First things first, if you want to reach your goals you will need to find ways to master your time. This week’s blog post outlines ways to better track and utilize your time.
Goal Setting: Spend time setting goals and figuring out what you really want to accomplish. Having very specific goals and focused projects will help you save time. If you want to write a book you are probably not going to get very far and waste a lot of time trying to get ideas, feel inspired or trying to find the perfect time. But if you set a goal of writing 2,000 words per day then have something to track and you need to get going. Generalities waste time, specifics make things happen.
Evening Preparation: Planning out the next day’s priorities and schedule can be an effective way to make sure your tasks get complete. Review your calendar and to-do list before bed so when you wake up, you know what needs to tackle when you wake up.
Make Time Clock & App – This is an actual time tracking device. Its a studio clock that will track your creative time in your studio. You can download and sync it to an app to see how much weekly time you are devoting to your creative projects.
Pomodoro Technique: Set a timer for 25 minutes (called a Pomodoro – or tomato in Italian) and work in a consistent focused pace. If you get distracted or stop your task, you must restart your task. After your timer goes off, take a 5 minute break. You have completed one Pomodoro.
Once you get the hang of this technique you can plan out how many Pomodoros it will take to get tasks complete. The need to stay focused will also help with productivity and completion of projects. Research this technique a bit more if this sounds intriguing, there is a ton of information on the web.
Best Self Journal- this is a project planner, scheduler and Pomodoro tracker all in one. Its undated so you can start using it at any time. Its also focused on your goals and projects being complete in a specific amount of time. This calendar tool will make this happen when you use it.
Just Start: Sometimes just starting saves the most time. You can’t anticipate, plan or think about every problem you will have to solve with your projects and goals. Oftentimes, we try to over plan before we even take a step forward. Starting will also help motivate you to continue, remember and object in motion stays in motion. Just beginning and making consistent steps forward will help save time and reach your goals.
End with Bad Stopping Point: If you stop your project at a good place to rest, your all cleaned up, and everything feels temporarily complete, its going to be hard to start up again. Stop at a point of your project that feels incomplete so when you return to your project, you know exactly where to pick it up again.
Somebody has Already Solved Your Issue: The challenges and problems you are trying to solve have been solved before by others. There are tons of free online resources and e-books. Use sermons else ideas or systems to save time and create a system that gives you more efficiency.
Ask for Help: Use others around you to help. This can look like multiple forms of assistance: someone to talk to when feeling overwhelmed, someone to help a bit of woodworking that you can’t do on our own, someone managing your social media. Reach out and get help when you need it and consider paying for areas of your art career where you lack skills or confidence so you can spend more time making art.