Organization

Procrastination is Keeping Me Waiting

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOne of the most frequently asked question in my Ask Coach Debra calls is how to deal with procrastination. Very often we know what we need to do.  And yet somehow, we can’t get ourselves to sit down and do it!

All of the Time Management structures and systems you’ve learned to create in the Time Management and Project Management Classes will be impossible to implement if you don’t figure out how to overcome procrastination.

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.  ~Victor Kiam

In this class you’ll discover:

  • What is procrastination, really, and what causes it?
  • Three techniques to get yourself moving when you’re stuck
  • An NLP process that you can use over and over to create momentum with ease

At the ArtistsMBA, you are learning a lot about how to create a successful, sustainable and profitable business doing what you love.  But until you put this knowledge into action your dreams are fantasies.  This class will help you move past your internal blocks and into action.

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Time Management Bookends – A Framework for Success

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramTime Management is the Number One System that will enable you to achieve sustainable success in your business and your life.

If your Time Management isn’t working – nothing else will.

I have worked with literally hundreds of clients on the issues that a poor time management system creates

They include:

  • Procrastination
  • Difficulties with prioritization
  • Boundary issues with family and friends
  • Feelings of overwhelm and fear
  • Burnout

And what I’ve found is that when you start the day well and end the day well, very often the middle works so much better!

In this class you’ll learn:

  • What are Time Management Bookends and why do we use them
  • How to design your unique morning and evening Bookends?
  • The three most important components of successful Bookends
  • How to install your bookends into your daily life

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Time Management 101 – The Art of Juggling

Artists MBA, Foundation Program“If only I had more time! Then I could do all that I want to do!”

There are 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. That won’t change. So how do you use what you have to create the life that you want?

The solution isn’t by figuring out how to do more stuff.  It’s figuring out how to adjust your choices and decisions so that you’re doing the right stuff at the right time.

Time Management is a skill and as a skill, you can learn it.  The problem for most people is that they were never taught.  Instead you’ve been shamed for not already knowing how to manage your time.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. quote

Don’t you think it’s time for you to get a handle on your time?

In this Class, you’ll learn:

  • How to figure out what you’re doing right so you can do more of that
  • How to set up a system that really works with who you are
  • Several tools to help you make the most of your time
  • What to do with that To Do list!

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How to Create Focus

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt any given moment, on any given day, the average person is thinking about 14 different things – Does that sound familiar? Between the Day Job (for many Artists), family, your personal needs (such as exercise), and your ambitions for creating your business as a professional in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, life can be overwhelming!

In the ArtistsMBA Classes on Time Management and Project Management, we look at how to prioritize and design your systems to choose what to accomplish when. But when you sit down to actually do what you have chosen to do …

How do you filter out all of the distractions, both internal and external?

“The shorter way to do many things is to do only one thing at a time.”
Mozart

Without focus, your efficiency and effectiveness suffers AND you have a lot less fun!

In this Class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 biggest focus stealers
  • How to set clear internal and external focus boundaries
  • Simple and easy exercises to focus your mind

Whether you’re creating your art or music, marketing and promoting yourself or spending time with your family, improving your ability to focus will improve your success.

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Managing Conflicting Priorities

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt any given moment, on any given day, you could be doing a hundred different things, right? And at any given moment on any given day, you probably see half a dozen things that seem to be of equal urgency and priority. But you’re just one person. So how do you choose the right action? Managing your priorities is probably the biggest challenge to maintain your time management system. And these conflicts are the most common challenge to your chosen structure and the slippery slope back into your old habits of just doing the thing that’s screaming loudest in front of you. In this class you’ll discover:

  • How to make the smart decision
  • How to feel good about your choices
  • How to manage other people’s expectations and the guilty feelings that often accompany them

Time Management is always about choices – so learning how to choose wisely is a critical skill to effective time management.

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Project Management – The Performance Results Description Tool

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramIn Project Management – How to Get Stuff Done, I introduced the concept of the Performance Results Description (PRD).

The PRD allows you to visually link your goals to your daily activities as well as develop a working plan for how you’ll reach those goals.

 

In this class, we’ll delve into:

  • How the PRD fits into your overall Time Management System
  • How to adapt the PRD for different kinds of projects and different categories
  • How to fill out the PRD Form for your best advantage

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Ask The Organizer – An Interview with Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsDo you ever have trouble getting – or staying – organized?

If so, you’re not alone – organizing your space, managing your time, and keeping track of your information can get pretty overwhelming.

In this open forum Q&A call, members got answers to their most challenging organizing questions, problems and conundrums from Joshua Zerkel of Custom Living Solutions.

 

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Ask the Organizer

Some of the biggest energy and time wasters in our lives results from an ineffective system of organization. This can show up in many ways.

It can look like a lack of time management – but really you’re spending too much time looking for things you’ve lost. It can look like getting distracted because of things you’ve forgotten or feeling confused and overwhelmed because you’re surrounded by clutter in your space.

It can look like avoiding or procrastinating – but really, you haven’t organized your goals and To Do list in a way that helps you to prioritize what needs to get done – so you can’t get started.

So, for this month’s Words to the Wise edition, I’m going to hand the reins off to an Organization expert – Joshua Zerkel – for some tips on how to organize your time to avoid communications distractions. (While writing this introduction, my phone rang 3 times!)

Warm regards,
Debra Russell
Certified Business Coach

Boost Focus and Productivity by Reducing Communication Distractions

By Joshua Zerkel
During the course of a given day, think about how many different ways you might be distracted from the tasks you have in front of you – a notification pops up in the corner of your screen letting you know you have a new email, your phone vibrates to let you know you received a new message on Twitter, the phone rings… and the list goes on and on. Let’s face facts – we live in distraction oriented culture, where we’re encouraged to be in near-constant contact with the outside world.

While staying in touch is great in theory, being constantly available to the outside world can be an ongoing source of distractions and interruptions. In my work with clients, many of them say that dealing with these distractions has become a major part of daily life, and is taking a toll on their productivity. Here are some strategies for stemming the tide of interruptions and getting back on track towards being more efficient:

Prioritize your key tasks

Before you start your work each day, take a few moments to write down what your priority tasks are going to be that day. Set aside time on your calendar to work on those tasks, and make those times “communication free zones” – meaning that you won’t check email, answer calls, or instant-message during those times, unless doing so relates specifically to the project you’re working on. Setting aside this space to work on your projects will help you stay focused and get closer to your goal of finishing a given task.

Beware of “helpful” notifications

Pretty much every system we use to communicate, whether it’s instant message, email, social media, voice mail, text messaging, etc., has a way to notify us when we’ve received a new message or communication request. Ask yourself, are these notifications serving you, or are they an interruption? For most of us, the latter is the case. Instead of allowing these tech tools distract you, set specific times during the day when you will check for new messages, email, etc., and turn off the notifications. You could check your various inboxes twice a day, every few hours, or every hour, depending on the volume of communication you receive. Very, very few messages are so urgent that they can’t wait an hour or two for you to return the communication.

Don’t get sucked into the social media vortex

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace… these are all great tools, and can be a lot of fun. They can also generate a voluminous amount of messages that require your attention and time. If you’re using these tools for purely personal use, limit your use of them to outside business hours, and set some parameters about how much time you’d like to spend on them. If social media is a part of your business, make sure to set aside time on your calendar during your work day to process your new messages and friend requests. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that managing these sites is something that can be done in the ever-elusive “spare time” – keeping current with your profiles has to become part of your scheduled tasks.

These are some of my favorite ways to reduce communication-related distractions – what are some of yours?

Joshua Zerkel, CPO® is a the founder of Custom Living Solutions, a San Francisco-based productivity and organizing consulting firm, specializing in helping busy people save time, space and money by getting organized at home and at work. For more FREE organizing ideas, visit www.customlivingsolutions.com or call 415-830-6345.

Project Management – The Key to Getting Stuff Done!

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramToo much to do!  It all feels equally urgent!  Oi – where do I start?

Sound familiar?  We have so many demands on us – both externally – people wanting us to get stuff done for them – and internally – fulfilling our dreams and goals.

How do you manage it all and maintain your sanity?

 

In this class we discover:

  • The project management mistakes that lead to procrastination and paralysis
  • The two kinds of projects and how to manage both
  • The skill of prioritizing according to your values
  • How to eat an elephant (I mean, manage and complete a project) – you know – one bite at a time!

Additional Resources for this Class:

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Debra Recommends Organizing From the Inside Out

Debra Russell recommends, organization, systems

The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life

by Julie Morgenstern

I loved this book! I became so much better at managing my space which has freed up time and energy for other things.

Amazon says:

It’s about time! Julie Morgenstern has written an organizing book that covers a new way of looking at the task of organizing effectively without labeling or blaming the person behind the lack of organization.  Rather, she says, people who don’t organize just never learned how to organize, through no fault of their own–after all, it’s not a skill that’s taught in school.

That said, she gets down to work helping you figure out an organizing system that will really work for you, not a system based on cookie-cutter filing concepts or special storage units. Morgenstern’s “from the inside out” system begins by laying out the possible reasons for a failure of organization: technical errors (like having a complex organizing system that breaks down), external realities (like not enough space for your belongings), and psychological obstacles (like fear of failure–or success).

Then, her Analyze and Strategize steps help create a plan of action based on your needs and goals, and the brief chapter called “Attack: Getting the Job Done” offers basic ideas for making space. The largest section of the book, “Applying What You’ve Learned,” addresses the specifics of organizing workspaces, home offices, living spaces, and storage areas. Each section has a “How Long Will It Take?” box that gives a realistic time estimate, and Morgenstern’s “Julie’s No-Brainer Toss List” for each area gives the permission and encouragement that most of us have been waiting for to get rid of things we’ll never use again.

The section at the end, “Tackling Time and Technology,” is worth its weight in DayTimers and PalmPilots. Whatever your organizing issues are, you’re not a hopeless case, and you don’t need special equipment–just a little understanding of the problem and a willingness to plan before diving in.

Buy Organizing from the Inside Out now