Four Tips on Managing Your Creative Time
Rule No. 1: You are NEVER going to get it all done. Let’s face it: our to-do lists are longer than a country mile. We want to do this, buy this, make that, design this, research that, tweak this. Unless you’re super-human (you aren’t, are you?) you need to face the cold, hard fact that you just CANNOT get it all done. And you know what? That’s okay. Really. It is.
How to Cope with Rule No. 1: Keep a list of all the things you want to do – someday. David Allen calls it a someday/maybe list. It’s simply a list of anything and everything you might want to do someday. Here are some ideas:
- Visit the Congo
- Start a podcast
- Sell the house and move to the mountains
- Learn to play the oboe
- Completely re-vamp the basement into the ultra-sewing/painting/pottery studio
- Create a new website
Add your someday/maybe list to your daily planner system. As you think of things you would like to do, jot them down. It’s not that they are bad ideas or things you shouldn’t even consider, it’s just that right now may not be the time to make them happen. Review your list each week. Breathe! It’s okay.
Rule No. 2: Decide What You Need to Get Done Today. At the beginning of your day, perhaps over breakfast and/or a cup of early-morning coffee, decide what MUST get done today. Your life requires that certain things get done TODAY. You need to know what those tasks are.
How to Cope with Rule No. 2: Keep your list(s) with you at all times. Whether you are a pencil-and-paper kind of person or an electronic geek, it’s important that you have access to your to-do list and calendar at any given moment. The awesome grocery-shopping list you made this morning is only helpful if you have it when you’re – at the grocery store. Get it? I suggest your planning system be small enough to easily carry with you or tuck into your purse, tote bag, backpack, etc. Those letter-sized units are impressive and give you lots of room to write, but they are not practical for lugging around.
Experiment with different systems until you find the one you love. If you don’t love it, you won’t use it. You’ll have to trust me on this one. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Honestly, a short stack of 3×5 ruled index cards held together with a binder clip is an awesome little system.
Rule No. 3: Etsy, creating, designing, taking photos, blogging, etc., are parts of your life. They should not consume you. You don’t want to become one of the walking dead, do you? I didn’t think so.
How to Cope with Rule No. 3: Determine a schedule or boundaries for your Etsy business. If you’re like most of us, you have a full-time job and a family to manage. It gets overwhelming sometimes. You don’t want things to get so bad that ‘burnout’ knocks at your door. Refer to Rule No. 1 above.
Find ways to squeeze in a few minutes here or there to work on your business. You may find 15 minutes during your lunch hour when you can sketch out a new product design or an idea you want to try on your blog or shop’s site. It may not be a solution for you, but if you can wake up an extra thirty minutes, you may find that you can get a lot done before your ‘real’ day gets started. Burning the midnight oil, on occasion is certainly another option; however, staying up night after night is not a healthy choice.
Plot out your “Etsy time” for the week and try to stick to the schedule. Of course, you may need to renegotiate with yourself (and your partner) every now and again. Life is crazy and it’s not always possible to stick to your original plan. Remain flexible.
Rule No. 4.: Social media is an important facet of your business. It’s not a matter of IF you participate in social media circles, it’s a matter of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc.) and frequency. It gets tricky. You want to have a strong presence, but you don’t want to be a spammer.
How to Cope with Rule No. 4: Devise a strategy that will give you the most bang for your buck. Perhaps better-said, it’s about “getting the most visibility for your click”. Fear not: We have you covered with our Creative Social Media Academy! Check out the details below