Switching from tasks or letting devices, interruptions and your fertile mind pull you off focus wastes precious time you could be spending creating. I accept that some days your mojo is just really not on hand and you have to take a day off but as a rule creating a routine or rhythm will give you so much more time for creating and so much more chance of living your ideal creative life. Pick a time frame that works for you to remain switched on to the task at hand. If you’re a bit ADHD go for shorter focused spurts, if it takes a while to get flowing do longer periods. If there are some jobs that you hate, get them out of the way first. Get to know your own attention span and then commit to working with it in the most efficient way possible. Here are some really practical hints on tasks that you can batch. Try it out for a couple of weeks and see how it works for you.
Social Media and Website
Allocate exclusive time for your online universe. Schedule your whole week of social posts. Update your website in one hit. Check your analytics. Then turn off for the rest of the day/week or how ever long is realistic for your particular business.
Communications – phone and email
Get these done together and then feel free to make yourself unavailable. You can manage expectations with your email autoresponder or phone message. You’re a creative so it’s totally legit to say you’re not available 24/7 for the admin side of your business. Just make sure you give a definite minimum time frame. Here’s an example of an autorespond or phone message-
“Thanks so much for getting in contact. I’m not available right now as I’m in the studio working on some amazing new work. I’ll be back online/checking my messages on (insert realistic time frame) and will get back to you then. If your inquiry is urgent please call (someone who can take the call on your behalf friend/employee/partner/VA and decide if it really does need your immediate attention).
Face to Face
If you have to go face to face, try to book these appointments together. Get dressed in your best out in the world gear and if you have to go to various spots then schedule strategically. Better still pick one space and bring everyone to you! When you’re face to face remember to be present. Phones down, Facebook alerts off. Have an agenda and a time frame and stick to it.
Get your language centres firing and then go with that flow. Write all your blogs in one hit and then schedule in wordpress or publish one at a time later down the track. Get your marketing copy refined, write all your product details and do your newsletters together. All those writing tasks that require some thought can be done in one hit.
Go Canva crazy. Get your photoshop flow on. Get snap happy taking your own photos on your smart phone. Organise your blog images, memes, web visuals, product photos in one hit. Switching from program to program is inefficient and while your thinking visually stay visual.
All of this time saving is done with the view to get you more time doing what you’re most passionate about, creating! But even within your creating time there are ways of being way more productive. Set aside chunks of time so you can get your flow on and if there is set up and pack down bear that in mind. Are there certain parts of your creative process that are best done batched as well? Think tasks like glazing, varnishing, firing, recording, rehearsing, writing, reasearching. If you use a different venue/material or equipment then consider batching. This can also have an effect on your profit margins too reducing material wastage, venue hire etc.
Think about ways you can batch your personal life time too. As a mamma with 7 mouths to feed, I do this every week with my cooking. I do a mega veggie chop session and then whip up about 3 different meals which I usually divide into 2 portions. 6 meals in only a little more time than it takes me to make 1! That’s more time with my guitar and less time slaving over a hot stove, yes please! How can these batching techniques roll out to your personal life? Can you batch social internet time, gardening, cleaning and even human to human socializing time that sees you being fully present with your friends and family and not tethered to your smart phone?
Check out some of the articles below on staying on task and I’d love to hear from you in the comments other ways you’re batching your time to lead a more efficient and creative life.
For more help getting organized check out my Time Tools for Arty Types and download my free fillable templates.
When I was a sophomore in college, I developed a terrible addiction to Facebook. By the time finals week arrived, I couldn’t go 30 minutes without a dose of dog videos. I was officially distracted. And after a week of all-nighters, I realized my attention span was inferior to a squirrel’s.