You Are the Ringmaster of Your Life

Guest blogger: Michelle Andres

When you work on your own, it’s easy to get into an unproductive rut. The demands of everyday life can pull you off track. Soon, you find, you’re taxiing kids, doing the laundry or waiting for repair people.

Did you get into the studio? Nope. Take care of that upcoming marketing piece for your event? Nope. Did you write your newsletter? Heck, nope…and that’s not all. It’s not that you’re not “working,” it’s just you aren’t working on your stuff. Your life has become a circus!!!

Well, YOU are the Ringmaster of your life. You get to call the shots, and you can step up and create a structure to drive momentum and increase productivity.

ringmaster

If you don’t spend your time delivering your own package, other people will use your time to deliver theirs.  (Click to Tweet)

This kind of “off-tracking” and generosity may feel like flexibility to you, but what it really does is zap your productivity. What’s more, it can suck every bit of creativity out of you. Schwwwwooooopppp!

The Value of Routine

The more you steep in routine, the better it is for your business and your creativity (Click to Tweet).

So, how do you develop a healthy routine that boosts production and allows creativity to thrive? Can your free-spirited self ever be happy with the bridle of routine? You might think it feels . . . well . . . constricting.

It’s unrealistic to expect our days will be spent doing only the things we love to do.

Ooooh, did I sound like your mother?  Sorry!  Sure, the bulk of your work should be something you’re passionate about, but realistically, we all have parts of our work we don’t thoroughly enjoy. If we want to sip the sweet nectar of success, we have to swallow the bitter pill, too.

The key is to create some balance. If we only do the tasks we enjoy and put off the others, we run into a big pile of procrastination. Life can be like the circus, so here are some tips to get a foothold and create some happy, predictable fun and routine in your days.

Ringmaster Secrets

Start with a Solid Program

When creating ritual and routine, think of the things you enjoy. What are you passionate about?

This is your foundation for the day’s journey. Make sure your passions are really your own, that they are unique to you. For a video that helps you protect the integrity of your process click here.

Artfully Schedule the Acts

Identify your peak production hours and schedule hard hitting stuff for the times you’re most energized.

For example, if you’re a morning person, do your heavy lifting in the morning. If you are energized after lunch, schedule demanding tasks in the afternoon.

Schedule your days with the activities you most enjoy in strategic time slots to kick off the day. Keep momentum by scheduling some “duties” that don’t squeal your wheels, but need to be done anyway, in between the times you’re doing the fun stuff. Need some time management tips? Click here.

Sweeten the Deal

Don’t forget the cotton candy! If you’re doing a task you don’t enjoy, sweeten the deal by playing music you love, or performing the task in an enjoyable spot.

For example, go out to the garden with your laptop to create marketing material, or play your favorite artist during your clean up phase in the studio. Sip a favorite beverage while doing your books. It works!

Take Charge of the Show

Of course, you have an audacious To Do list! You also have a calendar. Use them both. You are the ringmaster of your life!

Schedule 60% of your time and leave 40% free for life to happen.

But when you schedule it, make sure you honor your commitments to yourself and do what’s on your calendar. It’s important to schedule time in the day to take a break and recharge. This is essential to your creative flow.

Hold Dress Rehearsals

Spend time on the tightrope every day to make sure the show goes on as planned.

By consciously balancing your days with both things you love and activities you MUST do, and being committed to the schedule, you create ritual and routine.

Inform others of your plan so they can’t clown around with your calendar. Be committed to your success by claiming control of your time and stepping into the spotlight.

If you get up everyday and repeat the same positive behaviors, you can’t help but increase your productivity and creativity.

Take a bow.

Michelle AndresAbout Our Guest Blogger

Michelle Andres is a coach, writer and artist who teaches creatives business behaviors that boost their productivity and happiness . . . all the while honoring their unique selves.

She invites you to follow her on Facebook on Twitter.

 

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13 comments to You Are the Ringmaster of Your Life

  • This is so good! Thank you for such a practical and helpful post! It is easy to get distracted when you work as an artist at home, something I’ve really been working on overcoming! I appreciate these helpful tips!

  • This was a great post. Scheduling my work routines is something I used to be really good at, and then I fell off the wagon (um..I think it was when I finally got internet access..just saying.) Working on getting back on track. I do best when I’ve written down in a calendar, the things I need to get done in a week. I also like the “Timer” concept: setting a timer, especially for the less pleasant tasks. If I know I only have to do it for an hour, and that I don’t have to watch the clock, I can engage more fully in the task at hand.

    • Anne, it sounds like you’ve identified a routine that worked well for you in the past…so I’d encourage you to re-establish that structure. You can always schedule the time you spend online. Don’t fall into the trap of being a slave to your computer. A little self-disipline goes a long way, yet we all struggle with it from time to time. No worries, you’ve got this!

  • Mary Claire Crow

    Love this! Always a struggle as someone who was confined to a corporate schedule since she graduated from high school. I am a rebel at heart and want my art biz and my other biz to thrive and be abundant. This article is such a great combo of what needs to be down and how to do it in a really fun way. Thank you!!! And I liked the links to tweet the little nuggets.

  • What a fun writer! Really wonderful post. Michelle you have stated some of the same stuff we all know we need to do and have heard time and time again, but wow! What a playful spin you put on it! Thank you, this was very well crafted.
    “Spend time on the tightrope every day ” … yes I think I will!

  • Nice job. I also really love the image that went along with it.

  • I really needed to read this today. The topic of scheduling is foremost today.

  • So happy to be of service, Patricia. I hope you gain control of the show, and am sure you’ll be running it like a ringleader in no time at all! Go, girl!

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