Today was one of those frustrating days where I spent way too much time trying to make headway with a business project, only to wish that I had planned out and budgeted my time better.  Even though I’ve said it before, I’ll repeat it again (mostly for my own benefit)!  If you are a someone who loves to perfect things, it is much wiser to set up a timeline and schedule for what you want to get done…and then stick to it!  You’ll be much less likely to get sidetracked with one project and you’ll end up feeling happier and ultimately in control of how you spend your day.

Tomorrow I’ll go back to mapping out my day with the use of Charlie Gilkey’s freelance planner worksheets.  And, not only am I going to promise to stick to the time table I set up for myself, but I’m also going to take his advice and schedule in some fun time as my reward.

Before I sign off (wearily) for tonight, here is my design for today – an Art Deco inspired diamond chain-link bracelet:

Pencil and Gouache Art Deco Style Chain Link Bracelet Rendering by Joana Miranda
Pencil and Gouache Art Deco Style Chain Link Bracelet Rendering by Joana Miranda

In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.

(Author Unknown)


  1. Joana / zhu-WUN-ah – oh yes so right – the great thing about doing something so involving as your work must be is getting in the flow so you lose all sense of life around you. But as you say, its easy to get so pulled into too much detail. Some tips I’ve unearthed for keeping both the big and the small picture in focus are:

    1. go with the 80/20 rule, if you take a quick run at doing 80% of the task, you can often do this quickly and easily. The last 20% can be much tougher. Be sure you need that final 20% before slogging away to perhaps add little value.

    2. I see you are a musician and my piano teacher taught me this one: put 10 minutes on the kitchen timer and just do it! He was referring to getting piano practice in. Who can’t find 10 free minutes in a day, just put on the timer and start. It breaks the psychological barrier of having that giant task ahead of you and I often found once I’d started my 10 minutes it was hard to stop there and I often practiced for much longer. It was just the starting that was hard.

    Tenha um ótimo dia

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the excellent points! I certainly could benefit from applying the 80/20 rule…at the very least, I’d be less tired and more fun to be around. Cool to learn that you, too, have a musical background. I was one of those weirdos who, for the most part, liked practicing (although maybe I’ve just repressed my earlier memories of it). Harder for me still is to get over the inner critic that tells me I’ll never be good enough, smart enough, etc. so I go back to the grindstone instead of getting myself out there!

      I’ve subscribed to your blog and look forward to gleaning wisdom from it.

      Com todos os melhores cumprimentos,

      • nina says:


        I went to Charlie’s site and downloaded his planners – all of them! I like how he has divided the day – but it’s a little seductive. I could spend a LOT of time planning every detail!

        Good luck figuring out your best way to be productive. This is my summer project – create productive habits and clear the clutter from my house and head.


  2. Hey Joana well in your business I’m sure the attention to detail is what makes your work so beautiful so perhaps you DO need that last 20%, but Nina, definitely clearing 80% of clutter would be enough to …. well tidy my desk, I don’t know about yours 🙂

    On the perfectionist front, Martin Seligman has some great stuff to say about that in his book Authentic Happiness… hmmm if only I could remember what he’d said.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for the tip about the book Authentic Happiness. I’ll see if I can look into it. I don’t think I’m a perfectionist…oh wait, does needing to have the house clean before I can focus on work say something about that? 😉

      Actually, I’ve noticed that at my most happiest (when I’m designing) my study does start to accumulate clutter. But its the good kind – paintbrushes, paint palettes, scratch pieces of paper, etc., and having the end product – a finished design – makes up for any headache of cleaning up.

      All best wishes,

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