As a creative developing your own business, it is totally understandable that at some point, sometime soon even, that you will get totally distracted and overwhelmed by all the things that you want to get done in your biz.
You might find yourself
- spending more time writing your to do list than crossing it off
- bouncing between unfinished tasks then bouncing on to another one
- creating more and more ideas and trying to work on them
- procrastinating about what or how to do the next task, but not actually doing it
If this sounds like you, then it may be time to invest in a system / method or process to help you experience the satisfaction of completing a task and boosting you to get some actual work done.
In my continuous search for answers to 'How can I do this better', I discovered an article by James Clear which inspired me to test the 'Ivy Lee Method' a repetitive cycle of 6 steps to assist in reaching peak productivity.
I'm testing it now, this is my Day 1. These are the steps:
The Ivy Lee Method
- At the end of each day, write down six tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow
- Prioritise these task in order of importance
- When you start working the list, focus on only the first task until it is completed
- Repeat with the rest of the list, in order
- What is not finished on this day, move to the task list for the following day
- Continuously repeat this process
This task list method is basic enough to prevent you from getting too overwhelmed with the enormity of having to complete 'all the things' and simple enough to avoid getting too detailed about the work ahead.
There is another benefit of this approach. How many times have you written a to do list and one or two items always seem to get trumped? Which means by the end of your working week, you still have the 'filing' or 'expenses' on the to do list? Well this method ensure that tasks are not forgotten and that they are all completed.
If I get to the end of today and I have 2 tasks left on my list. They go to the top of tomorrow's list and I then add 4 more tasks in order of importance. Nothing is left.
There are a couple of key behaviours that you need to make this Ivy Lee method work for you. The first is that you need to commit to attending to your list as a daily event, until it turns into a habit. The second, is that you ensure you prioritise in order of importance, rather than preference.
If you are running your handmade biz tasking yourself what you prefer to do, rather what needs to be done, you are not running a business, you are still in hobby mode. If you are not sure how to prioritise your tasks, then create a criteria for your business, these should be influenced by your Mission, Vision statement.
Have a go at the Ivy Lee method, or share with us your top method for avoiding procrastination and getting productive in your handmade business.
Want to road test the Ivy Lee Method?
Join the Handmade Biz Planner and use the Daily Planner in the free Biz Kit to list your 6 tasks for the day.
By joining HBP you will also receive the link to the Facebook Group 'The Hangout' where you can bounce creative ideas and challenges with other makers.