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Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Top 10 Time Management Tips

These are my top time management tips for my small online business.
Are any of these on your top ten?

1. Get Organised. 
I regularly have organising blitzes of my work spaces (yes, I have more than one).  I speed around in a frenzy popping everything in its rightful place.  Clearing the accumulated clutter also clears my mind to work more effectively.  With a clear work surface I get a lot more sewing done. During this time I jot down supplies I am running low on and I make sure I shop for supplies before I completely run out.

2. Lists.
I am the master list writing guru!  Most days I write my to do list.  Sometimes I write it the night before.  If it is written down it is like I am committing to it and it is much more likely to get done.  I also write down monthly business goals, possible blog post ideas, when I will be sending out a newsletter Etc.  Now this might be sad but I get a little thrill when I complete something off my list and can actually cross it off!

3. Turn off the Computer.
I normally turn on the computer and answer emails, blogs, list new items or work on my online shops of a morning.  I will most likely post on facebook and twitter too.  I try really, really hard not to go surfing, not to get distracted by the latest cool pic on pinterest or interesting facebook story.  I give myself a time limit and then turn off the computer.  I do turn it on later in the day and I often find myself (constantly) checking) my phone.  For me personally, time online is my biggest distraction and biggest time waster!

4. Streamline Creating Time.
I make my toys in batches, sometimes two to four but other times larger batches.  I cut out a batch, sew a batch and will work on the batch until completed and then begin the next. I see what is running low in my online stores and make a batch of those toys.  This saves me loads of time, from getting out the right coloured felts, ribbons and embellishments to not having to constantly re thread the sewing machine. I also have core products that I make over and over, so they are quick and easy for me to sew and complete.  I still sew original toys and games but the bulk of my items are not one offs.

5. Bookwork.
I keep an accounts book, yes an old fashioned Collins Account book. All in goings and out goings are recorded into this book.  Each month I tally the totals.  I have columns for date, item sold description, shop it sold from, and outgoings.  Each online shop has its own column so I know what is selling where.

6. Utilising Free Snatches Of Time.
For me it is the time I would be in the car waiting for one of my kids to finish soccer training or watching swimming lessons etc. Sometimes I'll use this time to catch up on emails, other times I will take along some hand sewing. It is surprising what I can get done in half an hour waiting time.

7. Best Productive Time.
My kids are all school age so the hours between 9.30 and 2.30 are my best productive times.  During those hours I sew like a Trojan.  I do have a part time job so I'm not free every school day.  Maybe your best productive time will be the hour your child naps during the day or of an evening when the kids are all in bed.  Find your time and work, work, work.

8. Write Down Goals.
I do this every month.  I use Leonie Dawson's Create Your Incredible Business Year Calendar.  I work out how I am going to achieve my goals by breaking them up into little steps and then I write them onto the calendar.  There is something about having goals and plans written down.  It is like I have committed to them so I must do what I can to make them become a reality.

9. Shipping Station.
I have stream lined my packaging and shipping by having all I need together.  My finished and listed toys and games go onto shelves ( I have one shelf per online shop).  The shelves are in the study near the computer.  When I sell something I get out the item, get out packaging items that are in a draw next to the computer and pack away.  The draw houses my  washi tape, lime green paper bags, business cards, tape and envelopes.  When ever possible I post same day or following day.

10. Time Away.
A break from doing and thinking about Creative Wishes is so important.  It might be a walk down to the lake, time gardening  or a shopping trip.  I can become so focused on Creative Wishes that productivity actually slows down.  This is when I know I need a break.  I come back renewed and with a clear head, ready to create again.

What are some of your time management tips?

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  1. After posting this yesterday I sat down at the computer for 30 min, messed my blog up so decided on a few changes and two hours later still at the computer. o much for no. 3 tip today!

  2. My best advice I think is to actually practice what I preach! ;-) Most of your list I allready knew about. However, I do not abide by it.... THAT is the lesson I have to learn :-)

  3. Great list of time management tips!
    I'm a list maker too and agree about the thrill of getting to cross things off my list :)
    I also try to use my down time wisely by checking emails while waiting at the doctor or in line at the store.
    I hope to have a shipping station all set up soon. Right now I don't have the space, but I'll be getting a new studio soon and this is a must have space!

  4. great list.....the one that's hardest for me to implement is #5......really don't like that kind of work, but I'm getting better! :)

  5. What a great list - thanks :) For me, taking time to plan properly and set priorities is the key, rather than just diving in. Once things are set, THEN I dive in!

  6. Wow! I'm impressed fo sho! I do dabble with some of these, the most successful being when I quit thinking / planning, and get busy creating~ even if it isn't perfect. I love snatching waiting times as well, as they really add up. My trouble with lists is that I have a million of them all over and I misplace them sometimes. But, for the times I do find the, they're a great help.

  7. Very useful list to have on hand! The tip about turning off the computer is something I need to work on!!

    1. Turning off the computer is the my worst area too! I get so caught up if I don't.. too easy to get side tracked!

  8. Hi - just popped over here from seeing your message on Amazing Biz and Life Academy. Yes, great tips - I develop websites so I can't turn off the computer (!) but I do turn off email and work from my project management lists. I have a master list and then just take a few things at a time to work on each day but I think I do need to write everything down I plan to do and then cross half of it off! I would get on much better that way.

    I also have become an advocate of the 'late night tidy' when everyone is in bed. I just potter round the house putting away toys, putting a load of washing on, doing my next day's list etc. I go to bed feeling good that I will come down to a relatively tidy house in the morning and I find it calming too and a good way to wind down.

  9. Great ideas! Taking notes...

  10. Thank you for these wonderful tips on Time Management. Ironically, I found your blog while procrastinating, putting on hold my pending works for my Business Management Class. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

  11. Great time management tips. I also add up one more tip to it. Try the best time management tools to manage your time efficiently.

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