Timing is Everything
September signifies the start of the arts season. And until the season comes to a close next spring, arts organizations will give their full efforts to provide transformative experiences to their audiences. As dedicated arts marketers, can we also transform our understanding of how time management skills contribute to giving a full effort?
As arts lovers, we want to demonstrate passion and commitment to our work. However, too often we measure passion by the length of our to-do lists. We pride ourselves on getting things done without considering whether we’re doing the right activities. This kind of busyness may reflect a passion for perfectionism rather than a passion for the arts.
True passion reveals itself in a willingness to bring our clarity of purpose to the work at hand. It means thoughtfully engaging with the activities that support every performance and honoring the commitment to clients and audiences by structuring time to support the most effective effort.
We are drawn to the arts because we are comfortable challenging ourselves with different vantage points, so let’s challenge ourselves by considering these key strategies to engage in transformative time management:
IDENTIFY: What are my high-value activities? Examine each activity and consider how it adds value for your clients or audiences. Evaluate its level of impact on the overall campaign or performance. If you were short of either time or money, would you still insist on completing this activity? Clarity allows you to focus your efforts on the most meaningful tasks.
ESTIMATE: How long will this task take? Develop a personal cheat sheet of task estimates. The time required for the same task can vary widely due to both internal factors such as your normal daily energy fluctuations, and external factors such as holidays or awaiting input from others. It is critical that you have a realistic expectation of how long it takes to complete various tasks.
SCHEDULE: Have I scheduled tasks for high performance? Block out time to complete key tasks at times that maximize your performance. If your concentration level is higher in the morning, make a regular morning appointment for complex tasks such as writing.
OPEN: Have I left open spaces in my day? Leave space for welcoming inspiration. Urgent rushing from task to task leaves no room for the unexpected. Creativity needs room to appear and stamina to flourish. If you have scheduled a day with no breath, you will not be able to support a sustained creative effort.
The best arts experiences allow us to challenge our viewpoints; the best time management techniques go beyond to-do lists and scheduling to allow us to engage deeply with aligning our activities and core values. Use the new beginning signified by the start of the fall arts season to commit to the journey of transforming your time management skills.