// Staying Focused //

dream catcherIt is very easy in this day of booming technology to get distracted while we are trying to create or when we are supposed to be working in our studio or on our creative business ventures. I found a few tips that help me keep my projects on track and my mind on the tasks at hand.

  • Eliminate Distractions

I like to turn off my WiFi connection when I’m recording new music because not only does it boost my processing speed, but also every time I try to click on that little Internet Icon, it prevents me from getting lost in the vastness of the world wide web. It also gives me a little visual cue of “oh right, I turned that off for a reason, I’m supposed to be working on this other thing right now.”

  • Develop Self Awareness

Those who know me know I can seem a little spacey at times. I’m a dreamer, I day dream a lot through out the day and I’m sure while it has helped me immensely with developing new ideas, it’s important to be aware of where your mind is and be able to snap back to reality and the project in front of you in an instant. Maintaining focus and a mindfulness for the present moment is like training your brain as if it were a muscle. This is a difficult skill to learn, but gets easier over time the more you practice at it. The trick is to develop a self awareness that allows you to notice when you are drifting off into dreamland.  Once you are able to recognize when you aren’t staying in the moment, it’s possible to re-direct your thinking back to your productivity.

  • Don’t Force It

Know when it is not the right time. If you are just not in the right zone or frame of mind, chances are the things you create won’t turn out to reflect your vision. Sometimes you can jog this by taking a walk or stretching for a bit, but by all means take a night off and use it for something else like brain storming or meeting up with your friends or colleagues to discuss your next projects.   There is a healthy balance in pushing yourself and your creations, and maintaining a lifestyle that allows you to stay uplifted and take time to enjoy the finer things in life – such as friendships, long walks with your dog, thrift shopping & perfume sample collecting. ; )

Using Your Day Job to Your Advantage

workspaceStuck at a desk all day, no window, tiny cubicle, I know firsthand as a creative person with ideas of entrepreneurship how excruciating it can be.  There are the projects at home waiting for me, the blocks of wood to carve, the prints to produce, the music to record, the album art to make, the freelance logo design to complete, the list goes on and on…how will I make it through the day? Well, this is when patience becomes one of your most useful tools and also keeping in mind that your job can be your greatest asset to help get your start up off the ground.

Let’s face it, it takes money to make money, having a full time job for a while and saving whatever you can to put towards your business idea can be your greatest asset.  Just because you have a great idea and a business plan that you know can work doesn’t mean you should quit your job immediately.  Have a plan, know where you’re going, know your numbers.  How much will you need to save up in order to keep your business running for three to six months, for a year?  In the meantime, read the below tips to help put your best foot forward on your entrepreneurial journey.

Three Main Tips::

  • Make Lists.

Use any spare moments that you may have at your workplace to write down things that need to get done, and what evenings or weekends you think you will be able to achieve which project.  As someone with multiple projects going on at any given moment in time, it’s important for me to really plan out what I’m doing each day and knowing what direction I’m heading in. Jotting down ideas when I get them or remember that there’s something I need to do, keeps my mind clear of them while I’m working, which then allows me to focus and give my full attention to my day job.

  • Take Breaks.

Take time during the day to stretch and clear your mind.  It can be stressful holding down a full time job while having creative projects in the back of your mind, but taking a few moments to yourself to take a quick walk or get some fresh air will help keep you centered and your mind focused on the task at hand.

  • Stay Flexible.

Even if you’ve planned to do something for a certain project, there may be times when other projects have a more time sensitive task that needs to get done that requires you to put off other things for a little while to focus on just that.  Being able to redirect focus consistently without turning to procrastination is an important skill to develop.  In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  The skill that you were working on yesterday may not be the service that a client is requesting tomorrow.  Staying polished and informed in all of your skillsets (and you should have more than one) will be the most beneficial to your personal success.