Feeling overwhelmed or burnt out in your Art & Design practice?

Overwhelm is about feeling:
“I have something to do but I don’t know where to start” 
If you know you are, you are not alone.
There are so many people like you out there, and the key is to acknowledge that you are.
It’s great that you love what you do; we just want to make you aware that your business could consume you, and you just don’t know when to stop.
It’s not just the number of hours you spent creating, but also the non stop hours in dealing with too many tasks at the same time. This is particularly true if you are a creativepreneur.
Do you feel that even though you are multi tasking you still feel like there’s not enough time to do everything?
Do you feel wherever you go, your tasks follow you like a shadow, and you feel like you have to do it all the time? Such as answering emails during a phone call and you may even write one or two emails while on the phone call too. Sound familiar?
How about sending SMS’s while you are driving, even when knowing it’s illegal to do so! Or, even better, having an intimate dinner with your partner and you are busy updating your Facebook & twitter. This is definitely a No No if you still want to keep your partner around.
The truth is that what you are demonstrating are not productive activities and let me explain to you why. In fact, you have spaced your attention to too many tasks at the one time, which means you are only partially engaged in those tasks. It could mean that you are not giving those tasks the attention they deserve, what we call “the rush jobs” so you will end up with poor execution to those tasks.
Can you remember a time when you were so overwhelmed with your work and you actually forgot what the real reason as to why you started your business in the first place. This has happened to a lot of business owners because they switched away from a primary task to do something else that is easy and less challenging or focused on urgent tasks instead of the important one. That’s also the reason why you will never achieve what you set out to do because of all the distractions around you.  Another reason is you lack clarity and priority in your Art & Design practice.
If you choose to fall into this constant pattern of always doing something else like the urgent stuff rather the important tasks, you are relentlessly burning down your energy over a period of time and that means you will have less energy to spend on the important tasks that you have been trying to achieve.
From experience, if you have a plan and prioritise them in order of importance with a timeline helps. You will get two to three times as much work done, and this is because you stay focused on those tasks one at a time without interruptions. Remember to celebrate once you achieved those tasks like a pat on the shoulder, or have “Me time” breaks  so you can re-energise and resume work full of positive energy and inspiration.
Below are a few tips to help you reduce the ‘non stop’ syndrome in your Art & Design business:
  1. Work on your 90 days plan: plan your activities and lock in all your important dates and tasks that you need to get done. Be disciplined and stick to it. Think of activities you need to undertake, and then stay focused on those mini tasks over the days, weeks, and months of your plan. Make a habit of reviewing and revisiting your goals regularly each week. Get as clear as you can about what you really want. Establish a vision for your passion and commit to what you want to achieve. Believe it and most importantly… Take action!
  2. To do list: Do the most important tasks first. Set a time frame for each task and do those tasks without any interruption. Focus on the task and resist every impulse distraction .The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you’ll be. When you’re done, take at least a few minutes to refresh.
  3. Adopt the “3 Must Do” tasks everyday: are critical to your success. Always keep your 3MDs in your schedule, and do them first. Any other tasks on your to do  lists (after these top 3) can fit around and between your ‘3 Must Do’ tasks. Do them when you have extra time, or when time allows.
  4. I want it now syndrome: Don’t expect an instant response at every moment of the day. What are you rushing for? This behaviour forces you into a reactive mode, lose your focus and makes it hard for you to concentrate on your priorities. A good start is to check your email 3 times a day such as in the morning, midday and before you finish for the day. By doing this you won’t get distracted by an email bombardment. To tell you the truth, if people really need you, they will call you.
  5. Me Time: Give yourself at least a short break during the day. Get out of your studio and go for a walk, do yoga or a workout at the gym. This will do you a world of good and you can resume your work with renewed energy after your ‘Me Time’.
  6. Allocate time for work IN, On and ABOVE  your business: Schedule times to think more long term. If you don’t, you’ll constantly be trapped on the treadmill of urgency. Find a different space to plan your strategies, preferably somewhere you can  get lots of inspiration, and  you can draw ideas from.
  7.  Refresh: means time out of your business, go on a holiday several times a year if possible, The breaks don’t have to big and long it can be a short one of only two or three days and linked  to a weekend.  Taking regular breaks will give you a healthy mindset, increase overall productivity and a positive Art & Design practices.
Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

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