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Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

Let’s take 15!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

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’ve written about “you management” as opposed to “time management” in the past. 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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Eliminating energy zappers

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

The topic of tolerations seems to come up every once in a while with my clients. It also comes up in my own life.

Tolerations could more accurately 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?



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7 Ways to Get More Work Done This Summer

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

We are about halfway through the summer. Are you doing anything special during your summer vacation?

I’m spending lots of extra time at our home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I also reading much more than usual and trying to find more time to art.

Even with those fun elements, it’s important not to adopt a vacation mindset when it comes to your business. A lot of people do that. You can take advantage of the slow time and make a difference in your business.

One of the things I’ve tried to work on for the last few years is working smarter and using my time more efficiently. The key to that is knowing how I am working currently. Here are some tips I have been using to put the sizzle back in my creative arts business.

Track how you spend your time.

At the end of each day and at the end of each week compare the percentage of your time used toward fulfilling your mission and achieving your goals with time spent elsewhere. It is easy to get sidetracked and not pay attention to the task at hand. It is also easy to do the effortless work and not really tackle what you should be getting done.

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

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
do-it-first-itis

Does this sound familiar?

You are headed to the office or studio, only you pass through the kitchen and see the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Well, it won’t take that long. You do it first and just get it done.

Now you are back on track headed to the office or studio only you are now  distracted by the stack of laundry as you pass by the washer. Well, let’s just throw that one load in. You decide it will only take a minute or two.

You pause to 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.

Finally you’ve made it to your studio and are ready to get to work. Wait, you decide to quickly check your email. Oh, some of these look really quick to answer. So you decide to 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”?
Any chance this problem crops up more than one day a week?



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Are You Whelmed?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

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Avoid the Comparison Trap

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Comparison Trap

Do you ever get that sinking feeling when you look around and start to compare yourself to others — their art or their business success?

You start to think that no one will every want what you have.

And, then you start to believe the one or two people who have ever commented negatively on your work.

And, then the spiral starts. Really, who are you to do this anyway?

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8 creative biz lessons I learned from basketball

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

As I watched the Final Four Tournament on Saturday, I was thinking about what basketball and the professional creative arts have something in common. Is it any surprise my mind would go to art when I’m watching sports?

Passion

This is the obvious. These kids love basketball, and for them it is their art. What you pay attention to grows.

Just as the college athletes pay attention to basketball and their skills and love of the game increase, your skill level in your art increases with increased attention. Your knowledge and love of the art grows as you look at more art, go to more galleries, take more classes. And, your skill level at marketing, and your passion at marketing, also increases proportionately to the effort you put into it.

How much effort are you putting into growing your business?

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Do You Suffer From Smorgasbord Syndrome?

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Someone recently shared in our Members’ Studio that she was trying to tackle too many tasks in one day. She added that she tended to overestimate her available time. That meant she was moving uncompleted tasks from one day into the next day’s list. The end result was making new lists and wasting time and energy. She was not alone with this confession, confusion, and remorse.

I refer to this as the “Smorgasbord Syndrome.”

As a child, I can remember my parents saying that my eyes were bigger than my stomach when we had big family celebrations. I didn’t want to miss out on anything that might be good. And, of course, even though I probably left little room for dessert, I didn’t want to miss out on any of those, so I added more to my plate when dessert rolled around. You can guess that I probably had my share of stomach aches.

It’s easy to see how this approach translates into your life and business.

You think you have more time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. You keep saying, “yes, pile more on my plate.” Whether you say that to someone who asks you to do something or just to yourself, the end result is the same. Your life and/or business plate is overflowing.

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Get Off Your But!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

getoffyourbut

Some time ago I read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink. It’s a good read about why right-brainers will rule the future.

The future, really today, is the “conceptual age.” Pink discusses the “six senses” that one uses to build a whole new mind to thrive in this conceptual age: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. While I do not necessarily subscribe to his premise in total – I believe we need to engage both parts of our brain – he offers lots of great exercises to get your right brain working. And even though many artists are right-brained, you will find the exercises fun and expanding.

Onto ifs, ands, & buts. In his discussion on meaning, one of Pink’s suggestions for creating more meaning in your life is to replace the word “but” with “and.”

He says that “buts” can create roadblocks for creating more meaning in your life and suggests creating a list of what you are trying to accomplish and what is in your way.

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Start with Intention

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

It’s the start of a New Year. Maybe you spent time creating goals. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you selected a word of the year or theme to guide you. Maybe you didn’t.

Setting goals and choosing a word to provide focus matter. But what matters even more is that you start each day with intention.

If you look at Webster’s, you can find six definitions for intention. A popular one would be “what one intends to do or bring about.” I prefer the definition that says “a determination to act in a certain way” or “resolve.”

You might even think of intention as the bridge between your words (your goals or theme) and your actions.



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