Creatives that run a business! How many started projects do you have in your little part of the Making Cool Shit With Your Hands Universe? Three? Five? Twenty? Too many to actually consider answering this question? It’s a common dilemma those of us who make awesome things find ourselves in. Multi-tasking is often more time consuming than not multi-taking, every other part of the internet has a shiny new project that we can’t wait to start, and running a creative business needs the attention of more than one person… if we’re being honest. It happens.

How do you manage your creative projects?

I think about this often. I started trying to keep my projects to 3 at a time. That worked until I found myself neck deep in projects that needed to be finished. The business side of things took over eventually… photos, listings, marketing, etc. It slowed everything down so much that I could hear the screeching of brakes every time I tried to get some momentum to finish… anything. It sucked.

I started thinking about project management. Not just the making part either; all of it. The entire business of creating for a living.

Project management list
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I made a list of how I’d like to spend my work time. I’m going to hold myself to it for 1 month… the only exceptions are when the kids are off of school. Those are my days off too. Nothing gets done anyway, and it just keeps the stress levels down. Here’s a rough guideline, in the same order as my list above:

  • An easy task that can be accomplished in an hour. A quick boost to your daily regiment does wonders for your self esteem. This is butts for me.
  • A good chunk of your workday should go to your main gig. I’m writing crochet patterns for some adorable dolls this month. They’ll each have a matching drawing as part of the work.
  • Something for yourself. It’s important that you do things for you in your creative life. Do it.
  • If you blog, figure on writing one amazing post a week. Be consistent, and make it for the same day each week. This is the hardest part for me. I feel like I’m slacking on writing the best blog posts that I can. My blog goal this month is to increase traffic.
  • Marketing is really important for your small business. Personally, I have to break it down or it gets overwhelming. That’s why I have the weekly tasks and then 2 things I can improve daily on my blog/listings/website/whatever.
  • If there’s something that you love to do, or maybe a side hustle that makes you happy… be sure to sneak it in whenever you can. It’ll make your day better. Messing around with fiber does it for me!
  • Take care of yourself. If you’re not eating or hydrating or moving or doing things that keep you healthy, what’s the point? Don’t forget!

The big picture here, is to see an increase in productivity and finished projects… and traffic and sales. That’s why we’re in a creative business, right? Efficiently getting work done and supporting ourselves should be hard work, but not unmanageable. I’ll be checking back at the end of the next month with a progress update.

 

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Project Management for Creatives
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