Pivot to Profit Week 2 Day 2: Mapping your Time

Raise your hand if you’ve ever uttered the following phrases:

 

“I wish I had more time to (insert task name here)”

 

“I just have to do X,Y,Z, then I’ll have time to (insert task name here)”

 

“Once X,Y,Z happens, I’ll have some time to (insert task name here)”

Except...that time never really seems to come.

 

More and more things pop up, things that demand your time and attention. That’s life, right?

 

One of the things that differentiates craft as a hobby and craft as a business is the mindset of being a business owner. We talked about that last week.


The next thing that differentiates hobby from business is treating it like a business.

 

That starts with making it a priority, scheduling time to complete the tasks that go along with business ownership.

 

Not only time for creating your art (because, lets face it, that’s kind of a big part of the whole “craft as a business” thing), but time for the “business stuff”. That stuff includes:

  • Bookkeeping (yeah, you have to do that)
  • Managing your website (yup, gotta do that too...ya can’t sell any of your stuff if it isn’t listed on your website!)
  • Marketing (this is social media, emails, etc etc etc)
  • Networking with other businesses (this one almost always gets overlooked, but it’s EXTRA important now that everything is online!)

 

I get it: life is hectic, and sometimes (many times) there are other things that take priority. I’m a wife and a mom and I am here to say that I completely understand. 

 

That being said: I have found one way to ensure that I keep up on my business tasks, make enough jewelry to have a fully stocked website (or show...if and when those happen again), and still have time to take care of my family.

 

What’s my secret?

 

A schedule.

I schedule, with realistic time blocks (that is key), everything I do. 

 

Within my time blocks, I have a list of tasks that are to get done. Now it has taken a LONG time for me to get this system down, and of course there are days where the schedule kind of melts down...but those days are few and far between.

 

Some people prefer paper planners, while others do better digitally. 

 

While I LOVE a good paper planner, I have found that I have a hard time keeping up with the daily tasks in there. I use my Google calendar to schedule everything: that way I get notifications of upcoming events and I can click straight through to things like Zoom meeting links.

 

Within my Google calendar, I schedule big blocks of time for bel monili/Bloom work, and I use a combination of the online task management tool Asana and the Productivity Planner to manage projects and daily tasks. 


If you are new to this, here are a few tips to help you figure out how to schedule realistically:

  1. Start with the tasks that are non-negotiables. These are the tasks that have to happen every day in order for your life and household to keep running smoothly. Block those times into your calendar. 
  2. Block in times for your “day job” (that’s what I call it, lol...those darn day jobs get in the way of craft time!) for consistency’s sake
  3. Block in times for your business (don’t get too specific yet, just mark the time out)

 

Take a look at the “business blocks” that you have and see how many hours it adds up to.

 

Then, take a look at your tasks that you have to do, and figure out the time it takes to do them. You can get a head start on creating a systems document (we will talk about these more tomorrow) where you outline all of the things that are involved in a task and estimate how long it takes to do each one. 

Here’s an example:

Bookkeeping (45 minutes 1x/month)

  • Enter monthly business credit card & checking statements into tracking tool (I use Quickbooks, but a simple spreadsheet can work too)
  • Enter business cash expenditures
  • Enter sales numbers from Etsy, website, and shows

 

I would plug this 45 minute slot into one of my time chunks near the beginning or end of the month (depending on when I get my banking statements). 

 

Then you keep going, mapping out which tasks need to be completed, estimating how long they will take, and plugging them into the available time slots.


Today’s task:

Using the calendar option of your choice (digital or paper), chunk out a couple of your regular days and see how much time you have to work on your business. It doesn’t have to be perfect: in fact, this will probably change a LOT over the weeks and months to come.

The point here is to get used to being intentional and realistic with your time. Tasks that are worth scheduling are worth doing, and by putting your intentions out into the universe (reaching back to that Week 1 woowoo!), you are one step closer to making this a reality. 

Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once! In the workbook, I gave you a few pages for you to play around with and see how a schedule would look/work for you. Just start with the basics and fill in from there.

Once you have an estimate, come on over into the group and let us know how much time you have (or plan to have) to work in your business!

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