September 1, 2020 • Newsletter
Time Management Rules to Break
September is a month of transition, especially for educators and learners, and especially this year. Transitional moments are always good moments to start new habits. (Who among us hasn’t bought fresh school supplies—or the adult equivalent—and optimistically planned to use them to become our best selves?)
With that in mind, let’s talk about your time, specifically the time management “rules” it is okay to break. (Hint: It is all of them. You know you best.)
First, you need to know where your time goes. Transitions can cause chaos, so maybe take a moment to track your time for a week. There are plenty of apps you can use (Harvest, Toggl, and Rescue Time are all good), or you can use a journal, or a calendar, or your best guess. But start with the data. Where does your time go?
Then, you can decide where you actually want it to go.
How much time do you want to spend creating each week? Be realistic here. The circumstances of your life aren’t going to magically change this month. You will still have the same responsibilities and the same human needs.
So within those constraints, how much time do you want to spend creating each week? Write the number down (maybe in one of those brand-new planners) and check in with it to see how you’re doing. Forgive yourself if you fall short, and pay attention to when you create best (First thing in the morning? Later in the evening? On a dedicated day?).
How much time do you want to spend on the business side of your creativity each week? Again, be realistic. Your website won’t update itself and those grant applications you’ve been meaning to finish won’t complete themselves.
Figuring out the details of a new stimulus plan (if there is a new stimulus plan) will take some time, and that time has to come from somewhere. Revising your pricing strategy involves some customer and competition research, and that takes time. Paying your quarterly taxes this month takes time.
How much time are you willing to invest working on your creative business, rather than in your creative business? Write that number down too.
How much time you are spending on your other responsibilities? You have other responsibilities; I know you do. Each person’s responsibilities differ, so figure out the number for you. Maybe you are helping kiddos with homeschool assignments. Maybe you are caring for neighbors or elderly relatives. Maybe you are cleaning your home or shopping for groceries or walking your dog. Maybe you have another job. And another one after that. There is value in these hours. These hours remind us of the bigger world and our contributions to it. Count those hours.
Lastly (and it’s always last, isn’t it?) how much time are you spending on yourself each week? Make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can create great work, run a sustainable business, and support those around you. You’ll need sleep, food, exercise, some time for reflection, and some time among friends. Don’t skimp on these hours, especially as your responsibilities add up. Caring for yourself puts you in a position to make your best work and run your best business.
It’s okay if there is a disconnect between where your time actually goes and where you want it to go. The disconnect isn’t the problem. You get to decide what to do with the disconnect, and having a few targets (for example, planning to spend 12 hours a week in your studio and three hours a week on the business side of your business) is a great start to move in the direction you’d like to go.
Jot down your target hours in each category, then hang this up on your mirror, in your kitchen, or somewhere else where you’ll see it regularly.
What We’re Doing
It’s a busy month! Elaine will be joining the team from the Tamarack Foundation for a series of financial workshops beginning on September 16. She’ll also be spending time with fellows from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, providing one-on-one coaching for them as they continue to thrive. Then, on September 23, Elaine will join the team from Creative Capital for some financial updates.
What We’re Talking About
Lately we’ve been doing a lot of crisis management work, budgeting for various scenarios. If you need some support doing your own math right now, feel free to get in touch.
Creative Coaching (1 hour, $110)
Got a few questions? Not sure what you need? Feeling stuck financially? Book a Creative Coaching session with Elaine to jumpstart your financial wellness.
Still want more? Here are some other resources you may find helpful this month.
- Book a One-on-One Chat with Elaine Zoom
- Greater Columbus Arts Council
- Austin Kleon’s Weekly Newsletter
- Professional Artist Magazine
- Fractured Atlas
- Creative Capital
- Creative Babes
- Clark Hulings Fund
- Ohio Arts Council
- Brass Taxes
- Art MBA
For Art Managers
- Book a One-on-One Chat with Elaine
- Counting on Charity
- Blue Avocado
- New York Foundation for the Arts
- DeVos Institute for Arts Management
- SMU’s National Center for Arts Research
- OSU’s Barnett Center for Integrated Arts Enterprise
- Nonprofit with Balls
- The Foundation Center
- Artists Thrive (Tremaine)
Time Management Rules to Break
We hope this month leads you to harness the power of your time. Until next month, all the best with your financial empowerment.