Unless you’re REALLY into organization and monotony, you’re not a fan of scheduling your time during your work week. However, now that you own an art business, possibly have a full or part-time job, take care of a family and/or pets and know it’s important to find YOU time, saying yes to every opportunity, getting side-tracked by Farmville or searching for upcoming fashion trends for HOURS is dangerous to your growing business.
You may be hesitant to set up a schedule because it feels like a prison, I understand that. Using research and experience, I’m sharing 5 nice ways to lessen distractions and find focus:
- Create and categorize your focused, TO-DO lists on a weekly basis but keep the headings to six most important items: Sales, Marketing, Design, Social media, Press and Networking (as examples). You can make an extra box for “extras”. Place your responsibilities inside each box and the items that don’t seem to fit into “extras” .
- Now that you have your lists done – get them onto your calendar by priority or deadline. Yes, calendar, sorry. If you have a Google Calendar or one with colors, use one color per category. Be fair to yourself, be realistic and be nice. You know how long it should take you to complete a task. By seeing your day in front of you, you can decide what you want to keep, cut and add. Plus it will be eye-opening to view what is necessary to accomplish during your week to grow.
- One of my mantras is GIVE, but please think clearly before you agree to give your time to a project, even if it’s a charity. Your time is precious and you are important. Find out the details of the opportunity and make a clear decision as to whether you truly have the time. If you constantly say “yes”, especially when it seems like a good business opportunity, you take the chance that those opportunities could lead you down stray paths, and end up keeping you from your business goals.
- Yes, I’m saying it, “You are amazing” but you can’t do everything. There are a lot of distractions during the day, especially if your studio is in your home. If you work from home, create your workspace and distance it from places that would pull you away. Set up times of day to answer e-mail and quiet the INBOX notices and your phone. It’s okay to take breaks, in fact they are necessary but if you’re stopping for every little thing, then you’re not actually making progress during the day.
- Let’s get back to being nice to yourself. You’re a Creative. Being focused isn’t really the way to create – being dreamy, contemplating techniques and finding inspiration is more your style. Your goal in scheduling your week isn’t to shut that part of yourself down or to focus diligently on tasks – that will only frustrate you. Schedule a few minutes each day (maybe at breakfast and then after 5pm) to dream or sketch. Also check yourself during the day to make sure that when you’re supposed to be involved in a task, that you actually ARE on task. A few times a day, if you have a timer, and you’re scheduled for let’s say a half an hour of retail store research, set the timer for fifteen minutes and when the buzzer goes off, make sure that you’re not drooling over the hottest Fall boots at Zappos, instead.
How do you keep yourself focused? What are your time management guides? Is it difficult to stay focused and what is your biggest time drag? Leave your comments below and SHARE this article by clicking the buttons below. Thanks!
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