Time Management Tips

How maximize your time, get organized & generate more work.

Let's start with the bold reminder that you can put yourself first. 

We know you have families and major responsibilities, so there is a struggle between showing up for your practice and showing up for everything else, especially when it isn't your full time work. If you are like us, when you are busy, it's hard to get organized because it feels overwhelming. So, we made a tool for you:

DOWNLOAD THE DELVE WEEKLY PLANNER!

We have been planning out our weeks like this for years, on paper! Call us old fashioned, but filling out and crossing off tasks in a beautiful design gives us much pleasure. There are notes included inside to get you started, organized and productive.

Organize your week.

Let's take a step back and start with breaking down everything you need to do in order to see the big picture. For the most part, all of your tasks should fit into the following categories:

Making money:  This is self explanatory and a necessary part of your schedule, but think about if there is any time that you could be using more wisely on a day to day basis–commuting, lunch time, etc.– if your job is not related to your practice?

Family/Personal:  Taking care of yourself and your family is very important, maybe the most, right? Every once in a while, though, can you delegate a responsibility to buy yourself some more work time?

Studio/Creating:  Ultimately the most important time, it's helpful to set out with a weekly goal in mind of how much time/what you want to accomplish in the week and write it into your schedule. You need to show up.

Office Time: This is all the stuff that supports your practice: writing, marketing, social media, applications, finances, etc. What is on your docket this week? We have found that doing a little bit a day makes the most impact.

Networking/Learning for Practice: Are you taking strides on a weekly/monthly basis to connect with your community and/or learn new skills?

Life Stuff: We all have to acquire groceries, cook food, clean, and do laundry. Make sure you account for that in your week.

Inspiration Hours: We all need time to just be, and be inspired. Maybe you daydream, go to a museum, read, or be with friends. It's important.

Ways to maximize busy times and stay present in your practice:

Stay confident and talking: One great thing about socializing is that you can secretly use it to practice talking about your work in clear ways, and stay focused on building confidence around sharing your work. Make the conversation more exciting than just the same old: it's about your work!

Write down everything you want to get done: Simple as that, you can see what you need to prioritize. 

Plan it all out. You have to get a lot done in a given week, so if you have a list you can refer to, you can just keep crossing things off it. Winging it does not work.


Remember to do the best you can, and by starting out with a plan, you'll
get there faster and with less stress.

We each sit down at the beginning of each week, usually a Sunday night, and consult our big giant list, and then insert it our daily to-dos into our weekly planners. This gives us a physical place to consult, cross off, and keep planning. It works wonders, so keep it by your side!

Stay focused, artists and creatives. We are here for you.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Is time always running out?

One of the biggest fears a lot of our clients have is the fear of not having enough time. Enough time to finish a project, get an application written, or a proposal sent out. It's that nagging feeling that you might as well not even try because you'll probably run out of time. Or the realization that the deadline is at midnight, and here it's already 7pm, so why even bother. It's born out of procrastination but also causes procrastination. Have you ever said to yourself "I'm never going to get my materials together in time, so I might as well not even bother?" (and then promptly clicked over to Facebook or Instagram)...

Us, too. It happens. But how do you get out of that mindset or rut? 

The key is realizing it is a mindset. Meaning it's in your mind. Anything that's in your mind, you can adjust. If you think about it, there are 2 kinds of time. There is clock time, which is standardized and given (60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, etc.) and then there is the time you feel on any given day. This kind of time is completely based on perception, meaning an hour at the dentist can feel like an eternity, while watching your baby turn 18 can feel like the blink of an eye. So any tasks that you want to fit in for your practice or business can be organized with clock time, but their perception can be adjusted depending on your mental attitude towards them. 

Step one is harnessing and organizing that clock time. 

Here's how:

1. First, you need to know where all of your time is going to begin with. Grab a scheduler (or a calendar), and for one week, write down everything you do and how long it takes. Be honest, and see how much time the various parts of your business or practice take. (This is also a valuable exercise to see what things you're not even doing, even though you know you probably should be doing them). How much time during your week is spent with productive activities that are working towards your goals?

2. Wait, what? Goals? You know you have some, but are they really clearly spelled out for the next month, six months, or year? And we mean really clear, like you know exactly what the goal is, and how it's broken down into achievable tasks over the next few weeks? Next step: write out your goals, and then break them down into manageable pieces or steps.

3. Each piece of that goal should have time assigned to it. This is where a scheduler or calendar actually comes in really handy. A to-do list is great, but what happens is that it becomes longer and longer and then gets overwhelming. Take those to-dos and pencil them into a real schedule with real amounts of time assigned to them. That way you don't have to think about them and have them overwhelm you, unless they are the scheduled task in front of you for the next 30 minutes or hour. Keep that appointment with that task. If you do that, it will actually get crossed off your list! Amazing!

4. Take 10 or 20 minutes at the beginning of each day (or even the night before) to plan the day. Make sure all your scheduled goals are still on track and that the tasks you set for yourself are realistic to accomplish. At the end of your work day, take 10-20 minutes to go through that day's tasks and assess if you've actually accomplished them and if the process went smoothly. If it didn't, assess what went wrong and try to remedy it for next time. (For example, you set one hour to work on your writing, and you got nothing accomplished because you were feeling blocked and spent one hour staring at a blank screen. Next time, start the task with a list of questions you can answer to help you get the writing process started. Start simply, with a question like "What is this project about?")

5. Take a minute before each task to decide what result you want to achieve. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also slow time down. Take a minute after each task to determine whether your desired result was achieved. 

This all seems like a lot of work, probably. But once you try it and figure out a way to work it into your routine, time will feel a lot less scary and you'll actually feel like you have a grasp of it–and can possibly even manage it!

Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Your Editorial Calendar: Part 2, the content & visuals.

In the last post, Your Editorial Calendar: Part 1, the overview, we covered what an editorial calendar and content management are, and what big picture items you need to assess before starting your online marketing plan. Please be sure to read it here.

Today we are going to cover many ideas of how to create unique content for your editorial calendar. The goal with your editorial calendar is to organize your marketing plan so it is easy to execute. It's an organized calendar that you create yourself weeks and months in advance to keep you on track. We use a shared Excel sheet to keep track of our content and ideas. Not very sexy but it does the trick and it's accessible anywhere.

The Plan

  • Goals. Are you looking to sell something, get newsletter sign ups, share an event, create community around your art practice? Anything goes! And your goals might change month to month, or weekly.
  • Themes. When looking at the year ahead and your goals, it might be helpful to start off by choosing themes for each month on which to base your content. We use that approach because we have so many tips to share, we wanted to organize 2016 by monthly topic. It could be that your theme is based on an event, a new project or a product. The key is that you have a focal point and you can elaborate on this theme to share unique, detailed and powerful content!
  • Consistency. If anything, be consistent in your sharing and in your message. Keep your personal social media accounts separate from your professional accounts, unless it all makes sense. Be active and consistent in your sharing; your audience cares!
  • Platforms. What platforms will you be using to share your content? Newsletter, social media, blog posts, guest articles? We will cover the power of each significant platform in the next post.

The Content

  • Your voice. In the last post, we wrote about determining your unique story as an artist. This exercise is crucial because it centers your marketing plan on your work and gives you the language and confidence to talk about it. It keeps your message clear, so consistency is also valid in this context. This also applies to your bios and social media handles: make sure that your "about" is unique and consistent.
  • Frequency. Depending on which platforms you use, you may have to post multiple times daily (Twitter) versus once a week (a personal journal or blog). Figure out what you can handle in your schedule and what the platform dictates.
  • Hashtags. Don't forget to use hashtags when appropriate to make your work easier to find!
  • Call to action. Ask your reader to engage with your content. Do you want to direct them to your website, sign up for your newsletter, or comment?
  • Share and be generous. The more you share and open up, the more engagement you will receive. By keeping your content relevant and powerful, you will be creating a genuine marketing plan that your audience will look forward to seeing and that will resonate with them, and with you.  This also applies to engaging with others on social media platforms; it's a two-way street!
  • Recycle. If you are an active Instagram user, share some image highlights on your blog. Do you have years worth of wonderful posts from your blog? Share them again on social media platforms. Good content will resonate over time.

The Visuals

  • Beautiful documentation of your work. Don't ruin all of the work you have put into developing your unique story and compelling content with bad pictures. Your images that you share should be consistent and visually compelling.
  • Design matters. As your bio and social media handles should be consistent, don't forget about consistent good design in all of your materials. Font and color choices are as important as the content and images.

Here is a list of content ideas for your editorial calendar:

  • News: awards, press, other updates
  • Events
  • Website Updates
  • New Work
  • Work in progress
  • How To: ways to share your process
  • Behind the Scenes: your work in progress, your life as artist or creative
  • On Site: live posting at a relevant event
  • Sharing other relevant content: cross promotion, articles, etc.
  • Promotion of products, services or events
  • Blog/Journal: can be written and/or visual posts

In the next post, Your Editorial Calendar: Part 3, the platforms and tools, we will be covering all of the best strategies for the different platforms you can use to make your Editorial Calendar come to life!

What other ideas do you have to create amazing editorial calendars? Please share in the comments below!


 

 

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Your Editorial Calendar: Part 1, the overview.

As an artist or creative entrepreneur, you are a small business owner. You are responsible for making the work, the business side and the marketing side. We understand that it is really overwhelming. Our services have been developed over time to take the worry out of the marketing side of things. Our philosophy is: once you put in the time developing your unique story verbally and in writing, then create beautiful documentation of your work, the rest of the marketing stuff falls into place with good design and a clear plan, with some minimal maintenance along the way.

This post is going to be the first in a series about your Editorial Calendar: what it is and why you desperately need one for your content management.

Wait, I have heard content management/managers before. What is it? What do they do? In our world, a content manager is you, or someone who will make sure that your work is updated on your website, documented and shared in a consistent, clear and compelling way online to achieve results. They are the managers with the vision and the voice.

What is an editorial calendar? It's simply an organized personal calendar that outlines your content for online marketing. This can be everything from establishing monthly content themes, determining what products/services you are sharing over the course of a year or month, updating your website or blog, sharing events, and planning all of the online content (social media, newsletters, press) that you will share to tell your ideal audience your unique story, so that they will know you, love you and buy what you do. The editorial calendar is your vehicle for staying organized, maximizing your time and maintaining a clear marketing plan.

See, it's all really simple. The key is that you need to figure out the big goals first before you can get your editorial content active and working for you. Let's review the big stuff that you need to consider before you develop your editorial calendar:

1) Do I have a firm grasp on my unique story verbally and in writing? Can I write and speak clearly about what I do that feels natural and is memorable? This is fundamentally the most important part of telling the world about what you do. It's also one of the hardest things to do. We help people with this every day.

2) Am I aware of my ideal audience? Your audience should never be "everyone." So it's important to define who they are. Once you narrow this down you will know who you are creating content for and it will be much easier to speak to them directly about what you do specifically. Your ideal audience might only be 50 people. That is ok.

3) What are my goals? Why am I sharing my work? Are you looking to get people to hire you, create awareness around your practice, or sell a specific product? Before you start dreaming up amazing content to share, you should be aware of what you want it to accomplish. Of course, you don't want to sound salesy or pushy, no real people do. But you won't achieve your goals without sharing your work in an effective, clear way. Operate under the premise that there is no one waiting to discover you in hiding.

No matter what your end goals are, we believe that online content management can develop two very important things around an artistic or creative practice:

  • It creates a community around your work. By engaging on social media, sending newsletters, writing guest articles, or simply sharing your work, you are creating conversations, building an audience and rallying support. People care!
  • It is the opportunity to create a personal online archive of your work, interests, passions and life as a professional. When you look back through a Twitter feed or Instagram account, for instance, you can see exactly what you have shared that builds a story about who you are and what influences your work. Your ideal audience will be very interested in this.

That is the big picture assessment of why it's extremely important to have a firm footing in your goals and unique story before launching into the development of your editorial calendar. We have two more posts coming up that will review the best way to share content and the platforms that you can use to share them. Stay tuned!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Finding Focus for the stuff you really want to be doing

Happy March! This month we're tackling a topic that goes hand-in-hand with last month's time management theme. We're going to be talking about finding focus, staying motivated, and building confidence so that your creative work stays at the forefront of your mind and at the top of your priority list. Follow along and participate in the conversation with us on Instagram and Facebook, as well as here on our blog, and by using the hashtag #KAfocus!

To be creative, we need to have time and space to allow our minds to wander, expand, and go off in random directions. Of course, that's a hard thing to do these days, as we have so many things constantly vying for our attention (studio, jobs, family, email, appointments, social media, netflix). What that means is that we have to learn to be really strict with ourselves. If creative time is indeed important to us, and something that we'd like to bring to the forefront in our lives, than we have to make time for it. Last month, we talked about figuring out ways to find that time. This month, we're going to talk about what to do with that time once you've blocked it off for yourself. Blocking it off is the first and most important thing you can do. Write it in your calendar and treat it like you would any other meeting or appointment. It is arguably the most important appointment of your day. 

Hopefully the time you have found for yourself is also your most creative time of the day--for example, many of us think most clearly and have the most energy first thing in the morning. If that's the case, then grab your cup of coffee and head straight to your work area. Do not check your email, do not scroll through Instagram. This time is blocked off for your mind to focus, for your creativity to have a chance to flow in. If you check your email, chances are you'll get distracted and think that confirming your dentist appointment is most important thing you could do. It's not. Almost all of your emails can wait until you take your lunch break. 

In the book Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build your Routine, Find Your Focus and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, Cal Newport suggests starting with small blocks of focused creative time (an hour at first), and building those up incrementally by 15 minutes every week or two. The key is never to allow distraction. Once you give in to checking your phone, you should cancel the whole block and start over. It's a great way to build discipline. 

Another tip he suggests is having one focused task to do during that time. If you are writing an article, do all your research ahead of time so that when you sit down, all you have to do is write. Same thing goes for starting a new painting or designing a poster. Gather all your research, source material, visual inspiration, and tools ahead of time so that when you sit down you can dive right in.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning how to focus and letting your creativity in. We'll have many more posts over the course of the month, and stayed tuned for more information about an upcoming free Webinar on the topic, as well! Also, please let us know what you do to stay focused! We'd love to share your advice with the community!


If you're interested in a sure way to find accountability and want help making sure that you are working towards your professional goals with all you've got, then you should consider the DELVE Toolkit. It's a one-on-one consulting program that will definitely help you make bigger strides than you though possible! Get in touch with us to set up a 20 minute call.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Our Mantras For Being More Productive

As we explore time management and productivity on our blog and social media (#KATime), we want to make clear that we have no magic answers. All of us approach getting things done in a different way, and each of us is very unique. Why are some of us better at managing our time than others? The key is in how we prioritize our tasks and pay attention to long term projects, yielding fruitful results down the road: curbing procrastination and distraction, staying accountable, and making enough time for relaxation.

As a small business owner – artists and creative entrepreneurs, that's you – you sometimes feel like you have too much to do. The real key is to take a step back and make a plan, and implement the following advice and tips to make sure that you can harness your time and feel really good about it. You are your own boss.

Our Mantras For Being More Productive:

Studio Time is Sacred:
"Studio Time" is our name for the time when we make our work, the time your inspiration flows. It's the time when you show up to your work even if you aren't feeling it at that moment. When are you most productive and creative for your work? Make this time sacred and plan your other tasks around it. It's an easy solution, but so many of us will spend our energetic mornings checking email and playing around on social media. All of that stuff can wait until later, we promise.

If You Feel Like You Have No Time:
Stop, plan and organize.
No matter how crazy things get, you have to take a look at the big picture. That means taking an hour or three out of your day to get on track, make comprehensive lists, and an actionable plan to move forward with everything you need to do. It's much easier to thrive within a structured To Do List than it is to flounder without one. We firmly believe that this clears the mind to allow creative/studio/practice time to flourish because all of the nagging is out of your head, down on paper and in reality.

If You Have A Lot Of Time And Don't Know What To Do With It:
Set some deadlines and challenges for yourself and get someone to hold you accountable.
Many people get that from us through working on the DELVE Toolkit, but identifying what your goals are and all of the steps you need to take in getting there should be enough to get that fire lit beneath you. If you know you can't do it on your own, chances are you can find an accountability buddy.

If You Are a Procrastinator:
Ask yourself: What is holding you back from getting things done? Is it fear, uncertainty, laziness? If you can verbalize this and get it out, the thing that is holding you back is probably not so bad. You need to find someone to hold you accountable and set some deadlines for yourself. And stop wasting time on Facebook.

Sleep.
Getting rest and staying healthy is an amazing productivity booster. If you need more time and energy, focus on how you are treating your body first and foremost.


If you're interested in taking your productivity to the next level, join us for a *free* DELVE Webinar on 2/29/16 at 9pm EST. Sign up here to claim your spot!

 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

The keys to managing your time.

We have a stellar *free* DELVE Webinar lined up for you at the end of this month. Since we were given an extra day in February this year, why not use it to get our heads wrapped around our productivity and how we manage our time?! Sign up now to claim your spot.

We are going to explore YOUR specific issues, worries, and love/hate relationship with how you get everything done, or not. We understand first-hand that cultivating your practice, marketing it and dealing with all of the business stuff in addition to potentially being a partner, parent, friend, and generally happy human being can seem tough sometimes.

You will leave the 30-minute webinar with:

  • a new schedule! we are going to take the time to walk you through how to prioritize your time during the webinar

  • an inspired outlook on how to get the really important non-urgent stuff done because you know that will push you further

  • new resources and advice to refer to when you feel like things may be getting derailed

This will be the only free Time Management and Productivity Webinar we will be having in 2016 so don't miss out! Sign up here to claim your spot!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Emerging from a hazy forest to find productivity

This month on our blog and social media, we are talking about time management and productivity. Without fail, every client we have worked with faces issues with time. When you have a lot of it, it can be hard to manage. When you don’t have enough, it’s challenging to find the energy to be productive within it. What we will be sharing this month will resonate with all of you. The thing is, there is no magic answer to being more productive and finding more time; it just takes commitment and a new approach to your energy and focus.  Use the hashtag #KAtime to share thoughts, successes and failures about your productivity. It’s all fair game and we’re all in the same boat.

Today, Andrea is sharing her story about her struggle with time and productivity, and the tough choices she made this past year in order to do what she needed to stay focused on immediate priorities.


I emerged from that hazy forest of first-time new mothering feeling more powerful and vital than before, more wild and instinctive… less insecure and therefore less encumbered by my own shit.
— a quote from artist Zoe Buckman from How We Do Both, Art and Motherhood, edited and writing by Michi Jigarjian and Qiana Mastrich

When I look at my adorable daughter, toddling Frankenstein-like in my new home in Buffalo, NY, I marvel at how much my life has changed over the past twelve months. See, last year at this time I was living in a Brooklyn high-rise apartment, pregnant, and waddling to our studio to make artwork.  Fast-forward to now, with a big move behind me and a walking (!) toddler, and I am so grateful that these two changes have me very excited and definitely happy.

When I had my daughter in Brooklyn last year, I knew I would have to temporarily let go of part of my life, in addition to permanently letting go aspects of my body, because I would not have the neck strength to wear all of these hats: being a mother, being a wife, sustaining an art practice, staying healthy, running a business and earning money, and doing photography work. It all seemed incredibly impossible, and unfortunately it was for me. I envy the women that have had more focus—or at least make it seem that way.

When we decided to move to a new city, I knew that I needed to to press pause on my art practice for one year. It felt painful, but it was the only thing I could remove from the list above that would not directly affect my family or take away from making a living. I couldn’t do it all.

A year will be up in March and I am filled with excitement and apprehension. A huge part of me has been dormant and it has, quite frankly, sucked. It’s uncomfortable. All of my projects that I pressed pause on are uneasily gurgling within me in fits and starts. It might be worse than the last throes of pregnancy.

 I picked up this book recently, it's inspiring and interesting to see how everyone has different circumstances but the sense of urgency is all the same

I picked up this book recently, it's inspiring and interesting to see how everyone has different circumstances but the sense of urgency is all the same

I am ready to come back to my practice. Like so many of the amazing artists and creative entrepreneurs we have worked with, I am returning to my practice after a big life change, and it’s daunting. I, too, am struggling with when and how I will do this, because I am still wearing all of those hats I mentioned earlier. But this month I am making the place for it in my everyday again.

Like Sara’s post last month huge life changes and being in transition lead to clarity. And for both of us, we want our daughters to know we are artists as well as moms. And I want our clients to continue to receive my full attention. And I still want to have time with my family, and a sense of social well-being.

This post doesn’t have much of an inspirational ending (yet), but what I do know is that I am not alone in this. 

Reader, please tell me what you do to find the energy? Do you have a similar story? Please comment below. 

 

 

 

 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

The power of side projects, the passion of doing

As a culture, we work a lot. Or we think we do. But are you working on the stuff that really matters to you?

We have the privilege of working with amazingly talented artists, creatives and small business owners who are, more often than not, strapped for time. We help you better message what you are doing to your ideal audience so that you can save time, be more effective in achieving your goals, and feel super confident about your work.

Sometimes, though, what you are truly passionate about takes the back burner because life gets in the way: day jobs, family, holidays, general busy-ness. At the end of the day, it's easier not to work on the passion project (the thing that gets you so excited you might burst) because it has no guarantees of success, it may not bring in cash right now and maybe it's something new– unchartered waters. But just because it's easier not to do it doesn't mean that you shouldn't. In fact, you probably should burn that midnight oil and wake up knowing that the next morning you have moved towards achieving the goal. 

Sideprojects_KA.jpg

"From a psychological perspective, it would be better if people engaged in activities in which they sought challenges and tried to match them with their skills...However, in our society leisure is used as an “escape” from work. “Escapism” in this respect means that people do not seek meaningful leisure activities for their own growth and development, but instead resort to passive activities to escape from everyday strains and problems. Such behavior is frequently associated with a passive lifestyle and boredom, which in turn might feed into apathy and depression," we came across from this article

We can help you find that time to work on the projects that excite you so you can break the passive habits and change them to active creation. We believe that it will influence you and your work for the better and will impress your ideal audience even more. Just because no one else is telling you to do it doesn't mean that it's not important. You're the boss.


Kind Aesthetic helps creative entrepreneurs and small businesses tell their unique stories through developing beautiful and compelling marketing materials. We also help visual and performing artists and creatives hone their own communication skills to achieve their goals through DELVE, a suite of effective consulting services, workshops and events.

Our process focuses solely on you and your work and requires a collaborative dedication. In the end, our work together will create more confidence in and attention on your work, help you stand out from your peers, and can lead to achieving your professional goals because it’s based on an individualized strategy designed to allow your unique way of working to shine through and reach your target audience. Contact us to set up a free twenty minute call to see how we might work together to set you on your way to success.

 

This post was originally published on 12/22/15.

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

How I kept up my studio practice when my life changed

This month we're talking about dreams, resolutions, goals, planning and balance. As part of that, we want to share how we have personally tackled these topics in our lives. You can read what we wrote about finding balance here, and this week, Sara shares her story of keeping her art practice going while big changes happened in her life. 


 A selection of drawings from Sara's daily drawing project. 

A selection of drawings from Sara's daily drawing project. 

Last summer I lost my studio. I was seven months pregnant and knew that it didn't make financial sense to go looking for a new space, since the likelihood of me using it regularly was not good once the baby came. Not having a studio scared me. It was the sacred space where I went to make work, think, process, and be alone. I realized that I needed a way to keep that connection to my art practice even once I lost the physical space. On Labor Day 2015 (exactly a month to the day before I was to go into labor myself), I decided to commit to a daily drawing practice. I would set aside 30 minutes to an hour each day to spend with a piece of paper and some drawing materials (which so far have included pens, pencils, watercolors, gouache, conté crayons, colored pencils, thread and yarn). It was a way of staying connected to an art practice while canvases, panels and paints were impractical to use, and it was a way for me to be alone at the kitchen table to think, meditate, or zone out. I knew it would be challenging to keep this up once the baby arrived, but for that first month of September, it saved me. It was the highlight of each day, which otherwise included physical discomfort, baby preparation errands, exhaustion, and the anticipation of the unknown. In order to hold myself accountable to making a drawing a day, I posted them to my Instagram account. Even though I don't have that many followers, I do have many friends (and some strangers) now anticipating my posts. It is just the right amount of pressure I need to keep up with the daily practice, and the results have been really inspiring. There are many drawings I've made which I think will become the inspiration for future big paintings, and I am looking forward to editing the drawings into a book. There have been several occasions where I have been out an art opening or other gathering where people have approached me to talk about my drawings because they have seen them on Instagram. It's been a rewarding way to stay part of a bigger conversation while my daily life is otherwise occupied with raising my daughter. 

 More drawings from Sara's project. 

More drawings from Sara's project. 

So far, I've "slacked" twice with the commitment I've made to post a drawing every day. The first time was when my daughter was born (I took a week off), and then I gave myself a break over the Christmas holidays so that I could concentrate fully on my family. While it's important to set goals and find ways to hold yourself accountable, it's equally important to not be too hard on yourself when things don't go exactly as planned (and it's important to take breaks, too!) 

I admit that it's really hard to commit to a time-based project like this when you're fully immersed in raising a baby, but it has been a really good way to step out of the daily feeding/napping/diaper changing routine and take a few minutes for myself. I've added mother to the list of roles that make up my identity, but it is important for me that my daughter grows up seeing that "artist" is still way up high on that list. 


What goals have you set for yourself, and how are you making sure that you can reach them? 

Join us in a fun project this January! On Instagram and Facebook use the hashtag #kagoals along with a photo of what you are working on that makes you one step closer to fulfilling your professional goals this year. Inspire us!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

How to stay sane around the holidays and focus on your practice

It’s really easy to get lost in the insanity of December with all of the life stuff that eats away from your practice. We are all there right now so here are some thoughts about how to stay sane and remain in perspective when deadlines loom and you need to find that last minute gift for your siblings:

Make lists. This is a very simple reminder, but list making is a huge life saver when you are under pressure. It makes the looming task seem easy and do-able, they help break down the anxious laundry list running through your mind into easy to accomplish tasks you can cross off and move on. The key is to keep the lists accessible, up-to date and easy to access. Assess them daily and lean on them to keep you organized.

Plan ahead. Use said list and plan your goals for each day – with some wiggle room. Don’t cram all of your work deadlines, marketing for your business and holiday to dos in one day. There is not enough coffee in the world for this to work. (We’ve tried.) So plan it out through the week and leave yourself some room to take a rest.

Don’t be hard on yourself and enjoy time with your loved ones. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed every year at this time, plan for that next year. Do what you can and enjoy the crazy season!


We help talented artists and creative entrepreneurs with time management and finding time to make their practice a priority through the DELVE Toolkit. Take a look at what we offer and let us know if you want to chat!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Allow yourself to daydream!

If you're like most of us, some days are super productive and others are horribly all over the place. Everyone has a different way of working, but what we all experience sometimes is a sense of being burned out, and this will make you feel stuck, uninspired and definitely unproductive.

We want to say for the record: allow yourself to do something else. Daydream, see art, allow yourself to let your mind wander. Science even says it's a good thing to do.

Finishing a painting, design project, writing assignment or won't always come easy. Here are three questions to answer. Write the answers down on a sheet of paper and tack them to your studio wall:

  • When I am uninspired or feel stuck, what gets me motivated? (Some answers may be reading, talking to an accountability buddy, reviewing past work, etc)
  • Do I spend time on myself and nurturing my practice? Write down some ways I can do this. (I.e. do you allow yourself to experiment, see shows or have studio visits?)
  • Do I spend time dreaming of big goals and allowing my mind to wander? Set a timer and remind myself to dream big!

Allow yourself the mental space to dust off the cobwebs and move forward! We grant your permission, hard workers. 


Good luck and best wishes for productivity! If you still need help getting into a groove, let us know! You can work with us in multiple ways through our DELVE Toolkit or DELVE Time Management and Maximization!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Spring is coming! Two talks to help you make better use of your time.

Here are two videos that can help you make better use of your time, whether you are sitting in front of your computer, or better yet, walking during your next meeting. 

 
You can’t TRY to do things, you must simply DO them.
— Ray Bradbury
 
© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Three ways to maximize your time!

As the saying goes, time is money, and as working artists and entrepreneurs, getting a handle on either can be a challenge. In this post we'd like to offer three important facts to consider in order to improve your schedule, create more balance in your days, and therefore, reach your goals.

1) When are you most productive? A DELVE Toolkit client of ours came into the first meeting really wanting to change her schedule since she didn't feel like she was being productive enough. When we asked her when she felt most energized and creative, she stated that she was best in the mornings. We proposed changing up her morning routine (which then looked like: checking email, doing busy work, and planning her day) to: diving straight into her productive studio time each morning after walking her dog and having coffee ritual. Her small daily change would allow her to show up everyday to the creative process that her business thrives on and make that work. Emails and bill paying can wait until the afternoon when the creative juices wane.

If you're not a morning person, that is a-ok. The goal is to determine when you are best at making your work, not doing all the busy stuff that supports it, and make that time sacred.

2) Physically write things down. We love devices and technology but sometime you need a good old-fashioned piece of paper to drag with you through your day. Write your to dos down on paper so you can cross them out and visually be reminded. Change and reorganize this piece of paper every day, or every few days. Keep it fresh and flowing.

3) Create your daily to-do list the night before, or for the week. Be realistic with yourself and allow yourself to get up, get ready, and plow into your work straight away while you dust off the cobwebs. Spend the last fifteen minutes of every day creating that to do list so you can easily pick up where you left off and rest easy.


Good luck and best wishes for productivity! If you still need help getting into a groove, let us know! You can work with us in multiple ways through our DELVE Toolkit or DELVE Time Management and Maximization!

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.

Overcome the time hustle.

The Disease of Being Busy  by Omid Safi struck a chord with us when we read it last year. We, along with everyone we work with, experienced such an intense bout of busyness over the holidays and then felt the pressure of starting the new year with a (self-imposed) vengeance. This article raises an extremely valid question: "How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?" 

Well, it's because we want to succeed, make more money and make a long-lasting mark on the world, right? This drive is felt by the individuals and organizations we work with, and is extremely valid. Instead of an incessant cycle of maintaining a foggy hustle against time, we suggest that these motivators can inspire positive change. Therefore, taking the time to reflect, engage with community, and see the big picture can make a lasting difference in how our time is used.

We hear these sorts of things every day:

  • "I am getting older and I need to make progress now."
  • "I've already wasted so much time."
  • "We have to get this project done in (insert short amount of time here.)"

We propose two ways to turn the busyness and the hustle against time into purposeful action:

  • Be specific about what needs to be accomplished. This means a good old-fashioned meeting to reset and take a look at the big picture. Remembering why you are doing things in the first place assures that actions and getting really busy doing them can be intentional and directed. And the trick is, you won't just be busy, you'll be making a goal happen.
  • Look back on and celebrate past accomplishments and progress in order to look to the future. Pat yourself on the back. It's a really good thing to do. 

Interested in making your creative project or business thrive in the real world? We can help creative entrepreneurs, organizations and brands use art, design and communal action to create a stunning visual and collaborative idea that engages with your desired audience in a meaningful way. Get in touch, take a look at our Kind Aesthetic case studies to see more. 

© 2017 Kind Aesthetic, All Rights Reserved.