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It’s happening…you just got an order AND it’s a big one!!!
What happens when you get that email, text, or call with someone wanting you to create multiple items in an order? How do you set a due date? Is it realistic to get all of this done?
Time management can be challenge with the daily juggle of multiple responsibilities. Talking kids, jobs, school, taking care of you, and any and all of the other commitments that make our lives busting the seams, somewhat messy, but completely worth it.
Adding in a crafting business can add a bunch of new responsibilities that include setting timelines for crafts, billing department, social media manager, photographer, and project manager all in one. It can be overwhelming!
The biggest tip (or nugget to hold on to desperately) is to not lose your love for the craft.
If the orders are coming in too fast or too big, it is ok to set the speed at which you are making your items. Managing our time is all about setting our priorities. It is just what we actually need to do and being realistic on exactly how long something is going to take.
Time management for a crafter becomes even more important as project due dates can come quickly. Setting up effective skills to create, complete, and deliver your products will not only set up your business for success but will also help keep your sanity. Check out these quick tips for time management that are specific to the handmade business crafter.
Funny story time. I literally just said to the husband…”I am taking a crochet break”. And in less than 10 hours, I had an order for 20 hats.
I could have very easily turned down the order and taken the break. Sometimes this really is the best answer here.
For this project, I instead took a step back and figured out a very doable schedule and deadline to have all items ready for pick up that was both manageable and wouldn’t completely kill my love for this craft.
Check out these 6 tips you can use to manage your crafting-making time.
Set a Realistic Due Date
This is one of the most important tips in this blog post. Setting a realistic due date is going to keep your handmade crafting business operating smoothly and efficiently.
When you receive an order, take a quick step back and review your upcoming commitments. What time do you have on your calendar that can be carved out for this project?
For the most part, customers will be completely fine with the due date that you set. I have found that most homemade business crafters will whip out a project much faster than a customer is expecting!
Remember, this is a handmade, by scratch, an item that is not sitting on a shelf. Our customers both understands that it will take time to make AND the handmade (one of a kind) part is exactly why they are coming to us to purchase an item.
Block Out Time on Your Calendar
As soon as you commit to the project, head to your calendar and carve out time. I personally use a google calendar to mark times that I will set aside to make the project.
Google calendars are free and have multiple functions that keep you on track and super user friendly. The best part for me is being able to share this calendar with my family. They are able to see exactly what time I have carved out and will help with not double-booking events during the same time.
If you are new to Google calendars, here are a few quick tips to get your started
- If you do not have a gmail (or google account), sign up for one. This is completely free!
- Head over to Calendar.google.com
- On the left hand side (next to other calendars), click on “add other calendars” and CREATE A NEW CALENDAR
- Name it and can also add a description if you want
- Click on CREATE CALENDAR
- If you want to share this calendar, click on the calendar from the left bar and select SHARE WITH SPECIFIC PEOPLE
Check out this quick video that goes over these steps
Know the Time of Day That Works Best For Your Schedule
Saving time for when you are can be most focused is going to set you up for success. Before entering in that time on your calendar, really thing about what else is going on during that time. For example, you are most likely not going to be able to focus on a project at the same time the kids are getting ready for school. There are just too many “Mom!” headed your way.
Taking a good look at your day and pick a few time slots that would be great times for crafting. Some may be hidden and may take a day of being hyper aware of your tasks and finding times that would be great times.
For me, I find that the car is the perfect place to work on projects. This could be while in carpool line, waiting on a sports practice to end (totally band practice for this mom), or even the zoom calls!
I have my crafting bag stashed in the seat next to me and can crave out this specific time that I know I will have 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time. Plus…I can’t go anywhere!
Learning to Say No
This one is hard….sigh.
With any business (especially a handmade one), there is a tendency to never want to say no.
Think of time like a budget. We have a limited amount of time. With this in mind, how do we get the biggest bang for our buck? Talking the most value for your business.
Do you feel like you are constantly on a stop/start schedule with your projects? There is this steady flow of interruptions from the people you that love you must…kids, partner, friends, parents.
Best advice I can give here is to tell people that you are setting time aside to work on your project. Let them know that you have an item to make and sell. Many times, our surrounding circle of people do not even realize that they are interrupting time and setting up the boundary that “mom is not available for the next 15 minutes…find dad” is exactly what you need.
Going to second the google calendar here. In our household, we live and breathe by a family shared calendar. This gives everything a quick snapshot of what is currently going on and what is headed our way on the calendar.
Block Out the Noise and Time Killers
Turn off the notifications. When you have that time carved out on your calendar, start with turning off all the dings from your phone.
Nothing kills time like a rabbit hole of Facebook. Acknowledge this upfront and turn it off. Figure out what the time killers are in your schedule and press the pause button on them.
And the light in the video? Game change…total game changer. Check it out here from Amazon HERE
Wrapping This One Up!
Remember, you are an extremely busy person who is organizing and managing multiple pieces in your daily life. And life is messy and unpredictable.
There are going to be speedbumps or even a roadblock. There is a very good chance that you get super tired and think “if I have to make one more of…..”. There could also be times that the due date given was unrealistic and that the project is going to take longer than expected.
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