Season 5 – epiBLOG 11:
Scheduling success. Yeah, you read that correctly. I know you must be thinking, “How do I put success into my schedule?”
Each working day as an entrepreneurial artist, your day should be planned. It should never just happen. When you don’t plan your day, you’re leaving yourself to be subject to whatever life throws at you. This method will not equate to the success that you’re seeking.
Today’s topic is on how to effectively plan your daily work schedule as an artist.
I know there are going to be those readers who are re-reading the preceding topic sentence and are thinking that artists work by inspiration, or whenever the mood strikes them to create. If you always wait until you’re in the mood to do something, very few things would ever get done efficiently.
Inspiration and epiphanies are wonderful. I’m not discounting those experiences. However, if you’ve chosen to be an entrepreneurial artist, you have to be intentional in what you’re doing by creating realistic and tangible goals, accompanied by realistic and tangible actions that you can integrate into your daily schedule in order to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.
Create your schedule with specific tasks the night before. In doing so, you’re going to have a clear idea of what your next day will look like. Tasks, or actions, are things that are specific and tangible. For example, if you’re a writer, one of your tasks for the day may be to complete a blog post for a client. Creating a schedule can liberate you from being “all over the place” with your workload. That doesn’t mean that everything will be perfect. Things will come up. Distractions will attempt to take you off track if you let them. However, you begin the day with an agenda in mind that keeps you from being “subject to whatever life throws at you” like I mentioned before. The schedule, or agenda, keeps you grounded and focused. So even when you get thrown off track momentarily, you’re able to redirect yourself based on what your plans are for the day. If you’re a full time entrepreneurial artist working from home, this will also empower you to say “no” to people who think you should be doing favors for them in the middle of your day. If you’re able to and it doesn’t interfere with your schedule, that’s up to you to do favors for others in the middle of your work day. However, if it causes you to not complete your actions for the day, a favor for someone else is interfering with you achieving your goals, and therefore, your ability to make a living as an artist. Don’t let them do that to you.
On the morning of, read over your schedule and ask yourself what are your intentions for the day behind accomplishing these tasks, or actions. As I said before, you want to be intentional. Sometimes my own intentions for my tasks are to contribute to others or to serve and support my clients. When I feel myself veering from those intentions, I revisit the intentions to draw myself back to why I’m doing what I’m doing in the first place. Maybe your intentions are to simply follow through and be in integrity. If you find yourself veering from those intentions because you don’t feel like completing a task that involves a client, revisiting your intentions for the day will be a nice reminder to keep you on course. Intentions are really “the why” behind what you’re doing. Your intention(s) for the day can simply be to complete your tasks. By all means, complete what you set out to finish.
Check off what you’ve accomplished as you accomplish them. This little tiny reward feeds into the part of the human brain that adores recognition for a job well-done. As you complete tasks, you build confidence and energy to do more.
Email or text your accountability partner to let them know what actions you were able to accomplish for the day. If you don’t have an accountability partner, I would suggest you get one. I’ve had one for almost two years. We email each other each night during the work week to list what we’ve accomplished for that day, as well as a list of what we plan to accomplish the next day. How you and your accountability partner decide to do this is up to you. The purpose of this type of partnership is to hold you accountable to another individual, while you hold the other person accountable as well.
Track your success at the end of the week, month, quarter, or all three time periods to make sure you’re on track for reaching the goal that you’ve set out to accomplish based on the actions that you’re taking during each work week. If you’re not getting any closer to those goals, you may want to take a step back to evaluate your situation. Sometimes the change may be something as simple as being consistent with reaching out to a certain number of people each day to build your network. Or it may be something as big as establishing, or re-establishing, your market segments. Maybe your business needs a business strategist like Shaun Cassidy. Evaluating your actions is important so that you aren’t wasting your time, or spinning your wheels, trying to figure something out.
Today’s LESSON is to create success by planning for it.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Begin tonight by creating a list of actions within a schedule to complete for tomorrow. This is an empowering and bold step for an entrepreneurial artist. I wish you all of the best with this. Of course, this assignment assumes you have career goals in place already. If you don’t, create realistic and tangible goals, and then create tasks (or actions) that would put you on track for accomplishing those goals.