That is the question that art coach Alyson Stanfield raised in a recent blog post.
Supposing you where the boss doing an employee review she posed these questions – they got my attention!
Do you show up late for appointments with yourself or others? Do you show up at all?
Are you fully present for the task at hand? Are you able to focus on an important job, or are you too easily distracted?
Do you miss deadlines? Do you only work when you feel like it?
Do you work on what’s important to the boss, or do you procrastinate and waste time? Do you catch yourself spending too much time on little things while avoiding what’s hard?
Do you return calls and emails promptly? Is all of your communication business-like, or has it grown sloppy?
Do you take initiative or wait to be asked? Do you only perform when there is a gun to your head?
Do you avoid tasks because you don’t know how to do them, or do you find a way to make them happen?
Do you make excuses or accept responsibility for your actions?
I have been self employed most of my working life. I have learned a lot about self discipline and accountability. I have always loved what I do making it a whole lot easier to show up. My art business has been the most difficult, my previous businesses have been customer driven – having an order to fill or a project to work on or a store to open. Being an artist is so different (unless of course you have tons of commissions).
I find myself easily distracted by all the other “stuff” that seems important. For me one of the most valuable tools is time blocking. In my recent Goal Setting for Creative Minds workshop we really looked at our time wasters and how we spend our time. Several of the participants where surprised to discover that they had ample time to do the things they wanted to if they prioritized and time blocked. Another technique I use is the Pomodoro Technique for focusing on tasks. Sometimes I am surprised to find out the task I have been putting off really only takes 15 minutes. It also gives you an idea of how long things do take as I tend to be unrealistic when I make my to do list! Aside from that I love variety and have trouble sticking with any one thing for a long period of time.
*Alyson Stanfield is an artist advocate and business mentor at ArtBizCoach.com. This article was originally published on her Art Biz Blog, which is consistently listed as a top 20 art blog. Read more articles like this at http://artbizblog.com.