Get more productive (and creative)… by @TinkerAndFaff

by Nikki Griffiths | Featured Contributor  

So here we are in April already!! It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since we were toasting in the new year (and I was on countdown to the clocks going forward!)

Recently I’ve become increasingly aware of how much time does drift by and before you know it, it’s another birthday, or it’s the dash around the shops for Easter eggs!! Working in the creative sector (and I’m sure it applies to many other sectors too) you can find that projects drag on, or your to-do list gets longer and the stuff you need to do for your own business gets pushed to the bottom of the list every time a client project comes along.

Or, as the name of my company suggests, you spend a lot of time faffing about with things! Admittedly the faffing does eventually lead to some new and fun product – but the time it can take to get there is probably longer than necessary.

One thing I do find with the creative sector – and more so with women than men – is the ability to put things off, procrastinate massively – those windows need cleaning so much more than my website needs updating!!

I was recently chatting to a friend (who’s in project management within the chemical industry!!) and I mentioned about procrastination. To which her response was “what’s that?” – I kinda figured everyone knew what it was – I guess project managers don’t!! This led me to try and explain what procrastination was, and without wanting to bore you with our VERY long conversation, it then led to me creating this productivity planner…


It makes you account for every 30 minutes of your working day. While that might sound a bit bonkers, it really made me face up to where my time was going. Those ‘5 minutes on Facebook’ that, of course, were for my business, turned out to be more like an hour. Or if I got to the end of the day and didn’t know where my time had gone, I could look back and see that actually it had gone on that couple of hours in the shops that was supposed to be a quick nip to the post office in my lunch break.

Whenever I start to feel a bit like “Oh no where has my day gone” I revert back to using the planner and it soon whips me back into shape. I’m not saying that you should never go on Facebook, or Twitter, or go out for lunch, but it’s amazing where the time REALLY does go.

You know that saying…


This planner is usually a paid for download on my shop, but this month’s post includes it as a free download, so if you’re feeling like the year is passing you by and don’t know where the time is going, stop using the cleaning, vacuuming, washing as an excuse and try using this, just for a week – and find out where the time really is going.

It’s editable as an Acrobat PDF or just print it out and write in the boxes. The tick boxes are only to be ticked if the particular task you are doing is contributing to your ‘life goals’.

I got REALLY ‘project manager-esque’ and included a section at the side to write down your long term and short term goals to keep you focussed.

I would love to know how you get on, did it help or hinder?

Click here for the free download


NiksPic_forBlogpostNikki Griffiths is the founder of Tinker & Faff. Tinkering and faffing and creating word art designs for gifts and for the home.

Having trained as a typographer and designer Nikki decided to venture in to the world of surface pattern design on home and gift wares. Producing off the shelf products as well as bespoke art for beautiful gift ideas. She started doing bespoke prints for family and friends as gifts and it has taken off from there, selling her wares on Etsy and blogging about the creative tinkering and faffing that she does in her spare time to encourage others to get creative and tinker and faff.

UK based in the Cheshire countryside, although with big aspirations for a cottage by the sea in South Wales.

Twitter: @TinkerAndFaff
Facebook: TinkerAndFaff
Etsy: TinkerAndFaff

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One Reply to “Get more productive (and creative)… by @TinkerAndFaff”

  1. Gina Valley (@GinaValley)

    Great planner sheet! I will use it with my usual planner to give my time a fine tune. Thank you!

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