedule and My Practice Hack on June 5th. That’s an average around one+ hours a day. Which is convenient because…

I recently decided that I like the sound of at least an hour a day. Even on the weekend. And holidays. So now that I’m getting at least that much done, how much practice can I log in the next month?

If I’m going for 10,000 of things I love, only 9,955 to go. Daunting but hey, I’m closer just by starting.

Related: I’m closer to getting the first item on my DID IT! wish list. Since I love round numbers and multiples of four, I will consider a column complete when it reaches 40 tally marks. Or 20 hours total. Mama needs a new pair of shoes*!

As for the embarrassing part—you guys, I am doing this for my WHOLE LIFE right now. And I only managed to get in 45 hours?!?! Should it be triple, QUADRUPLE? Blogging doesn’t necessarily count, and I spend a lot of time doing things that support of the practice but SHEESH. I would love to see 60+ hours in the next month.

*Ok fine, camo pants. Item one is a pair of camouflage pants. Don’t ask.

Making Up the Right Schedule and My Practice Hack

Maybe this is a familiar problem to you, or one that seems far away, but now that my schedule is entirely self-formed, I ache for the right balance of schedule—output, refresh, and to-do management.

How do I go about finding a good schedule? Monday was great, but Tuesday was a struggle, and Today? I’m getting there.

With the help of visualization, my morning routine sketched out, and a basic What I Do Every Day focus, there’s another pesky thing I haven’t been doing well…

practice frame

One important thing to me: practice. Tiffany helped me uncover it as one of my Vaaaalues (Why can’t I say that with a straight face? Visit me, maturity!) I need and want practice. Practice exercises my creativity in some way. I find it pleasurable, beautiful, and it increases my knowledge, hopefully leading to the path of success. (All important-to-me vaaaalues.)

While reading InGenius, the idea of gamification came up, which immediately triggered my need for practice and how I’m not doing it enough. “Wouldn’t it be nice if I practiced a certain amount of time that there was a reward?” I haven’t allowed myself many new things to wear. Shopping. Yes, that’ll do as a reward.

close up practice sheer

This morning I typed up this page on a whim—with columns for acrylic, watercolor, calligraphy, colage, writing and play. Framed it, and collaged a border. Look, I’m better at practice already! I do something listed for a half hour, and mark the tally. When I get to the bottom, time for a prize! I think this will also help me identify the areas that I focus and hopefully keep things either rounded out or jettisoned from my habits.

How do you motivate yourself to practice? How often do you aim for? Is there a prize waiting at the end? I would love to hear what’s worked for you and your creative brain.

practice sheet full
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