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How do you measure Results?

Meagan Chaney Gumpert - Tuesday, January 19, 2010
There are certain things I have learned about myself. I tend to measure "results" in quantitative amounts or by actions completed.

For example, today I finished and shipped work to 3 galleries (amount, action); shaped and grooved 25 glass pendants (amount, action); removed the dead vines, sticks and yard debris from behind the studio (3 trashcans full) (action, amount); spent 1 hour at the gym; you get the idea... I like to start the day with a list and check things off to mark the progress.
However, there is a flaw in this system that I continue to struggle with.

How to feel productive doing "nothing"? And by this I mean the quiet, still, thought provoking moments that require a lot of concentration and soul searching. This is a lot tougher to do! And I usually avoid it by trucking ahead doing things that need immediate attention or have tangible results.

If I had written down "spend 2+ hours thinking and sketching" rather than "come up with brilliant idea for next project" I could cross the former off the list instead of stressing over the latter.

But if I want my work to improve, I have to stop and ask myself the tough questions. Why did I do this that way? What am I trying to say? What do I want to communicate to the viewer? What is my work about? How could I have done so-and-so better? And does anyone really care?

While I believe I know the answers to these questions on some level, it is extremely difficult for me to articulate these ideas both verbally and visually.

Ultimately, I want my work to be the best (technically and conceptually) it possibly can. Being back in school has been a tremendous help with this process. Someone else is now holding me accountable; pushing me to address issues that I would otherwise avoid or procrastinate.

So, do you struggle with similar feelings? How do you slow down the forward momentum to make time for reflection? How do you carve out time for these tasks? How do you tackle the tough questions? How do you keep from getting frustrated? How do you measure Results?

Whew! All those questions call for a glass of wine!


PS - Write 1 blog post (amount, action) :)

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