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? If you do not know where you are going or why, you are going to stay stuck. Think about a time when you knew what you needed to do and how the work just fell into place. Perhaps when you were headed on vacation and you had to tackle everything before you left. Isn’t it amazing how you do it all? That is because you are clear on your tasks. This example may be a smaller picture, but the concept is the same. For you to move forward in your business, you have to know what the big picture is. What your why is. Trust me that the time you spend doing this will pay off in the future.
If that is the strategy, what are the tactics?
First, schedule time to actually figure out the big picture. I am a proponent of time blocking, so schedule time to regularly think about your future. I can hear you now, you have too much work to do that you cannot take time for that. That is why you have too much work; you have never taken the time to really figure out if what is on your plate is what should be on your plate. So set aside time to get clear on where you are going and why.
Still stuck? Try creating a vision board, keeping a journal, starting a gratitude practice, spending time just “being,” and brainstorming about everything that you want to do, be, and/or have and look for connections.
Step two is setting goals now that you know where you are going. Your goals should have some element of SMART to them — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-driven — so you can track them.
Your goals must be your goals. There are people everywhere who let someone else define their goals, either consciously or unconsciously. If you let someone else define your goal, you are setting yourself up for self-sabotage at the beginning. So stop worrying about what others will think and create your own definition of success.
Your goals need to be meaningful to you. As you write the goals, ask yourself, What is really important to me? What is the purpose of doing this?
Step three is taking action. Sounds easy, but this is where some people get stopped by procrastination, overwhelm, perfectionism, self-doubt and anylsis-paralysis. Here are a few tips to get behind that:
• Play the 10-10-10 game. My neighbor shared this one with me. When faced with a decision, she asks if it will matter in 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years. By evaluating the long-term ramifications of something, you will make a better decision, or again at least know why you are making the decision. This should help move you forward
• Aim for good enough. I have two signs in my office. One says “Good enough is good enough.” The other says, “Progress, not perfection.” This is not license to slack off, it is license to finish.
• Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and get help. Learn how to delegate.
• Do it scared! So many of us get stopped because of our fears — fear of failing, fear of success, fear of being judged. Do you have any “love letters” from your fans. Get them out and read them if you need an extra push.
Step four is tracking your results. You set goals and you need to keep on top of them and make adjustments.
At the end of each day, look at what worked for you and make adjustments for the next day. Set an agenda with only three things to complete, focusing on MGAs and ROI. (Money-generating activities and Return on Investment). Weekly have a Success and Strategies Summit to review what you have accomplished, what you have learned, what you didnot get done, and what challenges you are facing. Then celebrate those successes.
Step five is accountability. Find a system to keep yourself accountable. It can be with a friend or family member. It can be an online diary system. It can be a formal program like our ICAP Creative Arts Profit Circles. This keeps you moving forward towards accomplishing your goals and your big vision.
– – – – – – – – – –
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE?
Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:
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.
WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLE LIKE THIS?
See the ICAP blog at http://www.creativeartsprofessionals.com/weblog/