Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared No. 1, right, hanging next to the inspiring work, Wabi Sabi Derivative 1, in my studio

Design your time in the studio

Design your time in the studio

Would you like to supercharge your time in the studio? Are you struggling, not sure what to do once you do get there? It’s time to design your time to have a more fulfilling studio practice.

I’m showing you what I do to have a more productive time in the studio and enjoy real life with my family.

This is part four of this series. Click here to the start of this series to see what I did to get me to this point.

Envision what your life could be

October 2022, Bill and I emerged from the 10-month slog of living in the midst of chaotic home repair. I closed my art studio in order to full-time project manage the repair and restoration of half the floors in our home.

With our home restored, I was eager to envision what my life could be personally and in the studio in 2023. I’m showing how planning in late 2022 helped me forge a successful and fulfilling new year. The real bonus was being able to take vital 6 week summertime break from the studio from the middle of December 2023 to the end January 2024.

My system is adapted from the Momentum Planner created by Charlie Gilkey at Productive Flourishing. 

How to Design your Time in the Studio

With my finished 2nd Quarter overall plan in hand, I was ready for the next steps that would maximise my time in the studio. 


Knowing what to do every month, week, and day prevents  stuffing around in the studio and helps design your time for a better personal life.

Here’s the steps to take:

  • Transfer quarterly and monthly goals from the Quarterly Plans. Click here to see how to make one.
  • Add events and holidays occurring of which you want to be aware.
  • Add days off.

In the weekly grids:

  • Post events, and other factors that affect your schedule.
  • Next, break each of month’s objectives or goals into smaller task chunks.
  • Disperse the chunks into the weekly grids.
  • I’ve UPPERCASED factors that will impact workflow each week.

at the end of the month:

  • Note emergent projects or influencing factors that arise that need to  be included in the projects for the subsequent month. 
  • Reflect on how well the month went. Note your wins, what helped you achieve your wins, and what could have improved your outcomes for the month.

Remember, the monthly planner is a tool to help you design your time in studio. There is no perfect way to complete it. Give yourself a lot of grace. 

The more you use it, the easier it gets and the more useful it becomes.

Getting to this point of planning is good win. If things are a bit hectic, achieving this basic plan can help give you a more rewarding studio time. 

However, I’ve found taking the next step to design each week is an even more powerful way to get your most meaningful studio projects done.

Design your week to achieve your most meaningful projects.

At this point I had my “ideal week” chart at hand, which showed routines and habits over the week that I wanted to maintain. It helped me be more realistic in planning how much I could achieve.

The ideal week is a concept by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy in their book, “Living Forward”. 

With my monthly planner and ideal week in hand, I was ready to focus on the weekly plan for the third week: the 17th through the 23rd April.

How to design your week:
Add a label and focus for the week.
Add the monthly projects from the Monthly Planner.
Add the projects on which you will focus during the week. You can find these in the weekly grids of the Monthly Planner.
Break the focus projects down into smaller chunks.
Note any scheduled events for the week, including any surprises that do occur in a full-on life.
Consider ways to compensate for surprises and interruptions.
Allow extra time for your tasks when these surprises arise.
Be sure to do your weekly review.   Reflect on your wins, what contributed, and what to improve.You may be pleasantly surprised what you were able to get done in spite of unplanned events.



Noting the day a family member would move in to our home proved critical for a successful week. Unknown to me at monthly planning time, detailed weekly planning helped me create a work around and helped me better welcome our new household member.

Deadlines were adjusted to compensate for the time needed to help the new member adjust to our home.

I wanted to be flexible for the move in day, but still progress my work.

Monday morning I would look for errors on my website. The afternoon I would work on my email program. I could easily break from both tasks and resume later.

By allowing for extra time to resettle our home, I better prioritised and scheduled the time to work on important tasks over the remainder of the week.

Top wins for the week included uploading all 5 of my relaunch videos AND getting my home back to the new normal. I kept to my plan and worked it daily. To improve,  I needed to find a better way to do faster uploads.

The desire to find better upload methods was added to emerging projects panel back on the Monthly Planner to be accomplished the following month.

Getting to the weekly planning stage helps clear your headspace and improves your accomplishments in the studio, if you work your plan every day. This level works well when task chunks are rather repetitive for the week.

However, when I have a lot of varied tasks to achieve in a week, or I wanting to track my progress, I depend on the extra supercharge from daily planning.

Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared No. 1, right, hanging next to the inspiring work, Wabi Sabi Derivative 1, in my studio
Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared No. 1, right, hanging next to the inspiring work, Wabi Sabi Derivative 1, in my studio
Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared No. 2, right, hanging next to the inspiring work, Wabi Sabi Derivative 4, in my studio
Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared No. 2, right, hanging next to the inspiring work, Wabi Sabi Derivative 4, in my studio
Quarterly Planning filled in.
Use your Quarterly Plan to create Your Monthly Plan. Click on image to enlarge
Monthly Planner filled in
Monthly Planner - Click on image to enlarge
Monthly successes and improvement
Monthly review, Page 2 of Monthly Planner - Click on image to enlarge
Weekly Planner
Weekly Planner
Weekly Review
Weekly Review
Ideal Week Page 1
Ideal Week, Page 1
Ideal Week, Page 2
Ideal Week, Page 2

Design studio time for a
productive year

Five part series by Beverly Claridge.
Click a box to read or watch video.



How to design your day:

  • Add the weekday and date, and, add a daily focus if you wish. I don’t often add a focus.
  • Copy and paste, or, write in all the task chunks from the Weekly Planner scheduled for that day into the space for Todays Projects.
  • Note appointments or scheduled events.
  • Then break Today’s Projects items into smaller and specific achievable chunks for the day
  • Use your ideal week chart, if you have one, to help you know what time slots are available to do the chunks.  Or, write in everyday tasks in the appropriate time slots first.
  • Populate the time slots with the task chunks.
  • Add emerging tasks throughout the day, if any.
  • Add notes, if needed.
  • Check off tasks that you complete.  
  • Add a dot to those you worked on but did not complete. 
  • If you didn’t work on a task but intend to do it the next day, draw a simple arrow. If you know you can’t do the task the next day, add the planned date over the arrow.
  • Review your day, with wins, contributing factors and improvements, in the evening or following morning.
Designing your day gets easier the more you do it. Often, I just copy and paste and the previous day and edit to fit the new day.

Daily Planning
Daily Planning
Daily review



I began the Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared works below way back in early October 2023. I placed final marks on them just last week. The oil pastel has set now and I’ve stretched them on a frame (see below).  You can watch me make Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared 1 and 2, start to finish, as I talk about how I design my studio time by watching the video below or clicking here.

I feel this is great progress on my 52 works in 52 weeks challenge I planned back in 2022.

But hey! The original Wabi Sabi Derivative works…the ones I based these two works on…have changed!

Returning with fresh eyes this year, after my planned 6 week break, I decided they weren’t finished. So I finished them before I started Derivate Squared! What do you think??

Why create a scheme

The planning scheme I’ve shared over the past four posts is, without a doubt, the biggest reason I’ve been able to begin abstract number 37 this week. That’s 37 of the 52 abstract works I’m aiming to finish by 31 May 2024.

I want to achieve my aim without spending every waking moment in studio.  In fact, tomorrow, I’ll continue my goal to gib stop our hallway. Last week, I completed upkeep of our deck by staining, which was a two weekend project. Plus, there IS self-care and time with family and friends, especially with upcoming Easter.

I know my why and have charted my years, quarters, months, weeks, and days, accordingly.  Then I’ve worked my plans.  Every day. It works.

Designing your day will work for you if you 1. Know your why.  2. Plan accordingly,  and  3. Work your plan, at least a little bit, every day.

Please watch the video below.


Wabi sabi derivative March 2024

Wabi sabi derivative last October 2023

Wabi sabi - The beginning 2018

Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared 1 and 2, stretched on canvas
Wabi Sabi Derivative Squared 1 and 2, stretched on canvas, with 5 other stretched canvasses behind. The beauty of designing your time.

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