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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Step 4: How to Create The Plan

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOnce they’ve set a goal, most people make the mistake of jumping right into action doing the stuff they think they should.

Which may get them to a level of success, but more often they get stuck at that level, because they are only doing what they already know to do –

And they don’t know what they don’t know!

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. Thomas A. Edison

Create the Plan is the 4th Step in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success.  In my experience, people who try to go after their goal without first creating a plan often have sadly limited success and may even quit on their goal at the first sign of a challenge or obstacle. A plan will enable you to:

  • Work through or around obstacles
  • Maintain momentum in the face of challenges and distractions
  • Take advantage of serendipity and opportunities that come your way.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 things that stop you from making a plan
  • What to do with the results of the first 3 steps of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success
  • A fast, simple and natural way to create the plan for any goal or project
  • Some tips and tricks for implementing and moving forward with the plan

They say that Luck = Opportunity + Preparedness

Creating the Plan will help you be Prepared for the Opportunities!

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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 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!

Additional Resources for this Class:

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Systems Creation – Work Smarter, Not Harder

Artists MBA, Foundation ProgramDefinition of Systems:
A set of detailed methods, procedures, and routines established or formulated to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem.
BusinessDictionary.com

Underlying your productivity (or lack of it) lies the effectiveness of your systems.  Many creative people struggle with business, not because they don’t know what to do, but because they haven’t created systems that operate in the ways they organically think.

Creating systems for your business will allow you to:

  • Streamline your methods and maximize your time
  • Create repeatable and sustainable results
  • Keep your promises to yourself and others
  • Reduce your stress!

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How systems facilitate (not limit!) creativity and set you free
  • How to identify good candidates for systems creation
  • How to design and implement systems procedures

A system will take time to create – but once created will save you time every time.  And the biggest advantage is that once you’ve created a system for an activity – you will be able to delegate it and know that it’s being run the same way you would run it!

Resources for this Class:

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Listen to the Class:

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Transitioning to Full-time With Your Art/Music Business

Artists MBA, Foundation ProgramWhether you’re working a day job in the corporate world or teaching within your craft to sustain yourself, many artists and musicians dream someday they will earn enough to go full-time with their art. And just as many have given up on that dream, because it seems out of reach.  Or because they tried to go full-time but ended up having to return to the day job, because they just weren’t earning enough to sustain themselves and their family. I’ve worked with many private clients in different lines of work to make that leap from part-time to full-time in their businesses.  And I’ve found that the process for success through this transition is similar no matter what business you’re in. In this class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 biggest mistakes to avoid during your transition
  • The 3 things you MUST have in place before making the leap
  • How to know when you’re ready to make the transition
  • How to sustain your new level once you’ve made the leap.

If you think you know what it will take to succeed as a full-time artist, join me in the class.  You might be surprised!

Additional Resources for this Class:

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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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Joshua Zerkel

Joshua Zerkel, CPO® is the President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the founder of Custom Living Solutions, a productivity and organizing consulting firm. Joshua specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find easy ways to get control of their information, technology, and clutter so they can reduce stress and make more money. Although he doesn’t consider himself freakishly organized, Josh does admit to spending his free time alphabetizing his comic books and fixing the tags on his MP3 collection.

For more of Josh’s practical (and sometimes pithy!) organizing tips, check out his website – http://www.customlivingsolutions.com/

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

Debra Recommends Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life

Debra Russell recommends, Feng Shui, organization

How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness

by Karen Rauch Carter

Karen is a friend of mine – and she’s sure helped me with a few of my Feng Shui challenges!

Reviews from Amazon
“Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life is home improvement, entertaining, educational hilarity that will have you smiling while scrubbing and glowing in the feng shui flow. Martha Stewart, move over. Cuddle up and declutter with Karen.” — Denny Fairchild, author of Healing Homes

“This book is a page-turner and one that cannot be put down until the last page is read. It offers vibrant new directions to those who are lost in life; it is an oasis in the desert.” — Professor Lin Yun

“With wisdom and humor, Karen Rauch Carter has taken the best-kept secrets of feng shui and made them accessible for everyone. Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life is funky, fun, and filled with practical information to create harmony and balance in life.” — Denise Linn, author of Sacred Space

Denny Fairchild author of Healing Homes Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life is home improvement, entertaining, educational hilarity that will have you smiling while scrubbing and glowing in the feng shui flow. Martha Stewart, move over. Cuddle up and declutter with Karen. — Review

Buy this book now