I am an entrepreneur, but I am also a teacher, a freelance print design, and sometimes I take on a freelance graphic project or two. Needless to say, I am busy with my own brand along with the projects I work on enthusiastically for others. This is not the life I dreamed of as a kid, but it is so exciting that I would not trade it for anything. I also find myself surrounded by people who are doing the same: individuals working full or part time for another company, while also working on their own creative passions. It’s exhilarating, stressful, inspiring, and at times downright scary.
With the new year upon us and colorful dreams about what our futures could be, I wanted to put together a list of self-management skills that I have found super helpful. These are for the creative entrepreneur, but I also hope will be useful for others who are looking to add a bit more focus and organization to their daily practices.
- Goals, Strategies, Tactics, and Tasks
Many of us have really big goals; they are so big we almost can’t fathom how we will achieve them. One way to demystify the journey of completing your goal is breaking it down. To break down goals, start by listing different strategies you can take to achieving your goals. Then for each strategy come up with different tactics of how to go about achieving that strategy. Keep breaking your goal down until you have a list of understandable and achievable tasks, and then try and create a realistic timeline for how you can complete the tasks.
- Rituals! Rituals! (Rituals!)
Get into the habit of being productive. A secret step to achieving the habit of productivity is understanding yourself. Pay attention to your productivity during the day. Understand what is the best time of day for you to work and be the most productive. Sometimes different tasks are easier at different times than others. Try and create time block that gives you sufficient time to get things done. After you finish, switch it up and do something different. This will stimulate your brain in a different way and get your creative juices flowing.
- Practice Not Perfection
Your aim should be to get into a productive rhythm, with the assumption that things will not always go as planned. Sometimes there will be external forces keeping you from your work, sometimes internally it will be hard to concentrate and stay motivated. When this happens, focus on your practice and focus on the task at hand. Each day you can work on getting better and better at productivity.
- (Realistically) Plan your day
End tonight by writing out all the things you need to do tomorrow. Think of what the big important things are and what are the not so important things. Knowing yourself and your work habits, arrange them so they will easily all be completed. Be aware how much each task takes, don’t plan unrealistically as then you may get discouraged when something isn’t completed. If is hard for you to get a grasp on time, set a self-timer.
- Be committed to yourself
For many people it can be really hard working for yourself, successfully planning and successfully executing that plan. Sometimes it is easier to get something done when someone else is holding you accountable. Work on growing your accountability to yourself by honoring you work time and your work commitments. Plan deadlines for yourself and hold yourself accountable to reaching them. Take pride in your work and don’t forget to congratulate yourself for a job well done.
I hope that helps! Keep coming back as I will continue to post about the process of running a creative business, chronicle creative makers, and give tips and ideas for embarking on your own passion project.