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Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Move the Needle in Your Creative Arts Business

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

For many of us, moving the needle may have different connotations, especially since so many who read this blog sew. Today I want to talk about moving the needle forward in your business. All of us get stuck. Sometimes it’s just a simple tweak that can get the machine moving again. Sometimes it is something bigger that you need to do to move your business to the next level. Here are nine ways that will help get you moving and bring in cash to your business:

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Let’s take 15!

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

 

Do you ever look at what others have accomplished and think you can’t possibly do that? We all have that comparison gremlin to contend with. Do you then fall back on your standard excuse? I just don’t have time!

I’m going to challenge you on that.

I wrote about “you management” as opposed to “time management” a few weeks back. Today I want to share a simple concept that might make a difference in your day.

Let’s call it Take 15.

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Small Steps to Success

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

 

It’s the start of a New Year. If you’re like most people, you are gung-ho to accomplish something this year.

If you’re like most people, that gung-ho-ness starts to wane. That’s why gym memberships sell out at the holidays, the gyms are packed in January, and then the regulars heave a sigh of relief when all the resolution-setters give up. Life sets in and you don’t have a plan to stay on track.

Resolution realities

According to the Marist Poll, of those who make a resolution for 2017, 68% said they kept at least part of their promise. And 44% of Americans are likely to make promises to themselves again for 2018. If you are a resolution maker, you want to keep up the tradition, it seems.

Last year, being a better person (16%) was followed by losing weight and exercising more (both at 10%). Seven percent resolved to spend less money, improve their health, or eat healthier. Forty-three percent mentioned another resolution.

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Eliminating energy zappers

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

 

The topic of tolerations seems to come up every once in a while with my clients. Tolerations could really be called “energy zappers.” They are those situations, problems or things that are really solvable, but that you let stay unattended. Those tolerations bug you on occasion, and you think they are just a nuisance.

What happens when you ignore them? Sure, you can put up with a few items, but most of us let the list grow. And, you start to compromise on those items. You know, maybe that stack of old magazines on the floor is not really that bad. The problem is that you start to desensitize yourself to all the good around you. And your energy gets zapped.

Admit your tolerations

So, how do you get control on those tolerations? First, admit you do actually have some! For starters, make a list of what you are tolerating. It shouldn’t be hard to come up with 20, perhaps more if you get started listing them. So set aside 15 minutes and start your list. You might even do this walking through your house or office. It might be the dead plant that you think will suddenly grow shoots. It might be the clutter you live with. It might be your kids’ socks that never seem to leave the family room floor. It might be the stack of library books you have got in the car you are meaning to take back. It might be something your spouse always says that you that you live with rather than create waves. It might be the dishes in the sink. Look at all areas of your life: your business, your home, your car, your environment, your habits and behavior, and the habits and behavior of those you interact with.

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Focus on the Three S’s in Success

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
You might know that I’m a word person. I love good writing, I worked as a journalist, and I love word games. I looked at the word “success” recently and thought about what the parts meant. Success has 3 S’s, and I decided that the keys to success are Self, Systems and Support.

How do you define success? Webster’s defines it as a favorable or desired outcome or the attainment of wealth, favor or eminence. The bottom line is that success relates to achieving goals. You set the goals and you determine whether or not you are successful. Here are some tips to help with your journey toward success.

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Do You Have a Don’t-Do List?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

It’s January. A New Year. Open to lots of possibilities.

I know you are as excited as I am about those possibilities and all that you are going to create this year. If your list is like mine or my clients, it’s lengthy. And you are excited about tackling all of it — right now. You want the rewards and the feeling of accomplishment. To do that you probably have lists of all the action steps and milestones for each goal. And you are ready to dive in.

Stop. Ask yourself what is standing in your way to accomplishing those goals in the time you want. I know we all sabotage ourselves with our mindset. I’m talking about more concrete, every day ways that stop us. Here are some examples. Checking Instagram about 10 times a day rather than sticking to your time block for your next design. Snacking on sugary treats when you get bored. Checking email every 15 minutes, or even more often. Not making time for self-care, including exercise, so you have energy when you need it. Can you imagine what you would accomplish if you didn’t have your smart phone sitting right next to your desk?

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Do You Have Gotta-Do-It-First-itis?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

do-it-first-itis

 

Can you picture yourself here?

* Headed to the office or studio passing through the kitchen only to see the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Well, it won’t take that long. Let’s do it first and just get it done.

* Back on track headed to the office or studio only to be distracted by the laundry basket. Well, let’s just throw that one load in. It will only take a minute or two.

* Looking at the messages that came in the night before. One was from a friend down the street. Well, what could she want? It’s just a quick phone call, and it will be out of the way.

* Now you are in your office and ready to get to work. Wait, let’s just check the email. Oh, some of these look really quick to answer. Let’s just do them first and get them out of the way.

Did you just lose half your day because you had what I’ve termed “gotta-do-it-first-itis”?

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The Myth of Multitasking

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

multitasking

As I came back to work this morning after a two-week vacation, I faced a mountain of things to do. Where to start? Maybe I could manage to do more than one task at a time. You know, answer email or scan Facebook while listening to an online class, or straighten the studio while making a phone call, or quickly check the calendar to see if an appointment is scheduled while in a phone conversation. Quite the picture, isn’t it?

Yes, I am talking about multitasking and it does not work! According to Harvard Business Review blogger Paul Atchley, studies show that multi-taskers are less efficient, perhaps by as much as 40%, than they think. He says that it takes an average of 15 minutes – and I have read numbers as high as 40 minutes – to reorient oneself to the main task. Wow – 15 minutes! Can you imagine how much time you waste on a daily basis trying to get back to the task at hand?

Many people dispute the fact that multi-tasking doesn’t work, citing their own experiences. Not true, as research shows again and again.

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5 Steps to Getting Your Work Done

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

5 Strategies to Get Your Work Done

Have you ever found yourself procrastinating, overwhelmed or just plain stuck when it comes to getting your work done. Last week I did a free webinar called “From To Do to Ta Da Done!” about how to get more — and the right — work done. I think of it as a simple five-step process. Of course, simple does not always make it easy.

Step one is all about clarity. Are you clear on the big picture?

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Start Where You Are

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Start Where You Are (1)

 

A couple of weeks ago, I started back at my yoga class. I have been practicing off and on for more than 10 years. I got a little sidetracked over the last year. When an email from Heather, the local yoga teacher, showed up in my in-box, I jumped on the chance to get back into my regular practice on a serious level.  I knew it would be a gift to myself, one that I really needed.

 

I love my yoga class and practice for a variety of reasons. We are a small group of women largely my age. We have fun in class — last week could have been called laughter yoga. (I love when the chickens peek in the window.) It is a low-key, no-stress zone. Plus the studio is on the street next to mine — no excuses for how long it takes to get there.

 

How did I fare in class? Well, my body just loved being back for a longer period of time, and I found that in the days after I felt more limber and alive. During class, one woman shared how the pose she had disliked a year ago had become her favorite with practice. We all like some poses better than ever — I still dislike pigeon pose and look for an alternative. One pose that we often do is triangle pose, shown in the photo above. I like revolved triangle pose because it is easy for me to get into an open position, though my hand does not always get to the floor. Not so for everyone, and we use blocks as props to help be more open. We had a further discussion on triangle pose and I shared that when I learned the pose, I was told to visualize my body between two panes of glass. Someone else shared her tip. Heather talked about how different people are able to hold poses for longer periods of time or in more revolved postures. It is about working with your body and doing what you can.

 

So what does this have to do with your creative arts business? Here are the lessons I took from the class.

  1. We all have different skills and abilities. Focus on what you can do at the present time and build on that.

 

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not about being as good as, or better than, someone else. In the end, your only real competition is yourself.

 

  1. We can all get to the end result via different means.

 

  1. You can only start in one place, where you are now, and grow from there.

What is stopping you from starting where you are?  I am very interested to hear about it. Why not share what those hinderances are to you in the comment section below or on our ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

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