I’m often asked, “How can you make art and run a business at the same time? How do you balance your creativity and business?” My answer, “I have to manage my priorities.” Notice I didn’t say, “I have to manage my time.” That’s impossible. We’re always interrupted. The phone rings, the FedEx deliveryman is knocking on the door, or this morning there was a Great Blue Heron walking slowly on top of the carport. I had to stand for a while and watch him.
So I focus on my priorities and those priorities are six action steps that I’m going to complete each day, action steps that will move me towards attaining my annual goal. My annual goal is my company’s 2010 sales goal, which I aim to at least double.
Each night before I go to bed I list six action steps that I’m going to complete the following day. They are numbered one through six in order of their priority. I get up and I focus on the first one and I work on it until it’s done. Allowing for appointments, I move to number two. I try my best to get through all six but if I don’t, I at least know that I have worked on the most important action items first.
Generally I like to divide my day in half. The mornings are for left-brain related business and marketing tasks. Then if I have time, I go for a run to help shift into my creative right brain. I find the repetitive and meditative motion of running, and the tranquil natural setting of The Presidio, to be very helpful.
When I return, it’s time to paint. Painting is not always listed as number one and I don’t spend every afternoon in front of my easel. But as I get closer to my sales goal, it will be number one most every day.