Starting a creative business is always a tricky thing but now after a couple of years I have realised that there are certain things I do that make it much easier for me to make the most of my time and get the most out of each day.
Here are a few tips that really help me; they might not necessarily work for you but I find them to be really useful and have a big impact on my work life.
Have a routine and stick to it
I decided that I would get to the studio every day at 9am and leave at around 6pm. Personally, I find that routine is really good for me as it provides a structure and boundaries for me to work within and it’s really important to be self disciplined when you are self employed. Having a routine also makes it more clear to your friends and family when you are working and when you are off work which helps to minimise distractions.
Don’t try and do everything yourself! I realise that I can’t do everything myself and that some tasks lie outside of my skill set. So, I try and identify my weak areas and see if I can outsource some specialist help when I need it!
Take proper breaks
I take a proper lunch break every day, giving myself enough time to leave my studio and have a change of scene. I believe this really improves my concentration in the afternoon and when I come back I am refreshed and ready to have a blast.
I personally find working in intensive periods really helpful. I set myself a specific task for three hours and then I switch to a different task after that. I find that this really help me to actually get things done. I also try and do one thing at a time otherwise I get overwhelmed and as a result am unproductive.
Allocated time for work
I give myself a proper break at the weekend so that when I come back in to the studio on a Monday morning I am energized and ready to work hard. At the same time, I don’t answer personal phone calls during my working hours, giving work the respect it deserves as well.
Have a plan with yearly aims
I recommend creating a business plan and setting yearly aims. I find that it’s really useful to keep referring back to your plan and assessing whether you are on track to achieve your goals. It’s amazing when I see that after setting a few goals, we have managed to get there and it’s time to set new goals! It’s all about making aims and planning.
Plan your week
Often, I take 10 minutes on a Sunday night to plan the week ahead. This helps me to work out how I can finish all the tasks that I need to carry out during the week and helps me to make the best use of my time. Google calendar is really useful as it sends reminders to your gmail account and you can also colour code all your appointments to separate personal appointments from business!
Make use of all the free support
Go on courses whenever you have the opportunity to! There are a lot of courses out there for start-up businesses, especially for young creative businesses in the UK. Look up and research some of these courses and go on as many as possible!