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Let Time Be on Your Side....

by Alaina Alexander

When you don't have a firm hold on your schedule, then you are taking money out of your own pocket. If you are constantly struggling to make deadlines then closely examine the reason. Perhaps, you are engaging in one or more of the time wasting listed below:

Problem: Procrastination

Your deadline for a project is two days away and you haven't even started to research. For two days and nights you burn the midnight oil until completed 15 minutes before it's due. No sweat, you pride yourself on the ability to work well under pressure. However, putting constant unnecessary pressure on yourself will put you on the path to early burnout.

Solution: Breakdown a project into smaller manageable tasks.

Problem: Disorganization

You can't find your contracts, your planner is MIA and you are still reconciling invoices from two months ago! It is natural to have a crazy day, week or even a month where it is hard to keep track of everything. However, if you are in constant struggle just to keep up then you need to take action right away.

Solution: Reconcile all accounting matters ASAP. Then move onto straightening out your planner and designing an easy to use a filing system.

Problem: Perfectionism

Does everything have to be just so before you can begin or turn in a project? Is it hard for you to let go of a project once the deadline approaches. Of course, we want to showcase our work in the best light, it keeps clients happy and bills paid. However, it easy to get caught up in so many irrelevant details the project never gets completed.

Solution: Find out what the clients expectation are before you begin working on the project. Write a list of what your expectations are before you begin working on the project. Write a list of what your expectations are for the project.

Problem: Technology Usage

Ironic, that the very thing that keeps us moving faster can actually waste the most time. You've seen the cell phone monsters gabbing incessantly, pageholics who make a production number when they are being paged and email the fiends who lug their laptop everywhere. In a utopian society we could advocate the burning of such devices for the betterment of the world. However, we realize that in order to make your rent you need to be connected with as many potential clients and contacts as possible.

Solution: Create no technology zones when you are out socially. No checking messages during the meal unless it is mutually agreed by everyone in your party.

Timesavers

Get out of the time management trap without expensive or complicated processes:

  1. Write everything down and keep your calendar with you at all times
  2. Monitor your commitments. Constantly, overbooking yourself is a sign of disorganization and not power
  3. Get up an hour earlier each day
  4. Play audio books during gridlock or housecleaning
  5. Take advantage of phone services that banks, libraries, etc.
  6. Layout clothes the night before
  7. Break larger tasks into smaller ones
  8. Use an egg timer to keep track of time
  9. Block out two hours a week to answer non-urgent correspondence
  10. Make ongoing lists of supplies you need
  11. Keep your workspace organized and accessible
  12. Compose a book list and store it in your wallet or case. Add to the list when you find a book you would like to read
  13. Keep TV viewing down to 5-10 hours a week
  14. Listen to orchestral or instrumental music while you work instead of rock or rap
  15. Enjoy nature!

Life in the creative arts is hectic. In order to keep up with ever changing projects, you have to keep a firm hold on your schedule.