Saturday , 15 May 2021
Four Tips on Managing Your Creative Time

Four Tips on Managing Your Creative Time

Things To Do Notepad- Stab Bound-Button Closure

Things To Do Notepad- Stab Bound-Button Closure by: lazaflair

Four Tips on Managing Your Creative Time

Rule No. 1:  You are NEVER going to get it all done.  Let’s face it:  our to-do lists are longer than a country mile.  We want to do this, buy this, make that, design this, research that, tweak this.  Unless you’re super-human (you aren’t, are you?) you need to face the cold, hard fact that you just CANNOT get it all done.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  Really.  It is.

How to Cope with Rule No. 1:  Keep a list of all the things you want to do – someday.  David Allen calls it a someday/maybe list.  It’s simply a list of anything and everything you might want to do someday.  Here are some ideas:

  • Visit the Congo
  • Start a podcast
  • Sell the house and move to the mountains
  • Learn to play the oboe
  • Completely re-vamp the basement into the ultra-sewing/painting/pottery studio
  • Create a new website

Add your someday/maybe list to your daily planner system.  As you think of things you would like to do, jot them down.  It’s not that they are bad ideas or things you shouldn’t even consider, it’s just that right now may not be the time to make them happen.  Review your list each week.  Breathe!  It’s okay.

Rule No. 2:  Decide What You Need to Get Done Today.  At the beginning of your day, perhaps over breakfast and/or a cup of early-morning coffee, decide what MUST get done today.   Your life requires that certain things get done TODAY.  You need to know what those tasks are.

How to Cope with Rule No. 2:  Keep your list(s) with you at all times.  Whether you are a pencil-and-paper kind of person or an electronic geek, it’s important that you have access to your to-do list and calendar at any given moment.  The awesome grocery-shopping list you made this morning is only helpful if you have it when you’re – at the grocery store.  Get it?  I suggest your planning system be small enough to easily carry with you or tuck into your purse, tote bag, backpack, etc.  Those letter-sized units are impressive and give you lots of room to write, but they are not practical for lugging around.

Experiment with different systems until you find the one you love.  If you don’t love it, you won’t use it.  You’ll have to trust me on this one.  It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular.  Honestly, a short stack of 3×5 ruled index cards held together with a binder clip is an awesome little system.

Rule No. 3:  Etsy, creating, designing, taking photos, blogging, etc., are parts of your life.  They should not consume you.  You don’t want to become one of the walking dead, do you?  I didn’t think so.

How to Cope with Rule No. 3:  Determine a schedule or boundaries for your Etsy business.  If you’re like most of us, you have a full-time job and a family to manage.  It gets overwhelming sometimes.  You don’t want things to get so bad that ‘burnout’ knocks at your door.  Refer to Rule No. 1 above.

Find ways to squeeze in a few minutes here or there to work on your business.  You may find 15 minutes during your lunch hour when you can sketch out a new product design or an idea you want to try on your blog or shop’s site.  It may not be a solution for you, but if you can wake up an extra thirty minutes, you may find that you can get a lot done before your ‘real’ day gets started.  Burning the midnight oil, on occasion is certainly another option; however, staying up night after night is not a healthy choice.

Plot out your “Etsy time” for the week and try to stick to the schedule.  Of course, you may need to renegotiate with yourself (and your partner) every now and again.  Life is crazy and it’s not always possible to stick to your original plan.  Remain flexible.

Rule No. 4.:  Social media is an important facet of your business.  It’s not a matter of IF you participate in social media circles, it’s a matter of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc.) and frequency.  It gets tricky.  You want to have a strong presence, but you don’t want to be a spammer.

How to Cope with Rule No. 4:  Devise a strategy that will give you the most bang for your buck.  Perhaps better-said, it’s about “getting the most visibility for your click”.  Fear not:  We have you covered with our Creative Social Media Academy!  Check out the details below


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  1. This post just saved my life…..and my business – thank you :-)

  2. Thanks so much for these suggestions! I already use a Day-Timer. My husband brings me coffee in the morning (my pc and studio is upstairs) so I can immediately take care of my email. But now I think I will enjoy that first cup of coffee and think about my day.

    • I’ve found that taking the first few minutes of my day to think about what I REALLY want/need to get done is key to having a success day.

      And one day + another day soon equals a week.

      Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

  3. Great article, I wish I had read this 3 months ago as the burnout out monster has visited me and is knocking loudly at the door! A good reminder though for me not to let it happen again! Thank you :)

    • Nalin – Keeping things in perspective will certainly help keep the burnout monster at bay.

      And the saying ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ is another tip to always remember.

      But…always remember to breathe. Take five minutes out of your day and stop, take a deep breath and just do NOTHING. It’s good (cheap) therapy!

  4. Wonderful article, I am just at the ‘rabbit in headlights’ stage of my week and reading this has put me back on track. Still lots to do, but reading this makes me motivated to get on with it!
    ….now, where is my list…?!

  5. Clare – Happy to help you out. You’ll never get it “all” done; but that’s okay.

    Focus on the most important stuff and feel good about that.

    Have a productive rest-of-the-week!

  6. I have such difficulty trying to manage my time and get everything done. I soon realized you can’t get it all done and have to set up boundaries for your business so it does not totally consume your life. It can get out of hand if you let it. I use a small notepad to make lists and find it is the best system because it’s portable and does not require batteries or charging.

    • June – Yes! Boundaries are very important. You are correct, it CAN get out of control if you let it. The key is to NOT let it. (Easier said than done some days, I know.)

      A notepad is a perfect, low-tech way to keep track of your daily task list.

      All these electronic gadgets are wonderful, but I still prefer good ol’ paper and pen when it comes to managing my lists. Portability and tactile feel are two (2) big pluses for me!

      Thanks for the comment.

  7. A thoroughly enjoyable, well written and thoughtful article. I also like pen and paper; still write letters, notes and cards with stamped envelopes and put into mailbox. Each morning, I spend 2 hours in devotions, followed by looking at my goals, objectives and to-do lists. There are to-do lists for each area of my life and each must receive daily time; perhaps not the same amount of time, but daily time. Then again, there are days, weeks even (remembering last week) where what is planned is not acted upon due to emergencies. It’s important for me to allow that to happen, to keep anxiety and worry at bay, to realize and understand…it’s okay because out of control life happens sometimes. My response is more important than my reaction.
    As to social media…I think it depends upon how big/far/fast one wants one’s business to grow. I’m at a time in life when I’m content, happy and, most importantly, able to keep my businesses in check. Quality is more important to me than quantity in my personal and business life; it’s all good…more or less -grin-.

  8. Wonderful article! Thank you so much for sharing such insightful wisdom. Now I just need to apply it to my life!

  9. Hi there, i m kind of new to this whole etsy thing and been reading articles after articles to get some use ful tips and inspiration to get started … I’m so happy i read this article .. Thank you so much for the tips :))

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