Running a creative business can be challenging, especially in this day and age when we are so distracted by technology and media. It can be hard to stay productive and balance everything from day to day. But it is possible if you follow a few organizational and time management tips. Here are my suggestions to help improve this very important aspect of running a company:
1. Write out a plan
Every morning I make a list of what I want to take care of for the day. This includes important goals to accomplish- from sending an email I’ve been putting off to finishing a big order to updating my website. When you create a list like this it helps increase focus and also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you check off those items. But don’t stress too much if you don’t finish everything on your list for the day. Instead, ask yourself why you didn’t accomplish that task and try to improve. For example, if it was the wrong time of day to work on a certain task (like blogging or marketing), change the time when you next tackle that part of your list.
2. Set timers
Using a timer is a great idea if you tend to lose track of time when working on a project. You can get an old-fashioned egg timer or just set your smartphone to beep at a certain hour. This will let you know it’s time to get to the next task and can also help if you are trying to increase your speed with a repetitive project. I’ve used this method to help me when making jewelry- I first set a timer to know how long each necklace was taking, then I used it to increase my speed so I could make more items to eventually sell.
3. Limit distractions
Creating a less distracting environment for your work will allow you to see better results and save your business valuable time. You may have to turn off your cell phone for a few hours to be able to focus, wear earplugs, or even go to a different space. Some people love working with background noise (like a radio or television playing). Personally, it depends what I’m doing- I love listening to music when I’m sewing but need total quiet when I’m sending important emails or writing. Whatever works for you, try to make it happen!
4. Take short breaks
It may sound counterproductive, but everyone needs an occasional break from work. This will keep you from getting burnt out and bored. I recommend taking a little walk, calling a friend, or reading part of a book (not related to your business). This will help your brain reset and refocus when you get back to your handmade company. Just remember to keep your breaks pretty short and watch the time so you don’t get carried away- this is a perfect use for that timer!
What other ways do you stay focused during your work hours?
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