There Isn’t Time – Or Is There?
How are you finding your art business time management? I have been struggling with what is probably a very familiar feeling to most of you – there just isn’t enough time! There wasn’t enough time to post about everything I wanted to post about in the run up to Christmas. I didn’t have enough time to provide as much support to customers as I wanted. There wasn’t enough time to take time off and do all those festive preparations. I didn’t have enough time for all the necessary admin and so on.
The net result was an exhausting run up to Christmas. I had a feeling of letting people down, letting myself down, lost opportunities. It wasn’t for the lack of effort. I worked my socks off (probably another familiar feeling to most of you)! But at the end of it all I asked myself the question – but was there really time? The more I thought about it I realised that there was. Where it went wrong was I tried to find that time in the wrong places and prioritorised the wrong things. You maybe saw my post ‘Christmas begins in August‘. But how many of you remember I didn’t post that until September – I was already running late! I should have had my posts ready in August ahead of time. That would have allowed me to get much more material in in the run up to Christmas.
Why Should You Think About This Now?
OK there was an element of having to do more paid work in the weeks coming up to Christmas. My blogging was very much unfinanced at this point so that did have an affect. Despite my best intentions for planning ahead I couldn’t move as quick as I wanted. I couldn’t create enough of the material I needed and I ran into Christmas exhausted and to be perfectly honest feeling a little defeated!
So why am I telling you this? Well January is the perfect month for those New Year resolutions and planning the year ahead for your business. I learnt many lessons last year and now after the Christmas break I want to plan better. I want to achieve more this year and make my business much more successful. Anybody else feel like that too?
Could A Business Planner Help?
So how am I going to achieve that? Well this year I hope to use a lot of ideas and strategies I have come across in recent months that talk about setting strategic goals and breaking them down into manageable steps, daily tasks and tracking progress, getting ahead of key dates and ensuring I plan realistically rather than too optimistically.
Just before Christmas The Design Trust came up on my radar and particularly their Design Trust 2020 Diary Planner. I read some of the blurb then thought it would be a good idea to purchase one for my printmaker partner Lucy Gell to help her with her printmaking art business. One morning after Christmas when she wasn’t looking I had a read through it myself and loved it! The Design Trust have pulled so much together into their planner. Its not just a standard planner it is totally aimed at independent businesses such as artists, makers and photographers.
Breaking Things Down Into Manageable Steps
The Design Trust have explained so many things that I have read or heard about elsewhere about setting goals, breaking them down into steps, planning daily tasks, tracking, reviewing and so on. They have highlighted really helpful time management techniques you can use to make yourself more productive and brought it all together into a single handy tool you can carry around with you. They even back it all up with some online sessions that I am looking forward to looking at with Lucy. I love their explanations about ‘Juicy Projects‘ and the phycological reasons why 90 days is the best time frame for these and why you should only set one ‘juicy project’ at a time. Great advice that really makes sense. They sum it up nicely with the slogan ‘From dreams to actions to done‘!
So my advice to you today to improve your art business time management – take stock and review last year so that you can make some serious plans to make this an even better year. There is no single one best solution to that but if you are scratching your head at this point about how you can best do that do consider getting hold of a Design Trust 2020 Diary Planner. You could potentially learn a great deal if you use it as intended through the whole of 2020.
This isn’t the only planner available though. I recently came across one from The Makers Business Toolkit too. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get my hands on one of those so I cannot give you many details other than it has similar objectives but with a downloadable PDF option it might be more affordable for some. Then there are other planners purely for social media for example that I will cover at some point in the future. Some planners like these also provide online support but if you prefer face to face and a personal touch why not seek out a local business planning workshop such as the one at @the_derbyshire_makers here in Derbyshire to help you focus on your plan for the coming year.
I have a feeling as we move through the year I will keep coming back to planning and these planners and how they can help you steer your business forward and keep on track. They mention many areas that I have plans to do much more detailed blog posts on so I can see a lot of crossover coming in the future. Are you using a planner to help with your art business time management? If so I would love to hear what you are using and what difference it makes in your business?