There’s no doubt that the list of different marketing tasks you would like to accomplish is a mile long. Each day we are presented with new(and old) opportunities to help us get the word out about ourhandmade shops. It's often hard to feel like you’ve accomplished enough marketing for your shop each day, and even harder to know where to start!
In my last article I showed you a system to help you promote your Artfire or Etsy shop more in less time. This article will continue with this same theme, as promised, and share part of my system for organizing my offline tasks. If you missed my system for completing online tasks, head over to my previous article to get caught up.
After organizing my online tasks into my bookmark system, I had to figure out a way to be just as efficient offline. Below I share 1 of 3 parts of my system that I use to ensure that I’m accomplishing as much as possible with the little bit of time I have. I will continue this series in my next articles and share more about my organization system.
Make a Mega List
I have an ongoing “mega list” of “to do” tasks. I used to keep this list in a notebook but I found that it took me too much time to flip through all the pages and figure out what was really important. Now I keep a running list in Excel. I have it set up so that I prioritize each task and looks something like this:
As you can see from the image above, the first column is where I indicate when a task has been completed. The second column is where I set the task priority (Daily, High, Medium, Low, or Weekly). I don’t need to add the tasks in order of priority because I can always arrange the tasks into priority groups by selecting the tasks I want to see at the top of my list (with the drop down menu shown). This is the best feature about using Excel for a "mega to do list" for me. I like to add tasks to the list as I think of them so I don’t forget to add them later. It’s so nice to know that once the task gets added to the file, I don’t need to try to remember it for later. It will always be there, organized in priority, and ready to remind me that it is an outstanding task in my Excel file. The third column is for the task name, and the forth column is for extra details.
Having a mega list of tasks like this helps me stay focused on what needs to be done first. Before I used this part of the system, it was far too easy to get distracted by other tasks that weren’t a high priority. Doing marketing tasks as I thought of them was quickly taking over a lot of my time. I was becoming stressed out because if I didn’t do a task as I thought of it, I would forget about it. Or, I would write it in my notebook, sometimes never to be seen again! Now I don't need to worry about forgetting to do something.
Another advantage to using a prioritized mega list is that it helps me to focus on completing a task fully before bouncing around too much to other tasks. Multi-tasking is only good if it’s smart multi-tasking. I will talk about this in future articles. In the past, I was multi-tasking because I got sick of one task so I would start something new. Or, I had lost sight of priority of the task I was working on in the first place. I was wasting valuable time by stop and starting a dozen different things in an unorganized matter. Now my priorities are clear cut and I never loose sight of why it's important to work on the task at hand. Prioritizing goes a long way.
Stay tuned for part 2 and part 3 of my offline system for using my time as wisely as possible. We all need to use the little bit of time we have as effectively as possible. It’s not enough to just be efficient these days. As I once read, efficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right thing!
Image Credit (First Image): Eye Pop Art, Artfire.com
Image Credit (Second Image): Jamie Sabot