No one who runs a full time business will kid you that time is precious. So much happens in a day and before long, it’s evening. I have felt many times that I wasn’t productive but that’s not true. It only seems that way because I’m pulled in a million different directions. Thing is, even if I managed to post two card listings in my Etsy shop is an accomplishment. If that’s all I was able to do that day, great!
There always needs to be time for making products and not just the promoting and managing the business. The creating part is really where I want to stay in all day but that’s not realistic because it takes a lot more to make a business successful and it starts with the product but it doesn’t end there.
So, is there an equation for making time to handle all the business’ tasks?
No, there’s not a one size fits all but there are some tips I can share for what I do and maybe these can help you too even if you’re not a business owner:
- Write it down. I get so many ideas every day and every time I think I can remember, I’m fooling myself! So, I keep a notebook nearby. I jot down my idea and sometimes I’m rushing so it may be a phrase, but it’s enough for me to understand when I look back at my notes.
- Don’t spend too much time on solving one problem. I have had a habit of doing this and what happens is I’ve spent hours on a problem while other tasks piled up. Take a break, regroup, move onto another task and revisit the problem later. A fresh look can be the perfect way to sidetrack your mind so the answer can come through easily.
- Update that to-do list. Check off those items from the to-do list as they get done even if only one is checked. And don’t use your list to write down everything in life you need to do. Make realistic deadlines for that day and anything that doesn’t get done goes to the next day, period.
- Don’t punish yourself. If you have 10 things to do in a day and you manage to complete 7, applaud yourself! That’s incredible! But, if you don’t complete but 2 items, applaud yourself, you get where I’m going. Don’t push so hard to accomplish everything on your list, sometimes it’s not possible. Instead, award yourself with your favorite dessert! In other words, cut yourself some slack! We can push ourselves so hard that we end up sick.
- Delegate. I’m blessed that I have my hubby who 100% supports my venture and I am able to share many of the daily functions with him and in fact, he’s taken over several ongoing projects so that I can focus on the card designs and stocking the shop. If you can delegate even one task especially one that is repetitive and time consuming. Even if you can save 15 minutes a day by delegating, those minutes add up.
- Don’t let dead time get away. We all have those moments when we’re, for example, waiting for an appointment or meeting…those few minutes can be used to respond to an email or social media post. I keep my notebook with me and use this time to jot down some ideas for future content sharing or a card design. I also think if you’re in a situation where you’re going to have to wait awhile, look at a video from a Youtuber that you follow. That’s a great way to pass time and still be productive.
I find that owning a business is both rewarding and fulfilling even with all the work that’s involved especially in a creative industry. My workload is always full but it doesn’t always feel like a job to me. It’s a blessing and when I make a customer happy, that’s an even better feeling that I can’t express with words.
I’ve worked many jobs before coming into my own business and I picked up some great skills, many of which translated nicely in becoming a business owner. However, I was not happy and oftentimes just felt unappreciated. But as a business owner, I know the pride I take with each card I make and so does hubby with his product line (which he’ll be adding to the Etsy shop very soon!). We’re both workaholics so we get along good! But, back to the point…I’d much rather work like a dog for myself than someone else who doesn’t see my worth. At this time in our life, I’m all about peace and joy. So, utilizing time carefully is important to me cause I want to have fun throughout this journey and not work so hard that I don’t see rewards along the way.
Stop and Enjoy the Process
It’s important to enjoy the journey. We spend the majority of our lives working our careers so shouldn’t there be time to acknowledge the miracles and triumphs? As I get older, I realize that my energy level is not as high, my motivation fluctuates and so when I feel that or extra stress, I stop and think about how far we’ve come. I think of the accomplishments and how God opened doors for us. These beautiful memories keeps me going and pushing through.
For a long time, we didn’t even take days off for fear we’d lose a sale, not anymore! There must also be time to refresh, to rewind and release! So, our vacation is coming up next month. As a business owner, even if you’re just starting out, don’t work every single day and hour without taking a day or two off. I like to schedule that around the weekends to stretch that time and I always feel better when I come back to work.
Making the time for running a business is doable so long as there’s a happy medium for allowing time for home, socializing, and vacationing. Believe me, I’m much happier now and wish I had known all this when I first started out cause maybe I wouldn’t have been over the top stressed to the max! Never too late to learn and never too late make changes.