You want to put a new marketing tactic in place, but it’s competition season and you’re slammed. You want to freshen up your website’s content and add online registration, but recital is looming, and there is too much on your plate. How do you grow your dance studio when managing it takes up all your time?

Hiring additional people, delegating, and streamlining your processes are all topics for another post (or ebook, or workshop). Here are a few other tips on finding time now in your already busy schedule for those projects that will move your dance school forward:

#1: Choose One (Don’t Worry, You’ll Get to the Others)!

You know the special project you want to work on… it could be getting up to speed with social media, creating a marketable curriculum for young ballet dancers, or rewriting the copy on your studio’s website so it brings in more dancers.

If you have more than one special project in mind, and not enough time for any of them, then it’s time to make a choice:

  • Which of your projects most excites you?
  • Which one makes you feel the happiest when you think of it completed?

Take a few moments and consider all your options, and then commit to focusing on one until it’s either completed or to a place where it is in ‘management mode’ (such as a YouTube channel).

#2: Schedule it!

Does the following sound familiar?

There is not enough room in your purse, so you buy a larger one. Within weeks, that bag is just as crammed as the smaller version was. Or, you receive an unexpected increase in money, but before you can apply it to new improvements, something unexpected crops up… a car repair or kitty illness that sucks up just about that same amount of dough.

But on the Flip Side: Does this also sound familiar?

You determine that it’s time to put more money monthly into your Roth IRA, but question whether you can spare the extra amount. Things seem tight, but you still set up your automatic Roth withdrawals to allow for an additional $200 per month. And guess what? Your bills still get paid. You don’t feel as squeezed as you feared; in fact, you quickly forget about it, since the withdrawals happen automatically and don’t affect your daily financial life.

Finding Time to Grow your Dance StudioThe same is true for working on the important stuff. The fact is, work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. We therefore need to be proactive about it… extra time doesn’t magically appear. The solution? Don’t just schedule “have to do” priorities. Make sure you schedule time for the important “want to do” things, like taking a studio marketing class or finally wrapping your brain around Twitter. Physically write it down in your calendar.

I’ve finally made writing my blog a priority, and spend a couple of hours each Tuesday night on it. I let my family know I’m off limits for the next 2 hours, go into my office with a cup of tea or glass of wine, and close the door. The time I spend writing blog posts is good for my business, but it’s turned out to also be good for me, because I’m following through with what I say is a priority. It feels good, as does the couple of hours of quiet focus.

#3 Chunkify!

I always think I can accomplish 10x more than is possible in any given time period. If you’re kind, you’ll call it perpetual optimism. If you’re not in a kind mood, well, delusion may be the word. Regardless, I have finally recognized that if I break down tasks into small chunks, I’ll get the satisfaction of completing things much more often while continuing the forward march toward my larger goal. I call it ‘chunkifying’. If you chunkify consistently, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll accomplish.

To do this, write down that special project you’ve decided to focus on. Break it down into a list of smaller tasks. And then break that list down into still smaller tasks. Work on it a chunk at a time, and pat yourself on the back when you accomplish even small things. Amazing things can happen when you keep accomplishing small things consistently in the direction of a well defined goal.

Of course, studio life is unpredictable, and often things arise that threaten the special time you’ve put aside to work on your business. We all have those days when we move from from crisis to crisis, putting out fires along the way. If you’re unable to get to your weekly session, recognize it’s ok, make it up a different day if possible, but most importantly, recommit yourself for the following week. Before you know it, your consistent decisions and follow-through will result in success for yourself and for your studio!

Best wishes,
Stacey

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