How to Make a Timeline for your Creative Business to gain Clarity and Calm
Are you feeling bogged down at the moment and overwhelmed? Do you know you've got lots coming up and not sure where to put your focus? This is exactly how I felt earlier this month, I was feeling overwhelmed about what I wanted to achieve in a relatively short amount of time. Taking 10 minutes to sketch out a timeline for the next few months really helped me get clear on what's coming up and instantly made me feel calmer and more in control.
Get clear and focussed by making your own business timeline, here's how
1) Put Pen to Paper
Get a big piece of paper and some fat pens - I don't know why but this always feels better to me than doing it in a notebook and you'll need to write lots on the paper so give yourself plenty of room. Draw a line all the way along the paper, this will be your timeline.
Depending on how many weeks or months you want your timeline to cover, break the timeline down into sections. For example I did this exercise in late August and I wanted it to cover the rest of the year, so I broke it down into 4 months by drawing markers along my timeline at four intervals.
2) plot out your dates
Start by plotting on the dates that spring to mind. The markets you might be doing, wholesale deadlines, product launch dates. In a different colour add in your personal dates as well. This will help you visualise when you've got busy times and when you've got quieter times. If you're going away for a weekend or if your side-hustling and you know you've got a busy work week coming up, add these to your timeline.
Go through your diary, emails, posits and add on all of the dates and events you've got coming up. Make sure you've covered everything.
3) Take a step back
Look at your timeline as a whole picture. How's it looking? Are there some weeks coming up that look like you've loaded in too many things to do? Are there any gaps where you can move some of the things from the busier weeks into? Or, by plotting your next few months out on a timeline you might be feeling a lot calmer by being able to see that it's not all going to come at you at once.
Use this as an opportunity to reshuffle things if you think that some weeks are looking too busy and do what ever you need to do to help yourself feel calmer about the weeks ahead, even if that's delaying a product launch or speaking to a wholesale customer about moving a deadline.
[OVER TO YOU]
If you're feeling anxious about what's coming up for you and your business I've found this exercise super helpful for calming me down and getting practical about moving some things around, so I hope it works the same for you too. Get your big sheet of paper and plot yourself a timeline, it shouldn't take longer than 10-15minutes and could save you a whole load of worrying.