Get Things Done
Entrepreneurs understand the value of time. They understand that there is limited time to accomplish daily tasks. Productivity is essential for any business.
As an artist operating an art business, you must find ways to get things done promptly.
The days of finishing a painting next week are long gone if you rely on art sales to pay your bills.
One thing to keep in the back of your mind is that you will not master time management overnight.
Good and bad time management skills are habits that have been learned over time.
The productivity tips outlined in this post will help you stay inspired and accomplish more, but it will take time to get used to them. The objective is to focus on one tip at a time until it becomes part of your daily habits.
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10 Easy Steps to Become More Productive
For now, you can start with these simple strategies.
- Checkoff List
- Manage Your Time
- It is Ok to Say No
- Multi-Tasking Doesn’t Work
- Continued Education
- Tools and Gadgets
- Eliminate Distractions
Writing weekly and daily goals is the easiest way to start becoming more efficient with your time.
Breaking down larger goals into smaller tasks will help you to stay focused on what is important.
For example, let’s say your goal for the year is to sell fifty paintings. That seems unreachable if you think of creating and selling fifty new paintings, but if you set a smaller goal to paint two paintings a week and spend the rest of the time marketing your creations, selling fifty paintings in a year seems reasonable.
Multiple layers are involved in operating an art business. Setting small weekly and daily goals for each layer will help you get more done during the week. It is also possible to review the outcome of your efforts to see if any adjustments should be made the following week.
For example, you might want to set small goals for:
- Creating new products
- Photographing products
- Uploading products to your online art gallery
- Promoting your products on social media platforms
- Write blog posts
- Send newsletters
- Answer emails
- Updating accounting information
Take the time to write monthly, weekly and daily goals for your priorities.
The next step is prioritizing your weekly goals into daily tasks by importance.
You will find that you will be more productive with specific tasks at different times throughout the day.
For example, writing blog posts might be easier for you during the morning, and you are more creative at night.
Make a list of 2-3 essential tasks that must get done for each day of the week and schedule them at your most productive times.
Next on the list should be 2-3 things you would like to get done, but if you can’t get to them, they will not negatively affect your business.
Last on your list should be your wish list.
The most important tasks should be the first thing on the list. This will help you work on one thing at a time instead of becoming derailed and working on projects that will not grow your art business.
Your list should look like something.
- 1-3 Essential tasks that must get done
- 1-3 Important tasks that need to be done during the week but do not have to be done today.
- 1-3 wish list ideas. You might want to try different things during your career, like creating art with a different medium or painting a different subject. If you can’t get to your wish list, it will not negatively affect your art business, but go for it if you have the extra time.
After you have decided on your top priorities, you will want to create a checkoff list.
A check-off or to-do list is one way to be more productive and help you stay on track throughout the day.
Crossing off tasks you have completed will also give you a sense of accomplishment.
There is no better feeling than crossing off your last task.
Every time you cross off a task, you will see what needs to be done next. You will save time by knowing what job is next instead of saying, “What should I do now?”
Every morning, review what you accomplished the previous day and list what you will need to achieve for that day. You will be surprised at how much you will get done by having a list.
Always put the most critical jobs on the top of the list so you get them done first.
Manage Your Time
How are you at managing your time?
People can be separated into two different categories.
Some people are proactive and get tasks done ahead of time. Other people procrastinate.
Being proactive will prevent unnecessary stress.
You will not put your best effort into a project when you wait until the last minute. You will settle and say, “This is good enough.”
If you want to increase your time’s value, you need to put in your best effort for every job you do, no matter how big or small. Everything that you do reflects your brand and your business.
You will find ways to batch projects to accomplish more in less time. For example, you could schedule Facebook posts to go out throughout the week instead of signing in every day. An hour scheduling for the week could save several hours by not logging in to your Facebook page daily.
There will be times throughout the day when you will be more alert. Schedule the more difficult tasks during your peak performance times. Jobs that take little effort or thought can be completed when you are less focused, such as packaging a painting for delivery.
Ask yourself, “How could I have done that quicker and better?” You will develop plans to make your days more productive by thinking about your day.
It is Ok to Say No
Some people have a hard time saying “NO.”
Before you answer any questions, take some time to think of the outcome of your reply.
Will it benefit your business?
Will it be a waste of your time?
Will it distract from something else that is more important?
Multi-Tasking Doesn’t Work
It is easy to become distracted throughout the day and try to get multiple things done simultaneously.
While some people might think they are getting more things done by multitasking, they are getting less done.
People who try to multi-task are only skimming over the surface and not focusing on how to finish one job at a time. What happens more often than not, specific jobs never get completed.
Instead of working on multiple jobs, focus on one task, complete the task, and then move on to the next. Focusing on one thing at a time will allow you to put your best effort into the job and save time in the end.
To be more productive, you must schedule time throughout the week to learn new things related to your art business.
Online marketing is constantly changing. Facebook marketing is a great example. When artists started sharing their artwork on Facebook, many people would see the post. Facebook made a change and introduced business pages to promote their services. At first, posts from business pages would be displayed on fan’s newsfeeds. Today only 2% of the fans will see posts from business pages unless they choose to pay for a post to be boosted.
There is a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips. Investing some time to keep up on what’s happening with online marketing will help you be more productive.
Creativelive offers many online business video courses for creative businesses.
Keeping your workspace organized and clean is an excellent way to save time.
You will know when to order more if you keep your supplies organized.
Keeping your art supplies organized will save you money because you will not be purchasing items you already have, but it will also save you time because you will not have to stop what you’re doing to run out to a store. After all, you ran out of supplies.
Another example is to organize your shipping materials. When it is time to package an item you sold, you will not have to waste time searching for supplies you need for shipping. It will all be in one place, and the task will only take minutes instead of hours.
Keep all of your paperwork organized. Most of your paperwork will be done on your computer. Keep your files organized and easy to find. When it is time for you to log critical business information, you will not be struggling to find your records.
Have one place for all of your valuable resources. You can do so quickly when you need an answer to an important question without digging and searching.
Micheals has many affordable art supply organizers, making it easy to keep art supplies organized. You can even order them online.
Tools and Gadgets
Who doesn’t like new tools and gadgets? There are so many apps that will help to make your jobs easier.
There is a balance. Find the best tools for you and spend the time necessary to learn how to use them.
Some people love new shiny things and get caught up buying and trying everything under the sun.
Do not get caught up with shiny bells and whistles. You will find yourself wasting valuable time trying to learn every new app that you try.
For example, Tailwind will allow you to schedule Pinterest and Instagram posts at premium times. Not only can you schedule a week of Pinterest and Instagram posts in about thirty minutes, but you can also feel confident that Tailwind will schedule them when your audience is searching for the content you are posting.
Another great example is SEMRush. SEMRush is an SEO tool showing you the best keywords for your blog posts and what keywords your competitors are ranking for. This valuable information will make it easier for you to create content your target audience is searching for online.
Distractions are going to happen throughout the day. It does not matter if you work from home, an art studio, or an office. The electricity could go out. You could have a family emergency. You could become ill.
There are, however, distractions that you could avoid. When writing an article on the computer, do not visit your favorite social media site. You can do that at a later time.
When posting on your social media sites, do not scroll down the news feeds to see what your friends are up to. Post, then log off. You can socialize when your work is done.
Turn all your notifications off on your smartphone while in the studio. You do not need to look at your phone every time a notification dings. Keep the phone on only for emergencies.
If you get distracted by the television or radio, turn them off.
Tell people in the house that you will be working for a specific amount of time and you can not be distracted unless there is an emergency.
As you can see, there are many ways you can eliminate distractions. You will be amazed at how much extra time you will have just by removing unnecessary distractions.
More Ways To Increase Productivity
- Take a break
- Batch jobs
- Keep yourself accountable
- Identify what is working and what is not working
- Ask for help
Why do some people get more work done during the day than others? We all have the same amount of hours in the day. Some people are more efficient with their time because they develop good time management habits.
They spend their energy on tasks that produce positive results and avoid distractions that may get them off track.
The tips outlined above could help save many wasted hours during the week. The time you save could be used for fun activities outside of work.