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HP 1x04 - 1x10 - Catching up is hard to do

This update is late. By about seven weeks.

Life and other distractions happened, and I got annoyed with my own artwork, and pretty soon I was at least four weeks behind. Here is how I got back on track, and how you can manage it, too.

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter IV - Keeper of the Keys

Avoid getting behind

Not getting behind in the first place is obviously the easiest way of avoiding scheduling conflicts. 
- Make sure you can begin ahead of time to get a good head start. (I tried this, but failed, which is why my beginning was rushed.)
- Use quick progress or extra time to work ahead, in case something comes up later.
- Leave room for potential issues in your schedule. (In my case, the pictures are scheduled one week apart, but I do not need one week for one picture. Thus, I can work on other things in between, or catch up on things if need be.)

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter V - Diagon Alley

Make sure that this project is what you want to do

There are three reasons why you might be behind.
- Bad planning. You underestimated the work that would go into this in the first place. Move on to the next step.
- Life. This amounts to bad planning, too. Life happens, and you know it. Move on to the next step.
- You are not actually as invested in this project as you thought you might be. Now is the time to really think about this. Do you want to continue, even though it is more work than you anticipated, especially now that there is catching up to do? Or did you go into this half-heartedly, or have found something more exciting since you started and your interests are not in finishing this project anymore? Then stop it. Make a definite note to yourself, gather all project materials, bundle them up, and file them into your attic / trunk / digital archive. Make sure you are not constantly reminded that you didn't finish a thing, but that you made a conscious decision to top working on something not worthwhile.

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter VI - The Journey from Platform Nine and Three Quarters

Figure out what went wrong

Did Life happen to your project? Do you need more time for other things, do you need to take care of yourself first, or do you need to rearrange things to make sure you have the space you need for this project? Plan this now. Remember, your well-being (and that of your family, if need be), comes before anything else.
Need some time off? Then move the deadline forward. Or drop something else. You will feel better once you have made this decision, and can get back to focusing on the important things.

Did your project require more work than you anticipated? Did you lack information? Did you misjudge the time you would need for certain steps? Or indeed forgot that some steps needed to happen at all? (cough, outlines, cough).
Learn about your process now. This will take some time away from catching up, but figuring things out now will help you in the long run.

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter VII - The Sorting Hat
(The only owl in this picture is McGonagall's ornament. I am sad.)

Make a plan for catching up

Now that you know what went wrong before, remember to consider this when you update the plan.
Note: It will take more than one day to catch up, no matter what you tell yourself. Do this step properly!
On an additional note, do not try to be perfect. Ain't nobody got time for that, especially not you when you're already behind. No time for constant renewed attempts either! Onwards and upwards, and when you are back on schedule, you can work on the quality.

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter VIII - The Potions Master

Reward yourself when you do catch up
Catching up is hard to do, so having something to look forward to is important. Enjoy a cookie or a drink, have a relaxing bath or buy a new stuffed owl - whatever helps you get through this is allowed. You worked hard, now enjoy yourself.
But not too hard, there is more work to do!

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter IX - The Midnight Duel.
Yes, those are owl statues.

Ensure that you won't fall behind again
You're all caught up now? Great! Bought your owl? Good! Now look at your schedule again.
I know, I know, doing even more work sounds difficult, but you just got through even more work in even less time. And you learned proper planning along the way. You got this now!

Harry Potter, Book 1, Chapter X - Hallowe'en
(Tiny owl flying past the window.)

1 comment:

  1. A great post and I am happy that you are back on track again (more art for me to ogle at) and your tips are quite helpful. I'll try to keep them in mind Xx