Creative Productivity: 7 Days is a Long Time
While our work is about working towards professional goals and understanding industry standards, at the outset we always spend a great deal of time trying to understand how that happens from a time management, structural perspective. To start with, simply identifying how many hours a week you have to dedicate to your work can be very revealing. And in order to do that, map out what a general week looks like. By the time you’re finished, you’ll probably be shocked by how much time you have over a span of 7 days.
I rarely get to play good cop in the work because accountability or the lack thereof is such a major piece of why most creatives fall off the wagon.
It can seem like days just fly by and before you know it, 3 weeks have passed and very little has been accomplished. And then the self doubt, worry and frustration all creep in often putting us in a deeper state of lack of productivity.
I used to lead with the thought that 24 hours was a lot of time! That came from when I was running my theatre company and used to have a matter of hours to finish marketing materials, raise $10,000 or recast a role altogether. I suppose my heart has softened since those fight or flight days but the idea is still the same; we are capable of a lot if we set our minds to it and organize our time accordingly.
I would encourage you to be conservative when working through your calendar to find your available work time. Just because a window is open doesn’t mean it should be filled with business.
You may need time for you, your family, friends, the gym and other interests. I am not a believer in nonstop work. So if you find that about 25 hours seem to be available to you, I’d safely assume you have 12-15 hours a week to continue to grow your creative business.
But look… even 12-15 hours a week is sizable when you consider the amount of time you may be currently dedicating to your effort. And – if we’re looking at this through the scope of a week rather than a day, that gives you the ability to re-prioritize and create a plan to make sure you’re accomplishing what you would like to with a 7 day span of time. Lots can come up in a week (sickness, extra work, apartment flooding, whateverrr) but our goal is to not let you off the hook, right?
Our 5 year plans breakout to weekly micro goals for all of the above reasons.
Creating bite sized pieces that are tangible and easily accomplishable within a 7 day span of time is meant to be encouraging. There should be no shame in maybe realizing that your use of time isn’t what it could be. Time management and effective workflow is a skill to cultivate in and of itself.
And quite honestly, the work *actually* begins by identifying what it is you need to accomplish based on your goals and how you have compartmentalized the various facets of your business but that’s for another time :) In this moment, look at the week ahead and take charge of the time you DO have.