Today's Team Tips post will be a glimpse of my day and some scheduling ideas that have helped me, Amy Averitte and fellow Amy's in the Art member, our Team Captain Amy Dionne.
Just a little background about me:
I am blessed enough to be able to stay at home with my 2 year old toddler son and 9 year old daughter. I do not have to work outside of the home and I am successful through Etsy to help contribute to the household income with my shop fAveritte creations. I am a 95% custom shop full of lots of goodies for the young and young at heart. I have averaged 20 plus open orders since October 2011.
I also am a very structured individual and I like routines. When I decided to turn my hobby into a true business I knew I had to follow a schedule much like I did when I worked in retail with somewhat set hours to allow myself enough time to complete my orders and spend the afternoons with my family.
Here is a typical day for me:
5 AM - wake up
5 - 6 AM - check e-mails, facebook, re-list any expired listings, check teams and post to teams
6 - 7 AM organize my days production schedule
- I take this time to organize my orders by laying out my supplies and orders, any prep cutting if needed, prepping shipping boxes, photograph any new products or items
- I also have the computer on the kitchen counter while I am prepping breakfast and cooking looking through Etsy, answering e-mails, I try to post to facebook and twitter, reply to any comments on my business page blog posts, edit any photos for any new listings I plan on posting that day
10 - 12 PM - work on Etsy orders
- I am more motivated in the morning and have found that my toddler son plays well by himself and can self entertain himself better at this time...now I do get the usual requests to "dan Momma"(dance) or "choo choo Momma" (play with his choo choo trains) but I do get a good amount of work completed during this time
1 - 2 PM - put my toddler son down for a nap while responding to any morning e-mails, facebook comments, adding new listings
2 - 4 PM - I get to work with no distractions!!!
4 - 5PM - I am only focused on my son...we play, read, go outside, sing, march etc...
5 - 6PM - prep and eat dinner
6 - 7PM - bath time and getting ready for bed
7 - 9PM - quiet time with my son until he falls asleep
- At 8:30pm I have my son lay down in our bed while I work on the computer until he falls asleep. I use this time to complete my blog post for the following day, just recently I updated all of my listing descriptions ands tweaked tags.
9 - 11PM - I do quiet work like prepping orders for the next days production, cutting, sorting etc...
11 PM - I finally hit the hay!
Now to some tips that have helped me with my scheduling:
- Lists are my best friends. I use them all of the time! It helps me to keep what I need to accomplish for the day in the back of my mind plus it feels great to mark them off one by one!
- Multitasking is key for me! Like I said above, when I am prepping breakfast I have the laptop open on the counter working. While my son is in the bath tub I am seated on the counter or the potty with the laptop working. While I am uploading pictures to facebook or to an Etsy listing I continue to cut fabric or sew. Every second truly does count!
- If you can afford to buy already made supplies, then buy them! Most of my time was spent on cutting out white felt circles for eyeballs on my robot pillows...so one day I finally just ordered some pre-cut felt circles from a supplier on Etsy.
- Get your work space organized...it is great to have all of your supplies and tools in order. Below I have my fabrics separated into plastic shoe storage boxes from Walmart. They are great because they stack together and pull out like a drawer. I have given each color it's own box and labeled it...so great when I am needing a certain color for a project.
- Group like tasks together. I may have a pair of peace sign pillows that are scheduled to ship out tomorrow and another pair scheduled to ship out next week...but I will cut them together in layers. Or if I am using a certain color of thread for one project and know I need it for another project...I will go ahead and sew so I don't have to change my thread again or as often. It all takes time!
- Make templates for any items you repeatedly sell if you don't already use a pattern. All of my creations are not from patterns and are hand drawn by me...but I finally got smart one day and made me some cardboard templates.
- Ask family members to help with small tasks. My husband has helped turn many loot bags inside out after I have sewn them together.
1) Organization is key. Don't spend half of your valuable time searching for supplies, cleaning off tables, or moving projects from one bin to another. Take the time to ensure the crafting space is ready to go when you are.
2) If your space is organized, then leave out the project you want to work on for the next time so you can pick right up where you left off and not have to dig the project and supplies out again.
3) Work during your "power" times if possible. I work on projects before I go to the day job because I am at my most creative first thing in the morning.
4) Use the five minute rule. When I come home from the day job, and am exhausted, generally the last thing I want to do is craft. I make myself work on a project for five minutes, and usually by that time I'm re-energized and the time stretches to fifteen minutes, then an hour quite easily.
5) Never underestimate working on a project for fifteen minutes. You don't have to get X amount done every time you sit down. Take the little time you have and stitch that seam, cut out the fabric, or sketch out a new design. Every minute counts and adds up.
Now each of us are different and unique just as our creations are. Some of these tips may or may not work for you...but hopefully you can benefit from at least one tip. If you have any more questions about scheduling, please contact me through Etsy.