Are your systems flawed?

filing system

Systems can save your butt, but only if you work them as they were intended.

What needs to get done that isn’t? For example:

You’re not updating your contacts database often enough. Every time you go to send a mailing, you have to spend a couple of days adding names. →You need an efficient system for collecting names in a timely manner. You’re missing important deadlines. →You need a system for recording, reviewing, and meeting deadlines. You’ve neglected your blog. →You need a system for capturing ideas, writing drafts, and editing posts. System Components

Most systems need:

Defined results: What do you want to happen? Software or paper & pen to record data. Identification of other people involved and their tasks. Clear articulation of the steps and how they build on one another. Commitment to a regular check-in (e.g. Thursdays at 10 a.m.).

It’s that

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Trick Yourself into Getting Things Done

Pumpkins on Porch ©Alyson B. Stanfield

If you’ve been procrastinating something, identify it. Give it a name. After you’ve confessed, you can trick yourself into completing it. Here are some tricks that have worked for me.

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Optimize Your Time

Harriete Estel Berman

Stop saying you don’t have enough time.

It’s exhausting to hear that excuse over and over again, and you’re wasting time just thinking or saying those words. They’re unproductive.

Harriete Estel Berman, Winning the Race with Time. Recycled tin, sterling silver, 2.5 x 3.5 x .25 inches. ©The Artist

You have just as much time as everyone else. It’s up to you what you do with that time.

It’s also up to you how you frame the time you have.

You can embrace the important stuff and be happy to participate in life, or you can complain about wanting more.

The choice is yours.

How are you spending your time?

Instead of wading through outdated tweets on Twitter . . .

Pull out your note cards (with your art on them) and a pen, and

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Make Room for Success: De-clutter

The fall art season is just around the corner. Imagine how nice it would feel to get your business in order before the rush begins.

Why not spend August clearing out, cleaning up, and making room for your success?

Susan Wells snapped these Before and After pics of her office space for the last Get Organized class.

Clutter gets in your way. It steals your attention away from more important matters.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with information, meeting deadlines, or are feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to de-clutter.

As you’re debating what to save and what to scrap, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you love it? If so, keep it and find a forever place for it. Do you need it for your

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8 Time-Saving Tips for Your Inbox

ramirez

Isabella Kelly-Ramirez, Wildfire. Oil, 32 x 24 inches.

If you’re not overwhelmed by too much email, you’re one of the few.

If you’re fed up with hundreds of messages in your inbox or if you find that you’re not responding to very important messages, it’s time to get a grip on your email.

Here are my top time-saving tips for email.

1. Turn off your email notifications. You don’t need to be interrupted every time your Uncle Charlie sends you a joke. While you’re at it, turn off your notifications from social media sites. Rather than having information pushed at you constantly, pull it from those sites when you’re prepared to spend time there.

2. Stop saving messages for future reference. Don’t save anything in your inbox that you can find with a simple Google search. Your inbox is for processing messages, not for data storage.

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Artist-Mother Tips

What advice would you give other artist-mothers who might be struggling to find time for their art or feeling guilty about spending time on their art and away from their families?

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Balancing the Roles of Artist and Mother

Guest blogger Sandhya Manne says, “When you love something, you will make time for it — whether “it” is children or art.” She shares how she balances her roles as mother and artist.

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Support Your Goals with a Creativity Brief

Josh Linkner

A Creativity Brief can help you make any creative project more successful.

Caution: It’s hard work!

In his book Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, Josh Linkner, founder of ePrize, shares an outline for a Creativity Brief that you can use for any project – a major installation, an exhibit, a workshop, or a new blog or website.

Linker writes:

Warning: the Creativity Brief is intense and will take real work to complete. But that work is a good investment. By taking the time up front to get it right, you will yield an exponentially better end result.

He’s not kidding! It’s an intense process that isn’t for the weak. I’d compare it to writing a grant application.

Defining, in detail, the major components of your project gives you a blueprint to take

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2 of My Favorite Productivity Tools

Accomplishing a lot of work is easier and more pleasant when you have the right tools and systems in place. I thought I’d share with you two of my favorite productivity tools: 1Password and Evernote. Whatever tools you choose to increase your productivity, don’t get caught up in the technology. Make sure they are easy to use, quick to learn, and aren’t more complicated than what you need.

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5-Minute Self-Promotion Tasks

Imagine how productive you could be in just 5 minutes. Inspired by a recent book-marketing newsletter from John Kremer, I decided to come up with a list of what you can do in 5 minutes to promote your art.

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