Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time Management Series - What YOU Have To Say Part 3

Continuing on with our Time Management Series - here's more of what YOU had to say! For anyone who hasn't been following along, these quotes are taken from a forum thread that I did a little while ago on the topic :)

Little Odd Me said: Because I have product that can be replicated (photographs) and I do markets as well, keeping on top of my inventory item by item is crucial. I need to know what is selling, how much of it has sold, and whether I need to order more soon. This is extra important coming up to this rush season. Being disciplined to mark each item down at least on a sell-sheet as I sell it is crucial. It saves me a ton of time.

Being organized. All those photos in my stock inventory have their place. I set myself an aim of being able to set my fingertips on any one of my stock items within one minute of recieving an order if I am at home, and thirty seconds at a market/fair.

Changing my time management with the seasons. I have several hundred pieces of packaging ready to go for the year end. I did them during my slower summer months.

My natural rhythm is to do a bit of everything, so I will often set a playlist of songs up on the computer to run for half an hour or an hour. I set up my list of tasks and set a goal to try and accomplish before the end of the song. Then I move on to something else with each new song until my tasks are completed. (Speaking of which, the song is nearly done, so I need to get onto packaging some orders for posting tomorrow!)

virtuallori said:Count me in with the meticulous list makers and timer users.

I live by my calendar, which also contains (most of) my to-do lists. I have to write it down, pen on paper, so it's in front of me. I should mention that I have a full-time freelance editing and project management business in addition to my jewelry business, so time juggling has become an art for me.

I usually start the week by taking a few minutes to review everything that *must* get done that week, those things I would *like* to get done that week, and other things. I make a general plan for how I will spread out the musts over the week. I tend to leave the likes and the others loose, to fit in when I can. Some things have to be done on certain days or within certain time frames, so they get written in on the calendar on the appropriate day, regardless of their priority. (If it's low priority and doesn't get done, so be it.) I do a mini version of this each day, looking at what needs to get done and making a plan for how I will approach the day. It doesn't always work out that way, but it sets me on the right path.

I also make supplementary to-do lists for long-term goals and piddly things that pop into my head while I'm doing other things. I keep a spiral notebook on my desk to capture these. I'll break them down and move them onto the calendar when appropriate.

I use timers, too, although sometimes the "timer" is the amount of time it takes the water to boil or a batch of pendants to etch or some other naturally occurring interval. The studio is a mess, so see what I can do with it in the time between my cousin calling to say she's on her way over and when she gets here.

The most important piece of advice I have for someone wanting to get a better grip on their time is to break larger projects into smaller chunks, then work through the chunks systematically. "Prepare for next month's show" is not a doable to-do. By breaking that into "make price tags," "order new business cards," and so on, you've created manageable to-dos that you can accomplish in short bursts of time. If I write "edit 400-page book" on my list for this week, I'll be overwhelmed, but if I write "edit chapter 1" on Monday, "edit chapter 2" on Tuesday, etc., it's easier to handle and I feel I'm making more progress.

Summers Studio Etc said: I make a yearly long term goal list, break that into months, and then schedule each week day by day. I used to do project management and this works for me. And I love making lists, I even put things on the list that are already done just to get the satisfaction out of crossing it off. Oh and this is not as rigid as it sounds. It is really more of a framework that keeps me on task. When the long term goals go out of whack I make little adjustments. Its a pretty fluid process.


TiLT said...

greta post yet again roseworks!

storybeader said...

sounds like everyone is a list maker!

BeadedTail said...

Your posts sure have me thinking about time management and what I need/should be doing. Soon I'll be working 50+ hours a week at my day job and so the tips I'm learning hopefully will help me keep my sanity!

uniquecommodities said...

Great posts! Thanks for all teh awesome tips

LazyTcrochet said...

Great advice. I was happy to recognize virtuallori. She's also the leader of our Cleveland Team!

Over The Top Aprons said...

Great blog; you speak to all of us. I read down through most of your article - yes, so much to do and so little time and always a bit scattered. But, I know I need to get focused to get things done. Thanks for all the posts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the tips.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Your welcome guys :)

Thyme2dream said...

Great post! I sent this to my husband..we work together and I am trying to get us on a program TOGETHER...but we will see if it happens or not,lol

SummersStudio said...

Fantastic series. Thanks for the mention :)