Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finding time... making time !

By ArtSHINE associate marie-nicole

Recently a friend asked me where she could read an interview I had given not long after having our second child, because in that interview I referred to how I structured my time in a way that enabled me to run my own business pre-children, throughout both pregnancies and even after having children. I am often asked the question;How do you find the time to do what you do? OR I am told;I’d love to do something like what you do myself, but I don’t have the time.

We all have the all same 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 52 weeks in a year. I believe it’s how we choose to spend our time that determines what we are able to achieve in our lifetime. We live a life based around growing and producing what we can ourselves; food, gifts, clothing, etc. So we lead busy lives just like everyone else, I don’t have MORE time than others, I simply allocate the hours that I do have available to me to certain tasks.

By looking at what’s important to you, what needs to be done on a weekly basis and what you wish do with your time, you too can set dedicated time slots in order to reach your own goals. Back then, at the time of that interview, I had just been through the biggest transition phase I think I have ever experienced, phasing out my photography business and starting a new one focusing on combining my art & design skills at the same time my eldest started school and I had a newborn to get to know and understand. So for the purpose of this article I am going to refer back to how I got through that year. This method of course can relate to any situation in life, your transition phase may be going from working for someone else to working for yourself.

What I did was schedule the days of the week into categories. This allowed me to plan tasks better. So for example Wednesday was my favourite day of all, it was my creative day. This was the day that I did all the things that I love to do most like design, sketch, cut my stencils, experiment with new ideas or techniques or doing creative writing for marketing purposes... basically it was playtime for me. Sunday and Monday afternoons (until no. 2 started preschool) were production days, so this was when I printed, sewed and assemble products I wanted to sell.

Days like Monday, Tuesday & Thursday were split into half, half the day was dedicated to family tasks, housework, paying bills and social outings and the other half for business administration and other business related tasks.

Things like updating my blog, reading and commenting on other blogs, updating my facebook page etc I’d leave for two evenings a week after dinner, that way I would not waste hours during the day loosing track of time surfing the net. One day a month I have ‘business money day’ where I update my spreadsheets, pay myself, plan for future financial commitments etc.

Friday’s were fairly flexible, sometimes I’d spend the entire day out and about with no. 2. Other times I’d catch up on work from that week. Saturday’s are our sacred family day, so we’d catch up with friends, head down to the city for the day or go on drives in the countryside.

It all sounds very scripted when I write it down like this... the key for me being able to run a business and enjoy family time is being flexible. There were some days where all my well laid plans just got tossed out the window because I’d have a sick child to care for, an excursion with the school to go to etc... life with young children is unpredictable, but so rewarding! Having set myself focus days, I knew I could pick up where I left off once these challenges had passed.

The most important thing I’d like to get across here is that in order to achieve a lot in a little time it can really help to focus your time to allocated tasks or types of tasks, that way you can cover the broad spectrum of things you’d really like to get through enabling you to achieve your goals.

by marie-nicole
po box 73, yass, nsw 2582
a b n:   83  510 980 759

Shop Handmade, Shop 20, Allara St, City Walk, Canberra ACT


Anonymous said...

Hello Marie-nicole

Great post by the way.
I can totally relate to what you are saying, as a young mum and with 2 children, it was difficult most of time to keep a balance for my family and my creativity. Thanks for the tips too.

Looking forward to your nest post.

Wonder what will the next post maybe???

Art illustrator.

by marie-nicole said...

Thank you Cindy for your lovely comment.

Hope you're having a fantastic week.


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