Like a lot of people who are self-employed and work from home, I struggle with time management. If I ran my own, say, comic book store that would be less of a problem: I’d have set hours I had to be there, with time for the commute, certain days new stock came in, etc. I’d also go out of business in two months, because I’d only stock indie comics no one ever heard of and wonder aloud why my customers didn’t just buy straight from the creators on the internet. So it’s just as well I don’t own a comic shop.

When one is a self-employed creative, however, there’s very little in the way of outside structure. I set my own deadlines, and if I decide to spend all day knitting blankets out of cat hair, or eating pie, or sleeping on the couch, no one is here to tell me otherwise. Which is why I have put my faith in office supplies as the key to my success.

Binder Clips

Binder clips, you are my only hope!

I am deeply convinced that if I can only find theΒ right combination of office supplies, I will suddenly turn into Super Author, writing 10,000 words a day seven days a week, sailing smoothly along with no sign of burn out in sight because it isn’t on the schedule. That desk calendar didn’t do it, but this one might! Maybe I just need an entire rainbow of post-it notes! A wall calendar to map out my entire year ahead of time! A white board to list deadlines! Folders to put project notes in!

So far, none of them have yet turned me into a super-productive author who also has a spotless house, well-behaved cats, and cooks every meal from scratch. But never fear: I’m going to an office supply place this afternoon to pick out a new desk calendar.

This is the one that will do it. I just know it.


Comments

Office Supplies Will Save Me — 13 Comments

  1. It is difficult. I have calendars everywhere. I’m not kidding. One is hanging on the wall; I have a desk calendar under my keyboard; a monthly calendar hanging on my bulletin board; two more, one over the microwave and one on the side of the oven; a customized calendar for editing jobs; three little “to do” notebooks, and please, let’s not discuss the horrendous amount of yellow legal pads. No, really, because the Hoarder people would be on my doorstep.

    Every day is so different, it can be impossible to plan out a couple of hours, much less a whole month or a YEAR. But I do try to keep on track as much as I can when it comes to Other People’s Work…I still struggle with my own writing.

    Magic Bullet? There isn’t one. But I bet I have a calendar for that. Heh.

    • I have trouble planning even a day or two ahead, but that’s only because I don’t have the perfect calendar yet. I’m sure of it!

  2. Haha! This is a great post, Jordan. As a fellow work-from-home creative (and grad student, but I like to ignore that part), I totally understand this. I am very proud of my many pens and highlighters and notebooks (one notebook for each area of my life)… and now that I have discovered dip pens, I’m getting obsessed with different brands and styles of nibs. It’s so ridiculous but I wouldn’t have it any other way. πŸ˜›

    • Thanks, Lena! I was a completely disorganized as a grad student; if I’d used a few calendars, I might have graduated in the amount of time I was supposed to, lol. My horrifyingly bad handwriting has saved me from fancy pens, but I do have a rainbow of fine-point sharpies.

  3. Great Post. I too am very disorganized. I’d keep a calendar but I always forget to use it. When I’m at my day job, I write myself notes on what to remember but forget about those too. I haven’t come up with a solution to any of it yet.

    • Thanks, Susan! I used to be the queen of to-do lists when I worked in an office, but either my life has gotten more complicated or my attention span less focused. Probably both.

  4. Ha! Caught you! You’ve been spying on my office, haven’t you. πŸ˜€ I’ve got so many bits and pieces of all the different organizational tools that I’ve tried, i can barely see my desktop — the physicial one and the digital one! My latest attempt is — bulletin boards . . . I think I’m going to have to buy a LOT of corkboard!

    Great post, Jordan.

    • Bulletin boards will do the trick, I just know it! Hey, maybe I should try one of those… πŸ˜‰

  5. In one way or another, you have “clipped” every one of us who creates our lives as well as our livelihoods. Like you, I think there is a future in binder clips. Really great post, Jordan.

    Karen

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