Friday, April 29, 2011

Merry go round - Time management

It's the last Friday of the month, so join us on our merry go round for a quick spin.  The merry go round is where a group of 11 artists/craftwomen link together around the world and tell you a little about their art and craft, through blogging on the same topic.

This month's topic is "Time management: How do we organize our working time"

So what exactly is time management?  Wikipedia defines it as "the act or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity".

One of my favorite sayings that helps me with time management is "work smarter, not harder". And so I look for ways to not waste time.  I am a very focused person. My husband says " you are the most focused person I know". When I make a plan and want to achieve it, that is what my mind concentrates on.  I definitely don't prevaricate and put off until tomorrow what I can do today.
Photo by John-Morgan
I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule so this focus really helps with that. Some weeks, for example when my family are visiting, I don't do any work, apart from blogging. Other weeks, I spend every day in my studio or doing computer work for my business. But at the beginning of each week, I know roughly how that week will look and I rarely change that.

There are few hints that help me with my time management:

  1. Blogging.One important thing that has changed my productivity significantly is blogging. At the beginning of 2010 I decided to blog every day and I did that all last year and am continuing this year too.  This really encourages me to create new things. I want to have something to share with my blog readers each day and thus, I work at finishing off new pieces.  Some weeks when I know I will be out of the studio for a few days, I make sure that first day is a day when I finish lots of things so I have something to share each day on the blog.  I like it. It really keeps me going and gives me a push to continually create something new.
  2. Lists.  Something that does help in my productivity- especially in encouraging me to do tasks that I am not keen on, is writing lists.  I don't do it all the time, but when I realize I have a few things that should have been done and I am reluctant to do them - I write a list and sure enough - it gets done and checked off the list in no time!  It's a great prompter for those unwanted tasks.
  3. Get sales packaged first thing. Whatever my week or day looks like, one thing that I always strive for is that I try to get my orders ready to be mailed or shipped first thing in the morning.  Many days of the week I have to leave the house by 9am so my goal is always to get my sales for that day all ready and packaged up before 9am so that while I am out, I can call into the post office and send then off.  This is especially important as most of my sales are to Europe so I need to visit the post office rather than just put them in a mail box.  Not only does this get me organized, but it is also encouraging because by the time I have had breakfast, I have already achieved something.  As an aside, I recently read that for people suffering from depression, one of the best things you can do is try to achieve something before breakfast.  It doesn't have to be big, or difficult - just something. Then at the end of the day, if everything else went badly, at least you can look back and see that you got something done!  That wasn't what prompted me - but it does have the same effect.  
Photo from
I wonder what you use to help in your time management? Do leave a comment with any suggestions.  And I hope you'll take the time to read how the other members of the merry go round manage their time by clicking on the links below.  We all live in different places around the world, so time differences may impact when we all get our blog post up.

Samantha at Vintage is for lovers -
Jen at Painted Fish Studio -
Bethany at Dirksen Dabbles -
Laura at Blue Terracotta -
Monika at Red2White -
Mitsy at ArtMind -
Kim at Vilt a la Kim -
Sara at Crafts of Texture -
Mariana at Florcita -
Agathe at Le Bar du Vent -
Ruth at Birdland Creations -

Or else you can click on the blog hop below.  If you are a merry go round participant, please add your link if it's not already included. You can then copy the code and put it on your blog post too.

PS. Happy Royal Wedding day!


meherio68 said...

I find it very interesting that blogging regularly has actually encouraged you to create regularly too, and I definitely envy the fact you don't prevaricate, because I do a lot of that...

meherio68 said...

I find it very interesting that blogging regularly has actually encouraged you to create regularly too, and I definitely envy the fact you don't prevaricate, because I do a lot of that...

vilterietje said...

a grat tutorial of time management:)

Vintage is for Lovers said...

We share a lot in common with our time management style. I too find so much inspiration in blogging and in the creation of lists. I can only hope that I too will need to time manage for sending out orders for my business. Some day! xo Samantha

Laura said...

Excellent post! I had never heard about getting something done before breakfast to help with depression, but since I've been doing my yoga first thing in the morning, I feel better. I think we have the ability to concentrate in common!

ArtMind said...

I used to blog daily and felt the same way as you about it. Recently I had to give in on that as I just couldn't combine it anymore with everything else that is going on in my life. But the blog is definately still a push forward button in doing things.
I pack my orders twice a week as I find that wrapping my work can be so tedious that it goes faster when I'm in a routine wrapping it all in one go. Funny how your orders fly off to Europe most and mine to the States! :)

Florcita said...

you even sound like a very focused organised person! aahaha! I used to be able to focus and go on for hours uninterrupted or, better said, with more productivity until my kid was born and the "mama, can I have... I want... " kinda throws you off.
Lists do help, indeed!
Even watering your plants before breakfast helps, really good point!

Ruth said...

Yes, I never realized that blogging would be such an inspiration for productivity.
Laura - interesting to hear about your early morning yoga. It is true that you start the day well after breakfast by knowing you've already achieved something.
Mitsy- we should swap places then we would only need to mail things locally!!!
So nice to see the similarities and differences in how we organise our time.

painted fish studio said...

i find it interesting to read that blogging helps with your time management! while i love blogging, there are days where i struggle to find the words i am looking for, and i can end up spending a lot of time trying to pen my posts. while i don't regret the time it takes, i sometimes am a little surprised to see an hour has passed and i've only written 2 sentences...

but i will always love my lists! :) nothing gives me better satisfaction than crossing off an item!