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Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Business Chat - Forests and trees

Oh boy! After a break of a couple of months I'm back in my studio making jewelry! I have so many new ideas! Craft show season starts in 3 weeks, I want a new booth and some new displays, I have so many new ideas! I've been rethinking my web presence and I came up with a brilliant (sheer brilliance I tell you) new strategy. So many ideas!

I'll get to them just as soon as I've cleaned the car, finished the spare room rearranging, run my errands (40 km drive to the other side of town) and hosted that dinner party that seemed like a good idea at the time and taken care of the thousand other commitments that I call my life.

Do you see a pattern here?

If only I could live on 2 hours sleep a night, if only I had a second head, if only I could clone myself, then I'd get everything done and have a wildly successful business. How many times a day do we say this?

Reality check here. If you're waiting to clone yourself before getting to these tasks that will lead to a wildly successful busiess I have news for you.

Ain't happening.

So what's a brilliant creative person to do when there's 8 projects rattling around in your head and you have a job and your kids are off school for the week?

There is a whole industry of people/companies who will teach/tell you how to accomplish everything on your list before lunch. I've looked at a few of them and all I got out of them was another item on my to do list - learn the productivity system.

There is no magic bullet that is going to stretch your 24 hours a day into 36. Everyone works differently, what motivates me may not work for you. However you have to start somewhere so I'm sharing what works for me.

  1. Write down all your projects. I put each project on it's own piece of paper with the name of the project on the top (for example Website). This can be done on a computer or as hard copy. I like handwriting on paper because I can spread them all out and see everything at once. I think of the whole thing as the forest and each item on the paper as a tree. Now I can see the forest and the trees.
  2. Break each project down into tasks. You aren't going to do a whole website, you're going to do little steps to create that website. List each tiny step.
  3. What's the next task in each project that has to be done to move the project forward.
  4. When you have 15 minutes free time in your day, do that one task.
It's hard balancing your life and trying to get a small business going. Add in family, kids and a jog and building a website seems overwhelming. There isn't time to build a whole website. However there is always time to do one small task like buy your domain name or read the fee structure on etsy.

No matter how busy you are you can find 15 minutes in a day. Everyday do one small thing, tackle that next tree and soon you'll have a forest.

Here's your homework. What's the next task on your list? Do it.


Gail said...

Just to let you know I read your blog all the time but I am not good at leaving comments. This time however I have to let you know how great I think your suggestion is. I'm going to do it! And I think I'll pick up a cheapie photo album to keep the project theme index size cards in - then I can thumb through the projects and update as necessary. Please keep us posted about the bead craft shows. I just started jewellry making and unfortunately it is addictive.

Annie said...

Thanks for the kick in the pants!! I was going to watch random tv tonight, but instead I am going to knock something off my (in my head) to do list!
Gail - what a great idea of keeping ideas on index cards... Won't take up too much space still would be able to see the big picture...
I love these posts!

sailorgirl said...

Gail, love the index card idea! And yes, sigh, beads and glass are highly addictive. That's why I'm here to help. At some point you have to sell your creations to pay for more beads and glass. It's a vicious circle, and I love it.