I once read a quote that said, “Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.” This simple quote is one to live by for crafters who are trying to make a living by selling their creations. 

 

In my previous article, “Things to consider before starting a craft business”, I mentioned the need to manage your time wisely.  Not only will managing your time keep you on track with your goals, it will also reduce stress and help keep you from procrastinating. When working from home, without a boss breathing down your neck, it can be easy to get sidetracked. Since you’re not about to let all your hard work go down the drain because the latest day time talk show is calling your name, it’s time for a plan!

 

Take the time to think about time! Sounds a bit silly, but this will actually save you time later. When you sit down to plan out your time, take into account how much of your “product” you’ll have to sell to keep bread on the table. Also take into account commitments that need to be factored in (doctor appointments, family time, grocery shopping, showering, etc). Ask yourself “what commitments are set in stone?”, “what time do they take place?” and “how long do they take?”.  Be sure to block off a realistic amount of time for these commitments.  Don’t forget you’ll need to sleep at some point!

 

Once you’ve figured how much time you actually have to work with (and when), you can start to map out how you’re going make the most of what you have. Start with deciding what you need to complete in a month, and then break it down into weeks and days. You may want to schedule a whole day for production, another day for promotion, etc. This is the route I like to go for the most part. It’s easier for me to block out a big chunk of time to create because once my creative juices get flowing, there’s no stopping me! I also find it easier to focus on one thing for longer amounts of time. Others work better by breaking the day up into smaller chunks (customer care/administrative duties in the morning, production in the afternoon,).  Do what works for you – that’s part of the beauty of being your own boss!

 

Just knowing what needs to be done is one thing. Knowing what has to be done first and foremost is a whole other ballgame! Prioritizing all the tasks that are on your “to do” list is extremely important. The key categories of activities you’ll need to consider include marketing, production, administrative duties (record keeping), customer care, and selling/processing orders. Depending on what you’re selling and what stage in the game you’re at, the amount of time spent on each of the key categories will vary and change over time.

 

Although this whole article has been about time management, it may come as a surprise that scheduling “unscheduled” time is equally important. Unscheduled time is time that you haven’t scheduled tasks into - think of it as “down time”. This down time is just as important as “scheduled time” because it prevents burn out, recharges your creative battery, and frees up time to just “chill”.  Just be careful not to go overboard.

 

The last piece of advice that I’ll leave you with is expect the unexpected. Even the best time management plan can be derailed because of unexpected events and circumstances, such as an illness. Roll with the punches and don’t sweat it. If you let yourself stress out about your plan being shaken up, you’re letting these unexpected events take up even more of your precious time. With that being said, review and voluntarily shake up your plan to ensure you don’t slide into a rut.

 

2 Responses
  1. Julie Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this info.....very valuable!


  2. Great article! Thank you for sharing these great tips with us!


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