March 06, 2011

HOW TO SQUEEZE IN MORE TIME FOR YOUR DAY

So this blog post is inspired by a very good friend of mine the other day. I was talking to her on the phone and she was like, "How do you manage to run your 2 Etsy shops, have a day job, have a husband to take care of (kinda like having a kid...heehee), run an etsy team (Etsy Entrepreneurs), and have a day job at the same time? I really don't know how I do it, but this is my breakdown for my day/week. Maybe it will help you too to squeeze in more time for your day.

WAKE UP: I always try to wake up early (but it doesn't always happen as planned...I need my beauty sleep, otherwise my hubby will complain that I am being grouchy.
But by waking up early in the morning, you will find that you have an early start for the day. Which means, you will have more time during the day to accomplish more tasks. Plus, I find that no matter if I get up early or later, I always end up staying up late anyways...so I may as well get an early start.

DRINK LOTS OF COFFEE: haahaa. I'm sure there is another way to get your energy in the morning besides eating breakfast and drinking lots of orange juice. But nothing does it for me like Mr. Coffee. Oh, I don't know what I would do without you dear friend. I know that some people drink energy drinks or take those 5 hours power supplements. But I know that those energy drinks cannot be good for you when it tastes like chemicals, and I can't even pronounce what the heck it is made out of. And well, those 5 hours power supplements are way too expensive at about $3.99 per mini bottle, that is a lot of money. Plus, I would need like a few of those through out the day, so $12-$15 dollars a day on supplements is not an option for me. So I stick with the natural stuff that has been around forever and works like a charm: Coffee.

MAKE A LIST FOR THE DAY: I always make a list of things that I need to get done during the day, first thing in the morning...so that hopefully I won't get side track. And as I finish them, I check it off. Also, it helps if I put how many minutes/hours I have allowed myself to finish the task. This method keeps me on my toes. Oh I forgot to mention that when you are making your list of things to do, make sure your prioritize your tasks. Make sure that tasks that have more urgency should be at the top of the list.

JUMP ON THE COMPUTER: Okay, I know that this is where most people (including myself) get lost and side track. So, I figure the best way to make sure that I don't burn my whole day on the computer is to put on timer. I use my cell phone alarm clock feature to set a timer. And when the 1hr or 2 hrs is up...well, I have to get off the computer and on to the next task. You can use an egg timer as well if you like the sound of something ticking. But this kinda makes me feel anxious just by the tick-tock sound.

MAKE ALL OF MY PHONE CALLS: So I do have set business hours (for my Etsy shops), and my day job. So my work day hours are Monday thru Friday 9am-5pm. And after 5pm, I try not to take anymore calls from my day job so that I can focus on my Etsy shops. And if you do your Etsy shop full time, you should set up a work hour schedule as well so that you can have more time for other things in your life (like your family and yourself), and not be drowned in your Etsy work all of the time.

SCHEDULE SOME TIME OUT TO EAT LUNCH/DINNER/GO ON A DATE/FAMILY TIME:
This is a little bit tricky, but with a very strict schedule and lots of planning, you can do it!
So this is what I did. I plan all of my "date nights" with my hubby in advance. I live by my planner, so just mark the days and times that you want to carve out of your week for some quality time with your family. I do the same things for friends and family who wants to get together with me. I usually sit down and schedule my week out on Monday. Because you now have a planned schedule for the week, whatever you do, you know that you have to work around that. I know that this doesn't leave much room to be spontaneous...but who has time to be spontaneous when you don't even time to get the other important stuff in your life done!

FOLLOW YOUR SCHEDULE: Please Please don't ever leave something off of your schedule that you can get done today, and leave it off for tomorrow or the day after that. You know as well as I do, that when you leave something off, you just end up procrastinating over it later and stressing it even more. When it could have been done right now, today, and be out of your way. Please save yourself some future headache and just follow your schedule. Stick to the plan and you won't stress out about it later.

SCHEDULE A DAY TO HAVE "OFF"
Treat your Etsy business just like a real job. I have one day out of the week, where it is my "ME" day. On this day, I use it to catch up with whatever it is that I need to catch up on; or anything that I am feeling behind. I also use this day to relax, sleep in, go and pamper myself, shopping, go to the doctors, do some errands, or just do nothing. You do need a day for yourself. I think that so many of us forget to take care of ourselves because we make the excuse that we are too busy: Either too busy taking care of our family or business. This is also a great day to schedule your date with your husband/significant other, or have a fun adventure with your family (kids).

MOST IMPORTANTLY:
Keep your workspace organized and clutter free! I notice that whenever my workspace gets very cluttered, I cannot think straight. And just looking at the clutter stresses me out. So I do my very best to be organized. I always put my tools back where they were originally so that I don't have to waste time looking for them the next time I need them. I hate wasting time looking for stuff!

If you have any other tips and methods that you use to trick the clock into giving you more time out of your day, please share and comment. I would love to hear what you do. Thanks. :)

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