Sunday , 24 September 2017

Tips for Self-Management That Will Help You Reach Your Goals and Dreams

BEAR TO DO LIST notepad by boygirlparty, bike bird note pad

BEAR TO DO LIST notepad by boygirlparty, bike bird note pad | by: boygirlparty

Tips for Self-Management

Regardless if you are a full or part time crafter or if you work from home or at a studio, I can almost bet you have a hard time keeping yourself on track or on task at times. I bet you even procrastinate sometimes, don’t you? Actually, I know most people do. Another thing I know about crafters is that we are crafting because we love it and either we use it for a hobby, a supplemental income, or because we want to make a real go at it. What is bothersome to me is when crafters I know procrastinate and put off doing something that they love. Now, procrastinating on doing laundry or dishes I can understand, but crafting? You love it. Why are you putting off what you love?

I have heard all sorts of excuses.

“The studio is too messy.” “The kids won’t leave me alone.” “I’m too busy with xyz to sit down and create.” “I don’t have the money to buy the supplies I need.” “I’m not sure what I want to do.”

I am here to tell you that now, RIGHT NOW, is the time to stop procrastinating on what you love, to get organized and to start making again.

When people aren’t organized or they don’t manage time well, they are told they need to develop “time-management skills.” I’m here to tell you something. No matter how hard you try, you can’t manage time. The clock will keep ticking and the time will continue to refuse to slow down for you. Now is the time to quit trying to manage time. Now is the time for you to learn to manage yourself and what you do with the time that you have. This, my friends, is art self-management, and once you master the task of managing yourself, you will see a huge increase in your ability to get things done!

I know you might be thinking this sounds a bit cheezy, but you have to trust me that it isn’t. Until I learned the art of self-management I was a procrastinator, a time waster, and I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of my life or my business. Now that I am self-motivated and self-managed, I see my life taking the path I want it to take.

Today I want to share with you some tips for self-management. I hope these tips will help you realize the goals and your dreams for your craft business in a way you never have before. These tips and tricks are techniques which are tried and true. If you feel overwhelmed, start with just one and then try more and more as you become better at self-management. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Have Clear Goals

It is very important to know what you want out of your business. You will flounder around and waste time if you do not have a clear set of goals to keep you on track. Write goals for your business which are realistic, but challenging. Write goals which are specific, dated, and measurable. Write goals that are personal to you and you will want to achieve them. Break goals down into short-, mid-, and long-term categories. Short-term goals can be completed within one year, mid-term goals take about 1 to 3 years to achieve, and long term goals take four years or longer to be reached. Think of your long-term goals as your dreams and set attainable short-term and mid-term goals to help you reach your long-term goals.

Make a To-Do List

Take time each week and each day to write down tasks which need completed. Rank those tasks by importance and work on the most pressing tasks first. If the most pressing tasks take the longest amount of time to complete, break up working on those tasks by completing smaller tasks at regular intervals so you can see your progress as you mark stuff off your list.

Set a Schedule

A schedule will help you stay on track throughout your day. Use your to-do list to determine what is most important and approximate how long each task will take to complete. Use a daily planner to map out what your day will look like. You can do this each morning when you wake up, or you can do it once a week. It may help to assign specific tasks to specific days each week and always do those tasks on the same day. Having a routine like this will help you to get things done without having too much pile up.

Avoid Procrastination

Trick yourself into working. That’s right, trick yourself. You can tell yourself you will only clean the studio for 15 minutes before you move on to something else and find you have spent two hours. You might not want to sit down and write a blog, so tell yourself you will free-write or brainstorm ideas for 10 minutes. You will find that an hour later you may have a whole week’s worth of ideas and even a few posts drafted out.

Ask for Help (or Hire Help)

If you need help meeting a production goal, ask a friend to help you do something which is helpful but doesn’t require your immediate supervision. Maybe they can fold package inserts or stuff envelopes or cut fabric squares. You can’t and you should push yourself to do everything for your business and this is a good start to letting go. You could also hire help for things like bookkeeping, packaging and shipping orders (why should you waste your time in line at the post office?), or for something else entirely different. Does it bother you that your house is a mess and you’re stuck on getting it clean before you get to work? Hire a cleaning service to clean so you can go into your studio and work.

Deal with Stress in Healthy Ways

If you are stressed out because you are feeling overworked, you have writer’s block or you feel stuck and can’t create, take a break! The world won’t end if you take one night off to relax and watch your favorite TV show. The Facebook/Twitter world won’t think you’re dead if you don’t update every 20 minutes, so go take a walk. Get some exercise. Buy yourself a massage. Drive to the corner coffee shop and get a latte. Go to the craft store and browse for inspiration. Do something to break up your day when you are feeling stressed or stuck and you will feel better and more rejuvenated and you will be more productive in the end.

 

Log Off

Turn off Facebook, get out of Twitter, forget about your RSS reader, avoid YouTube, and ignore Google. Turn off your cell phone and take your phone off the hook (if you still have a landline!). You will find that you are more productive and less distracted if you are not feeling that nagging desire to check up on your friends, to Google that new book you heard about, or to tweet you just spent 10 minutes thinking about tweeting. Just take a break from the computer and the Droid and give yourself at least an hour a day of uninterrupted, technology free time, and you will find you are able to accomplish so much more. In fact, you may find that you are better to schedule your computer time and not use it the rest of the day. You’ll get so much more done when you can finally break free from that internet nag. Like it or not, the internet is a time waster. An energy vampire. It will always take more than you care to give. Set your priorities and have one of them include less time online.

Ok, I know no one likes that last tip, but it’s oh-so-true. But, before you log off, tell me what things you do to help keep yourself motivated and on track? What do you do when you are feeling a creative block? What tips have I written about that you think will come in handy? And good luck with your fresh start at self-management. A change in mindset is the first step to recognizing that you are the one in control of you. 

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30 comments

  1. As Tim will tell you, I’m a quoter. And one of my favorite things to say about time is “You have the same 24 hours in a day that everyone else has.” I’m a stay-at-home mom who also homeschools. If I don’t wake up at least by 8 o’clock, I’m a gripey Gus the rest of the day because I don’t get any “me” time. My kids are chatter boxes just like me, and they both want to talk as soon as their feet hit the floor. Definitely make sure to schedule some “me” time. Just don’t make it your whole schedule, lol. Enjoyed the read. Great advice. Great energy!

  2. I’m a compulsive list writer.
    I have a weekly timetable that puts me at certain things in the week and I have lists. One for ideas to try, one for ideas to type and one for the house.
    I think another important thing to remember is that when you do get into a good routine don’t punish yourself for falling out of it or it will take even longer to re-sync yourself.

  3. Wonderful organising tips! -To freshen up I walk with my pooch and plug into my music. As soon as the kids are out the door in the morning, I’m out – for between 45 mins-1 hour – after that a quick shower, something quick to eat and let the show begin !

  4. Thanks for the pep talk…now to get going!

  5. This is a nice kick in the butt for me. My down fall is having the TV on all day. I had it in my craft room, it has been moved. I have been one that says, “Oh if I just get this done then I can work on my crafts.” I do lists, but I think I need to revamp that a bit too. It’s time to just get crafting.

  6. A great article — I esp like the concept of managing *self* rather than relegating to time management. Thanks for these ideas, some reminders and the inspiration!

  7. OK…I work 40 hours a week and still come home every nite and spend at least 4-5 hours trying to sew,blog and tweet but I am not getting anymore sales at 2 etsy sites and one ecrater site and I am about to add Blujay to my group…I am ready to cry…HELP

    • I looked at your shop, and I think you should go to a forum and get some shop critiques. Or what I like to do is go look at all of the other cries for help and see what the critique feedback is for their shops. There is a site called UnofficialEtsyForums.com that has a great critique section that already has a ton of posts from other members that you can review. There is also a forum right here on handmadeology that you can access.

  8. Excellent advice, Thank you!!!

  9. I’m just taking pictures of my work and have stopped (almost) checking in with the forums answering email, etc. I’m just trying to finish transitioning to my new shop. chelsearainbow.etsy.com.

  10. I like the last tip best. It’s so easy to spend hours online, when you really could be doing what you love. Why procrastinate with something you love? So true!

  11. I am one of those people who are self motivated. One reason why I hope to get my pottery life going full steam. I do set time aside to look at inventory and make list of what I need to make. I try t plan blog/FB post around what I am making. I use the mornings to eat, plan, write, package/ship and exercise and pot in the afternoons into evening.
    One thing that has helped me, is to work with smaller batches. Throw 10-15 things instead of 25-30. I would get bogged down along the way and my attention to detail would start to get lost. Plus, the lag time between start and finished product was long. Now, it’s much better. I get to see finished pots more often, which means new stuff to list each week. Which gives me a feeling of flow and accomplishment.
    And yes, the internet is a “frienemy” Brings you sales and sucks up your time…

  12. I rely heavily on David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done.” I adopted his program about three years ago and it has been life-changing. I also use software: Omni Focus – to manage all my lists.

  13. Hi, thanks for writing this! I have had problems managing myself for a long time. It has been keeping me from doing what I love. I like that you talk about self management rather than time management. I would try to make schedules for myself to manage my time. If I didn’t succeed I would just get frustrated.
    I am ready to try self management.

  14. This is a great article! I appreciate your advice and need this kick in the pants. lol

  15. I need to get better at saying ‘no’ and honor my own time :-)
    Birgitte

  16. I loved this article. I’m pretty self-motivated and can organize my business/life well for the mot part, but I can also get bogged down in my work so that I overwhelm myself. The other day I took the day off and visited a friend’s grandchildren for the day. Being away from the computer and my work was a great relaxer and I came home ready to get back to work with a fresh attitude.

  17. This is a fantastic, straight-forward and honest post and now I am shutting off my computer for at least an hour. That is definitely my biggest challenge in ‘self-management’. Thanks.

  18. thank you, all great points, and just now I sure needed the reminder.

  19. Wow! I get it! Thanks, I needed that and I will follow through, at least for today.

  20. My morning; get out of bed. Go make coffee. Make bed while coffee is brewing. Get dressed (take care of any and all ablutions), turn on computer. Get a cup of coffee and make a list for the day while computer warms-up. And….GO!
    Can’t start the day without coffee and a list! Can’t do anything without a list, practically. Lists are life’s best friend and saver!

  21. “Log off” this is the most important one for me. I’m trying to incorporate this into my weekly work schedule because I do see an increase in productivity I *FeeL* more focused which helps me enjoy my work more.

    Also, I leave little notes for myself online (email, etc.) to help me remember I’m not there to play!

    It works ;-)

  22. all great advice!! Thanks for the free info ;)

  23. thank you for this great advice now im more inspired.

  24. Great advice! I needed this, heaven knows I need to manage my time, well me, better. God knows my mother thinks so. I will definitely use this … right now! :)

  25. Hi,
    I like the tip Log off best. It’s so effective. Thank a lots!

  26. Since starting my business this year, being a stay at home mom with a product line to manage, I struggle with this on a daily basis. I always feel like there isn’t enough time during the day when, realistically I could manage my time better. I am also a compulsive list maker, and I find if I don’t have a list for that specific day written out, I will do NOTHING.

    Thank you for the wonderful article!

  27. I’m reading this post. It means that I’m procrastinating?

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