Do you find yourself overwhelmed? Are you so busy that you don't even know what you've done? You might need to learn how to prioritize. As an artist and designer, learning to focus on one thing at a time is imperative to the creative process. It's easy to become distracted and try to do 100 things at once, but what are you actually achieving?
Time is your most valuable commodity. Prioritizing your time is essential to achieving your goals and staying productive. Here are some tips to help you make the best use of your time.
1. Identify your goals: Determine what is most important to you and create a list of your goals. Prioritize these goals by identifying which will have the greatest impact on your life. Writing goals also helps you get out of your head and put your tasks onto paper. It helps to ease the feeling of overwhelm and allows you to have a visual cue of your to do's, and gives you a clear direction with manageable steps.
2. Make a to-do list: Set yourself up for success! Create a daily to-do list every morning or the night before to help you focus on what you need to accomplish. Be sure to include both short-term and long-term tasks. It might be beneficial to assess the length of time each task will take, so you are not frustrated with yourself if you don't achieve all the things on your list. Be practical about what you can achieve in a particular time frame. It won't help your state of mind to overload yourself.
3. Rank your tasks: Prioritize your tasks by ranking them in order of importance. Start with the most critical and urgent tasks, and work your way down from there. Consider the power of delegation. Is there anyone else that can do some of your tasks for you? Have you thought about out-sourcing or engaging a freelancer? Sometimes it's the teamwork that makes the dream work!!
4. Eliminate distractions: Set aside a specific time to complete important tasks and eliminate any distractions during that time. Minimize screen time, turn off notifications, close unnecessary tabs, and focus solely on the task at hand. I often find it helpful to listen to music designed to focus the brain. There are plenty of these on youtube, or apps that you can download.
5. Schedule breaks: It's crucial to take breaks to maintain productivity and avoid burnout. Schedule breaks in between tasks to give yourself time to recharge. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, like me, make sure you get up and walk about at least hourly. Try to get some fresh air and sunshine in your day too.
6. Learn to say no: Saying "no" to non-priority tasks or commitments can free up your time and allow you to focus on what truly matters. If you're a "yes" person, you may struggle with this. But saying "no" is actually really liberating. Most people will not be offended. Having the conviction to say no may take some practice. Before agreeing to something, pause for 3 seconds, allow yourself to truly think before you answer. You may be surprised by the result.
7. Evaluate your progress: Regularly evaluate your progress and adjust your priorities based on the results. This will help ensure that you stay on track and make progress towards your goals. Celebrate your achievements. Give yourself a break, you're doing great!
Prioritizing your time may take some practice and discipline, but with these tips, you can effectively manage your time and focus on the things that matter most. Achieving your goals frees up your time (and your monkey mind) to focus on those things that really matter, finding joy, beauty and love in your life. Do what you love, love what you do!!!