We are both amazingly blessed as creatives as well as feeling cursed. We feel so incredibly inspired by everything around us, basically all the time. We have ideas that pop up all the time and that come from every direction. We want to have our hands in so many things and want to turn all of our ideas into profitable business ventures. It is like being on inspiration overload. When you have a variety of skills and want to explore new ideas and projects, everything feels like a possibility even though we want to be more intentional and focused during this year. It can be incredibly challenging to say no to other ideas, find our focus, and prioritize what we want to/need to do because we have all of our different projects.
On top of having the tasks associated with the Creative Business Breakdown, our courses, our classes, and our brick-and-mortar business (Music Therapy Connections), Rachel and I also have our own individual projects outside of our joint ventures. That adds up to at least a half dozen large projects/businesses each and we often feel scattered, especially when we are work from home or in an office with other people where there are other people and tasks vying for our attention. It is incredibly difficult to determine where to put our attention when there are so many different “hats”.
In today’s episode we break down some of the strategies we use when trying to determine where to put our focus and how we set our priorities.
- Having a set meeting time with a set agenda – We got back to the sit down meetings we so enjoy!! Within a shared folder in google drive, Rachel and I keep all of our meeting notes where we keep a running list of all of our ideas, our assigned tasks, and what we need to be working on. Our set meeting time also allows us to check-in and discuss if something needs to be addressed immediately or if it can be tabled for future discussion. Our notes also give us a written document to go back to in the future.
- Trello – Our shared (and individual) trello boards give us a place to brain dump all of the tasks that need to be done. That means not only writing down the BIG tasks, but also breaking them down into smaller checklists that make sense for you.
- Set deadlines – Even if a project doesn’t have an actual required deadline, creating a concrete deadline for yourself and sharing it with someone (i.e. an accountability partner) who will keep you on track can be incredibly helpful in achieving your goals and in a timely manner
- Creating time and space to work – Set aside a set amount of time to actually work on what needs to get done and create a short (3 items max.) list of what you want to accomplish in that time. Be sure to have a space that is free from distractions so you can do your best work.
- Decide what to do with new ideas – New ideas can be a big distraction during your set work time. Do what you need to in order to stay on track. That can mean spending a short amount of time working on your new idea or writing it down and letting the idea sit (on paper) for a while, until you are ready to come back.
- Determine the Pros and Cons of your Project – How is what you are working on or what you want to work on going to benefit your end goal? Ask yourself where you really want to be an where your wants/needs intersect?
- Write it DOWN!!! – I’ve said it dozens of time. Write down what your must get down and check it off as you go. Pull out the 1-3 things that HAVE to get done and decide when to do them.
- Use Your Energy and Motivation When You Have It – Keep your short list handy so that when you have the energy and motivation to tackle a new project, you can go at it with full force!
We tend to have a to-do list that is far too long and tend to have too many projects piled up at once. We are challenging you to eliminate something from your list today and let us know what is working for you.
Until Next Time,
Katey & Rachel
This month has been a little bit of a doozy!!! We have simply been trying to coast and move through the month day by day. Between illness and travel, Rachel and I have been trying to simply stay on track and have been relying on each other to stay afloat and keep on the right track. We started the year by outlining some awesome goals and creating our mantra for the year. We’ve known what we want to get done, but life has gotten in the way recently. We were so excited by our goals at the beginning of the year and ready to take them on, that when life got a little hairy, we started feeling a little disappointed and frustrated. In today’s episode we talked about how were are dealing with the rollercoaster of life that we have been on and how were plan to take on February with a new mindset.
Even though life has been a little messy and we haven’t been putting in the serious hustle that we have in the past, we realized, with some further reflection, that in being able to take time away from work and being able to just let our business coast we ARE meeting some of our bigger goals. We recognize that we have put in place some awesome strategies and systems that are proving their efficacy as we’ve had to each step away this month for one reason or another. We’ve been able to cut some of the waste in our business by simply cutting out the unnecessary tasks that have saved us time, energy, and money. We’ve been able to share more of ourselves with our families and friends. AND we’ve been able to live our why by taking time away when we want and need it. Things have been running smoothly and without having to put in a whole lot of extra effort because of all of the work we’ve done in the past.
Even though we are definitely happy (a little proud) that we have been able to run on auto-pilot, we are definitely wanting to work more actively toward our goals and refocus our attention in the month of February. In order to work toward those goals more effectively, we outlined 3 strategies that we are going to be reintroducing to our business and using more diligently, especially in the coming month:
- Creating a Structured Plan by Assigning Tasks & Getting Specific in Trello – We want to set our big goals into motion by breaking them down into smaller, specific tasks that are achievable throughout each day, week, and month. Every time we take time to plan out exactly what we need to accomplish, we get it done and achieve our goals in a much more timely and successful manner.
- Weekly Business Meetings – These are short business meetings where we can regularly check-in with one another, get on the same page, and figure out what where we need to be headed.
- Chalkboard Method – Writing it down is the most important thing you can do in achieving goals. Simply be creating the space fro something to exist, you are creating the opportunity for it to happen and to be successful. Creating something that is visual and trackable has been a game changer for us! We talked a little about our chalkboard door in our facebook live video during our recording of today’s episode.
We’d love to hear more about how you are staying on track in both life and business and how you keep working toward your goals even in the midst of craziness.
Until Next Time,
Katey & Rachel
We are in a very creative, but also very clinical field. Marrying the creative and clinical sides together can get tricky, especially when we spend time around other professionals doing the same job. It’s so easy for Rachel and I to both lose our sense of validity both within our professional practice and as music therapists. Today, we are talking about how we find validation in our daily work and own our legitimacy as business owners.
Music therapy looks so different for each setting and with each individual music therapist. Though we all have the same background, initial training, and competencies we have to meet, our individual skills sets differ as we continue our training/work and develop a unique set of personal assets. It is easy to get caught in a comparison trap or set up unrealistic expectations by trying to emulate our heroes and can feel frustrating when those ideals aren’t achieved.
Instead of letting our selves feel caught in the trap of comparison or looking to outside sources for validation, we are actively working to build ourselves up in what we do every day and finding what works for us. Here are some of the ideas we shared that could be helpful for you in your business and practice.
- Realizing your specialty – It is perfectly fine to say no to certain work. You do not have to work with every person or take on every project. Realize what you love doing and what you don’t.
- Embrace what you are best at – Take stock of what you are and are not good at so you can play to your strengths and ask for help when needed. What are you an expert in?What would someone else say are your strengths?
- Instead of getting caught up in the “I should be doing” or “why am I not doing”, have a personal pep talk and recognize what you have been doing or are doing!
- Save pieces of positive feedback to go back to (ex. emails, voicemails, notes, etc.)
- Write it down – Keep a running list of the positive things you are doing, have done, and want to do. Write down the positive things in your day. What is your big or small win for the day?
- Mindset is everything!! Your mindset makes all the difference in your success and growth. What attitude do you want to have? How can you achieve that?
- Share the burden – If you don’t have an awesome business partner like I do, find someone you can talk to, openly, about everything! You can solve so many problems by just talking out loud and sharing what’s on your mind.
- Track your goals – Find a way to actually track where you are and where you have been. Seeing your progress is inspiring and helps you to keep progressing.
No matter where you are in life or in business, there is a way to celebrate your success and find validation. Celebrate your little victories and find ways to build yourself up every day! If you are still looking for some answers or ideas, check out our new course, Setting Yourself Up for Success.
Until next time,
Katey & Rachel