How to Stop Fearing Deadlines in Your Art Business

Paige Simianer | November 13, 2023

Does your heart instantly start racing if you think about that upcoming deadline in your art business?

You’re probably not alone. Putting a finishing date on a creative outlet can make even the most accomplished artists bite their nails.

But, we're here to tell you that deadlines don’t have to be feared! You just need to figure out how to work with them.

From setting goals to getting focused, we’ve rounded up nine of our best tips on how to meet the important deadlines in your art business. 

Nail down the deadlines for your art business.

First things first, be aware of your actual deadline. Is it a deadline you are setting for yourself? Do you have to submit a show entry by a certain time? Or, is a client depending on you to finish a commission?

Once you know what deadline you are working with, you can formulate a plan to finish your piece on time and stress-free. 

Break down your project into smaller, more manageable tasks, each with its own deadline. This allows you to track your progress and reduces the overwhelming feeling of a looming final deadline. Create a timeline or use Artwork Archive's Schedule feature to visually map out your tasks and deadlines.

Be realistic about your capacity as an artist.

An unachievable goal will just bring you more stress. Before committing to a deadline, assess your capabilities realistically. Avoid overcommitting, and set goals that are challenging yet achievable.

To get a better handle on planning out your project, look to past projects that are similar to what you’re currently working on.

How long did the past project take you? What steps did you have to accomplish? Then, use these answers as a guideline for planning.

Make sure to regularly evaluate your workload and adjust your deadlines as needed to maintain a healthy balance.

Stay organized to focus on what really matters — creating your artwork.

After a plan is in place, make it as easy as possible on yourself by staying organized. A well-organized digital or physical workspace can significantly impact your ability to focus on your creative process.

An amazing way to keep track of your progress is with Artwork Archive’s Schedule feature, where you can keep track of deadlines and get a weekly reminder email with your to-do’s.

Develop your focus by trying some new techniques.

You guessed it: the more you focus, the more you are able to get done before your deadline. But, developing that focus is not an easy task.

Prioritize your tasks based on their importance and impact on the overall project. Tackling these high-priority items first can help you maintain focus and make sure you're making progress where it matters most.

Consider using the Pomodoro Technique or other time-management methods to enhance your concentration. Working in short, twenty to thirty-minute segments can make it easier for you to set aside distractions. This will build up your discipline and you'll eventually ditch the desire to procrastinate. 

Practice mindfulness to reduce stress. 

Another way to keep fear at bay is to become more mindful. Simple practices, such as deep breathing or a brief meditation, can help reset your mind and reduce stress.

This practice of living in the moment allows you to focus on the task at hand but is an exercise that takes practice. Try accepting both the good and bad in your life, paying more attention to yourself and others, facing obstacles with practicality, and taking the time to breathe.

With a clear mind, your deadline won’t feel as daunting.

Develop a routine for your creative process.

We know what you’re thinking, and no—developing a routine will not hinder your creative process. Sticking to a program can actually help you feel happier, more creative, and ready to roll with whatever project you’re working on.

Establishing a consistent work routine signals to your brain that it's time to shift into creative mode. Define specific work hours and breaks, and stick to them as closely as possible. Consistency in your routine fosters a sense of discipline and can significantly boost productivity, making meeting deadlines a more natural part of your creative flow.

Don’t know where to start? Try this morning routine for artists or this guide for being a productive artist at night.

Consider health as a long-term strategy for success. 

The better you feel, the easier it will be to concentrate. Make it a priority to eat right, stay hydrated, and stretch out your tired muscles. You will feel the difference!

Taking care of your health as an artist ensures that you're in the best possible condition to meet deadlines with confidence and creativity.

Clean up your studio space!

If your studio is filled to the brim with other projects and materials everywhere, how can you expect to focus?

Dedicate a few minutes each day to tidy up your studio space.

Taking the time to organize your workspace and sort your supplies will actually save you time in the long run, so you aren’t distracted or rummaging through drawers.

Clean space, clean mind!

Refocus on being grateful for what you have accomplished so far in your journey as an artist.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of running an art business, and the pressure to succeed can make deadlines feel like the end of the world.

Celebrate small victories along the way, and try thinking of deadlines as exciting challenges rather than sources of fear.

Remember why you became an artist in the first place. Remember your passion. Remember your past successes. Be grateful for the chance to pursue your dream, and your fear will be easier to manage.

Remember, deadlines don’t have to bring you down.

Knowing how to prepare and stay on track for deadlines is key.

Whether you need to finalize your juried show submissions or finish your latest piece for an art fair, following these tips will help you master deadlines, not fear them.

Fear is natural, but it doesn’t have to be a constant in your career. By centralizing your art business on a platform designed to streamline tasks, you can eliminate the chaos that often accompanies deadlines.

Artwork Archive offers a reliable method to track progress, set reminders, and maintain a comprehensive overview of your art career, ultimately allowing you to approach deadlines with confidence. 

Try it for free and see how an inventory management platform can benefit your art business. 

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