Do you multitask like a mo’fo or get stuck when you settle down in front of the computer?  Either way, the advice is the same:

One thing at a time.

I’m not going to launch into another tired talk about time management.  Time management to me is almost a mythical entity, like a unicorn sipping from the Fountain of Youth or a rumored Mayan Apocalypse.

For most indie business owners and solopreneurs, you never know what’s going to get thrown at you from one day to the next.  Order fulfillment, customer inquiries, pounding the pavement for the next gig or approaching galleries for your next art show…It can get hectic.  That’s part of why we’ve embarked on our crazy adventure as a creative professional.  But, still.

One thing at a time.

So how can you keep moving forward without getting caught up or worse, not getting anything done at all?

  • Jot a quick list of your most immediate pressing matters.  Is your email overrun with items that need your attention?  Have you made a bunch of stuff but haven’t had the time to photograph them?  Make a list of your three “absolutelymustgetdone” items and set a goal to get ‘em knocked out before days’ end.  Let your time dictate what gets done. If you know you have to run out and do errands, pick a project or two that can be accomplished within your time constraints. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • You don’t have to take over the world in one day.  Take some pressure off of yourself.  If social media is the bane of your existence, don’t feel compelled to update a million accounts every day because you “have to”.  Instead, sit down with a calender and brainstorm ideas for the coming weeks.  If you are a photographer and know February is a big month for engagement photos, plan ahead for what you’ll pitch on your social marketing channels.  You’ll feel more in control of your content, and happier with the quality of what you produce.
  • Organize your thoughts.  But do it your way.  For me, Google Docs is awesome for keeping track of projects with it’s robust line of features that include color coding, tags, and ability to prioritize items.  I also use Boomerang, a free service for Gmail, that schedules e-mails to be sent later and reminds me to follow up on items I’ve already sent.  Sometimes I’ll use a draft e-mail in Gmail to jot down notes on a conversation I just had or an event I visited, and then Boomerang it back to follow-up accordingly.

Do today what you have the time, energy, and emotional capacity to handle.  Some days you’ll feel more social than others and other days you’d rather sit on Pinterest.  Use your natural rhythm and time availablity to dictate what gets done, one thing at a time.

Do today what you have the time, energy, and emotional capacity to handle.  Some days you’ll feel more social than others and other days you’d rather sit on Pinterest.  Use your natural rhythm and time availablity to dictate what gets done, one thing at a time.

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