I realize that not everybody loves arts entrepreneurship and business development as much as I do, in fact, I frequently hear from artists that they struggle the most with this area of being an artist because they would rather be in the studio. Sometimes difficult or challenging art business tasks can also cause artists to push off necessary tasks. With a little creative time management, you can fit more arts business tasks into your schedule while still protecting your creative time.
Below are 5 time management strategies to fit a little bit more arts business or creative entrepreneurship tasks into your schedule so you can still make art while bringing in income.
1. Block Scheduling
This time strategy is my favorite way to schedule my day, and can work for anyone, not just artists and entrepreneurs. I map out my day in chunks of time. In these time slots, certain groups or categories of tasks are accomplished during each block. When the block is up, it’s time to move on. Block scheduling keeps you consistently moving forward to get tasks done. For example in a “morning block” you may have 2 hours set aside to:
- Make your bed
- Perk some coffee and make breakfast
- Take a look at your schedule
- Exercise or meditate for 30 minutes
- Feed the cat
- Get the kids off to school
- Check you email inbox
You can apply the time blocking technique to your artwork and administration tasks. For example, you can create a studio time. If arts business tasks are more difficult for you maybe you give it 30 minutes daily to tackle an Instagram post, respond to a client, and write up an invoice. Then spend the rest of the time making art and getting inspired.
Timers are a great way to prevent wasted time. Spend too much time cleaning the house and trying to get to the studio. Set a half hour to clean and get the necessary tasks done. Then, once the timer goes off, get in the studio! Stop letting life get in the way of art-making.
Timers can also be used in the studio. Set a timer and get to work. Once the timer goes off, time to hit pause on the art-making and take a few snapshots. You can then use these shots as marketing.
You can also set timers when you have a task you have been procrastinating. You don’t need a huge span of time to do it. Need to sign a bunch of prints? Trim your pottery bowl? Set 20 minutes and knock some of the tasks you have been putting off and see what gets accomplished.
I love batching! Batching is when you sit down and do the same task repetitively to get some momentum. Take a task that has many steps and break it down. Then take one of those steps and repeat it over and over again.
Blogging is a great example to illustrate how to batch.
To blog, I write the post, determine tags, find photos or take pictures, write up social media posts, etc. If I were to write up a blog post from start to finish, this can easily take 3 hours or more. By doing one of these tasks in groups, I make more progress. Instead of going from start to finish, I spend an afternoon writing out 5 blog posts. Maybe the following day, I find photos for all of the posts. See what creative tasks you can do, both artistically and entrepreneurial where you can apply batching.
Also, note that batching doesn’t mean you have to schedule hours upon hours of doing that same task either. Batching also can fit into a block schedule. Part of your art block can be batching a task.
4. Monday Meeting Sheet
Something I designed with you in mind is the Monday meeting sheet. This is a freebie I have for you too. Take it, use it, and adapt it to your needs. Basically it’s 30 mins to an hour meeting with your boss-self! Sit down and take a weekly business check in with yourself to see how you are doing. It asks you to check your finances, track social media growth, and identify new or missed opportunities. It’s the perfect way to start the week so you keep organized the remaining days. It’s also a great way to track larger goals or projects too.
5. Just knock it out
Sometimes you just need to put your entrepreneurial foot down and knock out a task or project. Time to revamp the website? Need to take inventory of your prints? Time to organize your archive?
Hunker down, make a doable plan for tackling your task, and knock it out so you don’t have it taking up space in your mind. Stop putting it off and get in on the calendar. Get it done!