Graham Allcott, founder of time management training specialists Think Productive, takes us through some productivity myths.
Time management – it’s a myth
When someone is feeling overwhelmed and has too much to do, they often say things like “I need to get better at time management”, but time management is the wrong definition, and it leads to people chasing a problem that can’t be solved. As effective as the best business leaders are, they cannot manage time either: everyone has the same number of hours in their day. The problem is really how we manage our attention. If I focus on time, I may very efficiently schedule difficult work for Friday afternoon, when I’m so tired I don’t have the attention resources available. Likewise, we all have only 2-3 hours a day of what I call ‘Proactive Attention’ – where our attention, energy and concentration levels mean we’re truly on top of our game. It’s how we manage that resource, which is much more limited than time, which ultimately determines our productivity. A Productivity Ninja manages attention, not time.
Continue reading 5 Productivity Myths for Creative People
In her chapter entitled Good Work? Rethinking Cultural Entrepreneurship (in Creativity and Cultural Policy edited by Bilton), Kate Oakley rethinks entrepreneurship and the notion of good work. The thrust of her argument is that the policy rhetoric encouraging entrepreneurship in the cultural sector needs to take note of the challenges of cultural work and self-employment. A better understanding of different practices and individual experiences needs to inform the ‘rethinking of cultural entrepreneurship’. As Oakley states, there is a ‘disconnect between the discourse of cultural entrepreneurship and the reality of it.’
I’d like to pick up a few ideas from Oakley’s chapter and add my own research and comments to the debate. Continue reading Cultural Entrepreneurship: Good or Bad Work?
Project management. It’s enough to strike fear into many a creative professional. It conjures up images of gantt charts or spread sheets, long meetings and complicated software.
And yet the uber-detailed project planning we may aspire to may not even be the best way after all: too much planning can actually be a bad thing!
It is more important to be ultra-agile than to be over prepared. For day-to-day projects, we should think in terms of 20% planning and 80% regular management, re-alignment and steering.
Continue reading Managing Projects: Creatively & Productively
I like the idea of developing ‘habits’ to nurture your ideas. I picked this up from Dave Jarman’s project at the University of Bristol, Basecamp. They have produced a little book which starts with 10 habits to encourage entrepreneurial behaviour.
The habits can be useful for anyone starting a freelance or portfolio career, as well as budding entrepreneurs.
Habit 1 – Write down your ideas to help you remember them and act on them. Continue reading 10 Good Habits!
I discussed branding for a creative enterprise with my MA students today.
I wanted to demonstrate how a brand identity is much more than a logo and probably needs to develop over a period of time. It will be part of all social media activity and can be reflected in the use of language and personal style.
In Young Entrepreneurs, Joanna Lord recommends a storytelling approach to encourage a discussion with your audience. Telling your story will help you build a community and encourage sharing. As a result your identity will develop through a dialogue with your audience rather than in a vacuum.
My colleague Frances Brown pointed out Johanna Basford’s website which is a beautiful example of a strong brand identity, with a very unique and personal style.
If you want to work as a freelancer or develop creative business you will have to think about your brand identity. You could start by collecting examples of other creative businesses – they might inspire you!
Do you have examples of brands you really like? Or dislike?