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Entrepreneurs understand the value of time. You want to be productive during your working hours, or you could find yourself working around the clock. If you follow these 10 easy steps to become more productive with your day, you will increase the value of your time while reducing unnecessary stress.
Become More Productive with Your Day
How can you make more money by being more productive with your time? It is simple. The more you get done in less time, the more money you earn per hour.
If you have not read my book, The Productive Artist: How to Live Your Dreams, and you struggle with distractions, you might want to give it a try. The book goes over simple to implement tactics that will help you save time so you can make more money. These are tips I have learned over the past twenty years.
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
- Vision the End
- Continued Education
- Tools and Gadgets
- Eliminate Distractions
Most people fail because they stop with their vision. A vision is an important step, but you will have to take it a step further if you would like to watch your sales increase and stop yourself from feeling overwhelmed.
Your vision is saying, “I want.” We all “want” things. But if you do not set up a plan to achieve what you want you will continue to say, “I want.”
Your goals will not only help you to reach your vision, but it will also help you to be more productive during the day.
You will have a clear idea of what you will need to complete every day to be successful. By having goals written out, you will wake up knowing what you have to do and do it. There will be no more time wasted thinking about the things you need to do.
If you struggle with writing goals, read Sell Art Online Basics Setting Goals.
You might also like the free course that I have available, How To Write Goals.
Before you read any further, bookmark this post and write out your goals. You will be happy in the long run that you took the opportunity to get this important step done.
After your goals have been documented, start prioritizing what needs to be accomplished.
If you have done the first step, writing out your goals, you will already have your plan mapped out. Your goals will be broken down into long-term goals, mid-term goals, and short-term goals.
Take your short-term goals and prioritize them by starting from most important to least important. Ask yourself, “What task will provide the most value?”
For example, if you have a commissioned drawing that needs to be completed, that will be your top priority over going to the craft store to buy new paint brushes.
Your priorities will continuously change, and you will need to address them daily.
Every morning be the boss and decide what needs to get done for that day and in what order. You always wanted to be the boss. Now that you are in the business of selling art you are the boss.
After you have decided what your top priorities are, you will want to create a checkoff list. By writing down your tasks, you will increase your productivity.
Your checkoff list will help you stay on track throughout the day and you will have a clear understanding if you are ahead of schedule or behind.
Crossing off tasks that you have completed will give you a sense of accomplishment. Every time that you cross off a task, you will look at what needs to get done next. You will be saving time by knowing what job is next instead of sitting there saying, “What should I do now?”
There is no better feeling than crossing off your last task. One of the benefits of running a business is you have control of the hours you put in. You do not have a set forty hour work week. You are in control of how many hours you work and how much money you make. You can increase the value of your time by simply being more productive with your day.
Every morning take a few minutes to review what you accomplished the previous day and make a list of what you will need to accomplish for that day. You will be surprised at how much you will get done by having a list.
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 never have to rush to get something done.
When you wait to the last-minute, you will not be able to put your best effort into a project. You will settle and say, “This is good enough.”
If you want to increase the value of your time, you need to put in your best effort for every job you do no matter how big or how 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 through the week instead of signing in every day. An hour scheduling for the week could save several hours by not logging in every day.
There will be times throughout the day that 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 during the times that you are less focused, such as packaging a painting for delivery.
At the end of the day ask yourself, “How could I have done that quicker and better?” By thinking about your day, you will be able to come up with different plans to make your days more productive.
It is Ok to Say No
Some people have a hard time saying “NO.” I feel their pain. I am one of those people.
I was taught at a very young age never to lose an opportunity, by my father and grandfather who owned several businesses. This might have been good advice in some ways and maybe wrong in other respects.
I found myself working over a hundred hours a week when I was operating my first hand painted sign business. I never lost an opportunity, but I did lose valuable sleep.
Now I operate a commissioned graphite drawing business with a waiting list for up to eighteen months, an artist business coaching company (Nevue Fine Art Marketing) and I still teach guitar five days a week. I do all of this while working fewer hours, by being able to say, “no.”
I can now say no to tasks that will not benefit my businesses in a positive way. It is not easy, but I have learned how to do it. You can too.
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?
Vision the End
One way that I keep focused on what I need to do during the day is by visualizing the end.
I ask my wife every day, “What are we doing tonight?” Most nights are watching a show that we like.
I already know the answer that she is going to give me, but when I hear the answer, it provides me with a goal and a reason to get everything done. (I am grateful she is patient with me!)
I think about her reply throughout the day, and it pushes me to get everything done. I look forward to accomplishing everything, so I can put my feet up and have an enjoyable evening with her.
You need to have a vision of your end. If you cannot visualize the end, the end will never come. Trust me. I know through experience. Think about what you have waiting for you once you have completed everything. It could be as simple as watching your favorite show. It does not matter what it is if you have something to look forward to.
If you want to be more productive with your time, you need to schedule time throughout the week to learn new things. Things are constantly changing. If you do not believe me, try to stay ahead of all the changes Facebook makes. You need to keep learning and be willing to learn.
I have met so many stubborn people who go nowhere just because they are not willing to try or learn new things. They are stuck in a rut. If they do not accept change, they will have to accept where they are.
If you want more sales and revenue and you would like to be more productive with your days, spend time learning and trying new ideas. You will save a ton of time learning through other people’s experience rather than being the guinea pig. What could take you a year to learn could be learned in a few hours. Think about that. Would you rather waste a year of your life or just a few hours?
There is a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips. I try to make learning easy for you. I send an email every Friday with the week’s art marketing article so you can keep up to date with new marketing strategies. Sign up for my free newsletter if you have not already. Take advantage of this. It will save you a ton of time in the long run.
A great way for you to save time is by organizing your resources. Everything should have a home and a place.
If you keep your supplies organized, you will know when it is time to order more. Doing this saves you money because you will not be purchasing items you already have. It will also save you time because you will not have to stop what you’re doing to run out to a store because you ran out of supplies.
Organize your shipping materials. When it is time to package an item you sold, you will not have to waste time searching for supplies that 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. When you need an answer for an important question, you will be able to do so quickly without digging and searching.
There are many ways that you can become organized, and there is no one best way. You will need to find what works best for you and start implementing it. So much time is wasted by looking for things. If everything has a home, you will always know where to find what you are looking for.
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 that you will want to reach. You want to 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. The more you do something, the quicker and more efficient you will become. Instead of always starting over and being stuck in the learning stage, master what you have. When you know a tool inside and out, you will become aware of anything else you will need to make your job easier.
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 you are on the computer writing an article, do not visit your favorite social media site. You can do that at a later time.
When you are 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 of your notifications off on your smartphone when you are 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 on or radio, turn them off.
Tell people in the house that you are going to 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 getting rid of unnecessary distractions.
If you want something different you need to create change. Take control and become more productive with your time. Tackle one area at a time.
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