January 8, 2009

Finding Time

But no, really how do I get it all done?

I am a to-do list queen. I have a large white board on my studio door that lists my schedule and major goals for the month.

I also have a running list of daily tasks. For the longest time I used a small spiral bound booklet of index cards. But this week I've been using my little Window's notepad on my computer. I keep it open all day and have my daily task list. Don't you just love checking off tasks?

Since I waste most of my time checking my email and "researching" on the web, this has helped me get quite a bit done this week. It's a nice little nag when I'm getting sidetracked.

So how do I schedule my days? I work from 6am - 3pm weekdays.
Morning is email, blog and computer time.
Mid-morning until lunch is packaging orders.
Afternoons are spent making beads and designing jewelry.

Since I'm my own boss, this is never written in stone and if a project is looming and needs an entire day I just shuffle the workload around. Sometimes I take an afternoon off to work on drawing and illustration. Although I do spend at least 15 minutes a day sketching. The next 3 weekends at least one day will be devoted to finishing my jewelry book proposal.
My biggest challenge is to not work from 3-9:30. That's my family time and darn if I don't try to sneak in working on something during that time. I'm getting better.

Tips for getting more done:
1. Your family needs to help with the cooking and cleaning.
2. Make a plan, it's really hard to accomplish something if it's a vague idea.
3. Let go, you won't do everything perfectly.
4. Learn to say no to all sorts of requests. You have to make time for your dreams.
5. Give in to your muse, don't be a slave to your lists. If a brilliant idea jumps out at you, take some time to explore it.

Do you have any tips for getting everything done on your to-do list? I'd love to hear them!

(Picture above - I made those baby owls for a charm swap that Lynn Davis hosted this fall.)


Beverly Herman said...

My tip for getting things done on your to-do list. One thing a time. Before you know it the list gets smaller and it is time to start another. Wishing your list gets really small today!!

Anonymous said...

Like you I have a loose structure to my days - brain work in the mornings if possible (writing coherent programs, nitpicky correspondence, financials, schedule making).

Errands, chores and whatever activities I can sneak in happen in early afternoon because otherwise I sit at my desk and doze / surf aimlessly. If I am stuck at my desk, I write ahead for blog posts, do listings for sites and take pictures (best light in my 'studio' is during noon to 2 in the winter!)

Evenings are a combination of family and light work time - typically my production work is done while my daughter is sitting and doing homework at the studio table or while we're watching videos together or during her swim lessons. Sometimes she'll help me out or I can help her out.

Bead-Mused said...

Great post, Heather! My big goal this year is organization, which means lists, and there is nothing I like better than crossing something off.

Mornings are for computer work, afternoons are for beading and designing right now. Late afternoon until evening is me time -- if I don't play, I become very bored. Everything after that is family time. It's not a perfect schedule, but it works for now!


Anonymous said...

I wrote 21 articles on tips for cleaning at my blog on Wordpress. I found I needed a different "hook" as I hit new obstacles every few days.
The trick is to identify exactly what is making you feel stuck & to find ways to get around each obstacle, & to not give up.

I called the series "Cleaning the Attic" because I did two attics and my studio. I'm 75% done!!

Until I have to haul our Christmas stuff back up.....uh oh!!


Heather Powers said...

thanks for sharing everyone. Elaine, I love your bowl goal posts. Visual goals are a great way to keep on track.

My mom always has the best advice. She also tells me when my studio gets out of control, start on one table and work your way around the room, it will be done before you know it. She is a smart cookier.

Luann I will have to take a look at those articles again.

Theresa, if you find some magical bead organizer elves can you send them on over?

Heather Powers said...

opps, that's cookie, not cookier. Is that one who makes cookies?

FiberBeads said...

A white board on your studio door made me smile. If I did that everyone in my family would start to add to it all the things they they think I SHOULD be doing. My list is private--no boys allowed
My day is like a sandwich--emails, computer time including blog reading morning and evening. Work in the middle. I tend to accomplish much this way.
Very nice and informative article.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

These are excellent tips Heather! I especially like the one about saying No to some things and Yes to your dreams. I get so many requests for help or to get involved in different projects, that being able to say No is very important. Saying Yes to your dreams is just as important though. That is where a good list of what you want to get out of your business AND your life helps tremendously when you are deciding when to say Yes or No!