A few months ago I got a text from my neighbor Julie inviting me to a party. Great, I thought, parties are fun. But, as I read on I realized that it was one of those direct marketing home parties Tupperware style. Does anyone else remember their mom’s hosting Tupperware? I’m pretty sure there is a big green Tupperware bowl still hanging out at the house from my childhood days.
Julie signed onto this cleaning company that sells chemical-free products that minimize the chemicals in your home. She asked if I would come to her debut party, and because Julie is awesome, I agreed…begrudgingly.
The night of the party only myself and another friend showed up, so there was no hiding in the back of the dining room. I was front and center and got to scrub, spritz and polish my little heart out that evening. I even won the prize…a magical little purple sponge that cleans your dishes without letting food get trapped inside.
I ordered the “this cleans the whole kitchen" package and went home with my new sponge.
A few weeks later a box showed up on my doorstep filled with my new cleaning supplies, I reacquainted myself with the directions and put them out on my counter near the sink. And then I started using the stuff. And I started seeing how easy it was to keep my sink clean with the proper products right there. Now, when I walk into my kitchen and I see a clean sink and shiny countertops, it makes me feel good which frees up mental space for me to do the things that are really important. Like, make art.
So the question is, how can we apply this same principal to the other things that are getting in the way of what’s most important in our lives and businesses?
If you ever feel like you have so much going on that you can’t get anything done, then you should read on. If you’ve filled your day working on something low priority at the expense of something that needed to get done…read on. If you just want to feel like you are in control of your schedule…read on.
This is the first part of a series that is designed to help you identify areas in you life and your businesses that are getting in the way of you accomplishing the important stuff, and also really understanding what that important stuff is so you can schedule time for that. This is more than just tips on saving time. We’ll talk about strategies and create a system to make sure that all the things get done that need to.
Now is the perfect time to start. The County Studio Tour is ten weeks away. You have exactly 127 other important things going on in your business that also need attention as we approach the Chester County Studio Tour weekend. Let’s find some time in our weeks to get all the things done and free up space to enjoy the things we love, because isn’t that why we work so hard in the first place?
L E T ' S B E G I N
Grab your favorite pen…bonus points if it's got glitter. ✨
Grab a notebook. I swear by Leuchtturm1917 Dot Style…but any ol’ paper will do.
Find a place to sit that you feel productive in. Coffee shop, kitchen table, study, studio, front porch…and turn off all the distractions.
This goal with the next step is to download all the things swimming around in your brain taking up bandwidth. When you are done with this, you will experience clarity and lightness and a sense of direction and energy to go with it.
So, it needs to be said…don’t skip this step. Don’t.skip.this.step.
Grab you notebook and glitter pen✨ and start writing down all the things that you need to accomplish this week in your business. Don’t edit yourself. If you have things that need to happen but are due at a later date, you can write down those things too.
the big stuff (ROCKS) (making artwork, meetings with clients)
the smaller stuff (PEBBLES) (sending email to clients, framing your work)
and all the other stuff (SAND) (social media, logging expenses, documenting artwork).
Pull up your calendar and take a look at what’s already scheduled. Write these things down on your list. Keep going until you can’t think of anything else.
Next thing is to time block you’re week and assign everything that needs to get done.
Go through your list and identify if the item is a Rock (Priority), a Pebble (Growth Producing Activity) or Sand (Admin/Maintenance)
Either on a sheet of paper, in your notebook or in your google calendar, begin with the Rocks and assign them to your week. If you are working on a commission that needs to be completed by Friday, ask yourself how many hours are left and schedule the time in your week to finish it.
Next, schedule the Pebbles using the same process.
And then the sand.
For those tasks that fall outside of the week, put them onto a list for future reference or go ahead and pop them in your calendar to address in the future. The goal is to get them out of your head.
⭐︎Pro Tip 1: Tasks always takes more time than you think it will. Add additional time onto your biggest tasks.
⭐︎Pro Tip 2: Batching similar tasks is a huge time saver. What tasks can be batched together? Can you spend time writing content for all of your social media posts in one sitting and schedule them out?
⭐︎Pro Tip 3: When are you most productive making your artwork? Pay attention and schedule your tasks accordingly.
Keep these lists somewhere that you can reference later as we create more time saving processes around your week.
That’s it! You now have your week ready to go. As you work through this week, pay attention to how long things actually took, what tasks you forgot to schedule, what you didn't get to, and how you were feeling as you moved through your schedule. It will help you make tweaks moving forward and you’ll soon have tools to help you manage the problem areas (like my kitchen sink).