A ton of artists have been coming to me lately saying that they feel overwhelmed. They’re committed and they want to make their art business work – but there are so many options and they just don’t know where to start.
Do you ever feel like that?
I think everyone does. I feel like that many days. That’s why I created an infographic just for artists, giving you a basic timeline so you can make sure you’re working on things in the right order.
But I don’t think that’s enough for most artists. I think we need more direction. And while I offer very specific direction, personalized to each business, in my one-on-one coaching, I can’t offer that here on the blog. What I can do though is help you with best practices – systems you can use to accomplish more so you move more quickly through the process of building your business.
So here is one of my favorite tricks to taming overwhelm:
Step 1 – Brain dump all the things you want to be doing in your business. Write everything down that comes to mind, whether it’s something you feel like you should be doing, something you’re already doing or have just started, or something you want to do in the future. Feel free to keep this list and add to it or cross things off as you develop in your business and change artistically as well.
Step 2 – Assess what is the most immediate area you need to be working on. The infographic I mentioned is a great starting point. Perhaps you haven’t thought about your target market and that needs to happen ASAP. Or maybe you have noticed you get a lot of website traffic but no one buys so you need to look at your website’s appearance, copy, and even your pricing to help convert visitors into customers.
Step 3 – Identify which tasks on your Big Brain Dump (BBD for short?) fall into this category and write them on a short list. Using index cards works really well if you’re a tactile learner.
Step 4 – If there is a most-pressing, time-sensitive task then do that one first. If there is a task that needs to be done before any of the others can be done, then do that one first instead. If not, pick the task that looks the easiest or the least daunting. Schedule it for tomorrow (or today if you can fit it in).
Step 5 – Once you’ve accomplished that first task and crossed it off your list, you’ll probably feel compelled to cross other things off your list. That short list will go fast if you keep focused on just this little list. Don’t pop around to your other areas you need to tackle. And only take on one task at a time.
Step 6 – When your whole short list is complete, take a moment to celebrate. It’s tempting to skip this step, but it’s really worth it because it totally motivates you to keep moving forward. And if you realize later that you should have celebrated and you’re lacking motivation, you no longer feel like you’re allowed to celebrate because the moment has passed. So just go ahead and take the time to treat yourself even if it’s just to some extra free time.
Step 7 – Of course, repeat! Go back to #2 and pick the next area to work on.
The key with this process is to not worry about the rest of the list, the BBD or the short list. Just deal with one thing at a time. You might even hang a white board next to your work space and write that one task really big each day. That way you can’t get distracted by the rest of those lists and end up not making much progress on anything!