Thursday, November 6, 2008

Time Managment Series - What YOU Have to Say Part 2

It's amusing to me, as I'm writing about time management, that I seem to have less time and energy than ever! So this series has been stretched out a little farther than I originally planned. I may end up weaving in some of my posts on promotion that I've been planning because I'm getting too excited about them! Maybe a bit of alternation between the two themes? You'll have to stay tuned to find out! Here's today's three featured artists.  Only three today because two of them are long and I don't want to take up too much of your time :P

LazyTCrochet said: I recently organized all my shipping supplies and set up an area where it's easy to package, weigh and label everything. I love having adhesive shipping labels also. It saves a lot of time and tape.

Opulent Oddities said: Buying in bulk. Multitasking online. (right now I'm also on ebay and flickr). Getting a stamp for my address. Having a workspace with my stuff all dragged out so I don't have to put everything away neatly when I'm done, to pull it out after every project. With my workspace, I can stay in the middle of something and walk away without putting it all up.

You asked for it ... this is my weekly schedule:

Time management is the key to any successful business venture. This is how I came up with a fairly even balance.

I figure on a 5 day working week with 24 hrs in each of those days. That's 120 hours. My crafting is my business so I only plot out 5-day weeks (soon to be 4-day weeks as I start to downsize my 'work'). Weekends are MINE -- catch-as-catch can and generally involve family, outings with grandkids, craft fairs, out to dinner and a show, etc.

Next, I deduct the hours for sleeping / eating / family relaxation / housework, etc. (i.e. 5 days @ 14 hrs per day). That leaves me with 50 hrs per 5-day week. There's just the 2 of us now so my housework is minimal throughout the week. I usually spend 2-4 hrs on the weekend doing heavy cleaning.

Lets say I can produce the basic knits for 10 scarves, bottle cozies, specialty bags or baskets in 2 hours (machine knit) x 5 days so I deduct 10 hrs from my week's hours leaving me with 40 hours and 50 items. This is my minimum I expect from me. I want to produce a AT LEAST 30 scarves / baskets / mittens / hats or whatever each week - or even up to the 50 possible items per week. There's room in that knitting time to experiment with various stitches, creating new items, testing out patterns I 'wrote' in my head, even cleaning the knitting machines. I don't count sewing up time, those are my 'take-along' projects when we travel, have appointments or just while we watch TV in the evening.

It may take me a total of 10 hours during the week to do any starching of baskets, embellishment of my knits, working on pictures for my catalog, sorting through various supplies. So now I'm down to 30 hrs for the week.

I spend approximately 1 hour, 3 x per day online in chat rooms, posting in forums, reading emails, reading newsgroups and just goofing around. So that's an additional 15 hours off my weekly schedule. I'm down to 15 now. A good part of this is promotional, but more often it's personal time.

I do some volunteer work once per week through the Hospice and that is a 5 hour shift including driving time. So now I'm down to 10 hours.

The balance is spread out doing SPECIFIC, TARGETED promotions online and locally.

I have the Speed-Up Alarm clock on my computer and when I'm getting online to do stuff either personal or business, I set it for my allotted time. When it goes off, I have to stop. Otherwise, I'd be on here all day every day! <big grin> And I'd never have a single basket, scarf or whatever to sell! heheheh

Marge in Reno

TiLT Creations said: Wow Marge! Wish I could make that much in one week...but there'd have to be more hours in the day ;)

Time management for me gets tricky (as it does for most people)...the toddler's schedule is only so concrete to work around.

Monthly: mark the calendar for appts and other family obligations - then mark days when my work will fit.

Weekly: Set the items I want to make & breakdown into cut, iron, sew & finalize days. It takes 2-4 hours per bag (less if I have made that style many times, more if I am drafting a new one), so only 5-10 max per week...usually ends up only 3-5 though.
I don't usually do a whole day off b/c each day I only get a handful of hours to work.

Daily: 3 hours of preschool = 1/2 hr online - multitabbed to get etsy, entrecard, project wonderful, craftster & email. Clean for 1/2 hour. Sew & such for the remaining 2. Repeat the same after 10pm when all the kids are in bed.

With the youngest being able to entertain himself for a while now, I try to fit in blog & extra computer time (including biz paperwork & home quicken and such) when he is eating lunch or napping.

With a smaller house, there is less room to keep things out, so that alone can be a time sucker. Plus, the toddler is oversensitive to sound, so no sewing when he is awake. Besides, the machine is in the family room - so if anyone is in there, sewing is kept to a minimum. And no ironing with tiny hands around.

I keep hoping for a "catch up" with sleep to avoid daytime resting, but my internal rhythm works best with a split. And like someone said earlier - everyone's body is different, so what works for one, can't for another.
And don't forget the to-do lists!!!!!!!! If you can find them :)


uniquecommodities said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing as always!

BeadedTail said...

I love reading other people ideas on time management. I certainly enjoy your series too!

Thyme2dream said...

VERY helpful post! Looking forward to your promotions posts too:-)

Anonymous said...

I always like reading others techniques for time management. Its something I struggle with everyday.

storybeader said...

WOW - I can't believe how Opulent Oddities breaks down her hours! I don't even do that at my day job...

TiLT said...

Truely loving this sereis...and it was neat to see myself there :) thanks...

LazyTcrochet said...

Great tips. It is fun to read what works for others. Thanks for including my tidbit.

Mannie Vincent said...

All these tips are great! Your recent posts have given me more motivation, and I am really trying to organize/prioritize myself better! THANK YOU!