Ever feel like 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough? I know I do! In that time, you have to eat, sleep, drive places, do chores, go to work (if you have a job in addition to your business), then find time for your indie business work!
Let’s say you have eight hours of your day available to you for your indie business. On a typical day, you might need to do any of the following: package orders for shipping, take product photos, list new items, relist sold items, update your blog, answer emails and business communications, order supplies, pitch an article related to your business, contact blogs about your new product line, and check your website’s stats.
So how are you going to carve up your finite eight hours? How do you decide your priorities? What absolutely must happen? What can you put off? What are your distractions?
Order fulfillment is definitely a high priority, if not your highest. Adding new product is usually high priority. Replenishing very popular sold products is definitely important! The others you may be able to put off until your highest priorities are
But isn’t it amazing what often happens to us? So much to do and what do you actually accomplish? Not very much? What did you do instead? Surfed the web? Watched TV? Got yourself embroiled in some controversial topic in your marketplace’s online forum? Twittered?
I’m going to suggest something potentially controversial: distractions are addicting, but in the end, how much value do they add to your business? I love spending time on Twitter, visiting with friends and discovering new websites; however, I’ve barely peaked at Twitter this week. I’ve been far too busy. Twitter will still be there when I have more discretionary time.
I woke up today to an incredibly full list of things that absolutely must be accomplished: check my shops for sales, answer any business-related communications I’ve received overnight, compile entries for a giveaway on my blog, generate a winner, contact winner, post winner on blog, write this week’s Craft Venture article, set up and schedule the next giveaway on my blog, write blog posts for both blogs, set up my Paper N Stitch July exhibition, block my latest scarf, fix outdated tags in my shop from a 4th of July sale … and that’s just for my business! What about laundry, cooking, cleaning, feeding kitties, other chores and calling my parents?
We deal with these time challenges every single day. At my day job, I have to be uber organized in order to not forget crucial tasks. I keep to do lists via Outlook with reminders. I schedule phone calls that I must make on my calendar. I even scheduling when to check my email, to reduce distraction. At home, I rarely answer the phone – I check voicemail later in the day and return important calls. But I am very guilty of letting email and TV distract me. I don’t have an organized system for my indie business, similar to my day job, and I need one! So, I’m blocking out a day, two weekends from now, to set up that kind of process, organize myself, with a great system that makes my life easier.
By the way, I’ve done pretty well with to do list for today. The things I decided don’t have to be done today include blog posts, blocking my scarf and fixing all of my tags. (Feeding kitties, laundry and calling my folks are the kinds of things I have to fit in no matter what.)
What do you to organize yourself? Keep to do lists (the power of checking off completed tasks is compelling!)? Use an online organization tool? Or just hope for the best, and then wonder what happened to your day? Share a tip or two with the rest of us!
Image credit: (1) fresh linen recycled bike clock by 1byliz, $40; (2) six thirty by lauren haupt jewelry, $38; (3) twilight zone clock by chroma lab, $75.