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Blogs for creatives who are looking to turn their handmade hobby into a productive and successful handmade business.

Filtering by Category: Productivity

How To Find Time to Side Hustle - When Your a Mum & Working Full Time

Kerri Tutton

HBP_How_to_find_time_to_side_hustle_when_your_a_mum_and_working_full time.jpg

Yep you got it, I work full time, I’m out the door at 7am and generally not back until after 5pm, I have an amazing partner (who also works full time as a teacher), a beautiful, strong willed and funny 16 month old daughter and this is our family.

“But you have a website and run the Handmade Biz Planner?”

I hear you, Yes, I do, however because I am at work full time earning money for toys, my HBP biz time is very limited.

Please don’t think for a minute I am a super mum, I have my learner plates on in that department and I am still adjusting after 16 months to the understanding that my time is not my own any more and yes I get really bloody frustrated that I can’t do everything. I am adjusting, but I just wanted to let you know - you can too.

Now before you go there, don’t think for a moment that I am a super girl boss either - I am still learning in this biz world too. I have created and run a few different businesses yes, but not one that I am proud enough to say has replaced the day job…yet!

Let’s be realistic here and get on the same page, we both know that the dream of just stopping work and running a business to an instant lucrative income and overnight success just doesn’t exist, especially not for a first time business owner with no experience of online business development anyway.

It takes a long time of continuous effort, climbing over brick walls, making heaps of mistakes that either drains your time or your money or both. You might stop your dream boat and jump on another one, I have - 5 times and I am still - YES STILL coming up with new idea’s for new businesses, still learning new things and still battling to be consistent - but I am most definitely still driven to replace my day job with my own business income.

“So how do you find the time to side Hustle?” Well, I make the time, set the time and plan what I do with it.

I value my time, however my primary objective is to assign a fair chunk of it to putting food on the table, this leaves the rest of the time for my family, relaxing, exercising, domestics and biz planning.

I will share with you a typical week for me, its not pretty and I have to be flexible (you know Mum’s - when the Daycare calls and you have an extra hot baby to take home).

Feel free to take my dashboard Copy & Paste it to yours and work it like you mean it! (To Copy & Paste in Trello: Select Show Menu.. / Select More / Select Copy Board)

Make The Time

Have a look at my Trello Dashboard - HBP The Weekly Planner to view a 7 day week running from 4am to 9pm. I made the time to sit down and review all the things I need to do in a given working day, so I could see where the opportunities lay for me to spend time on HBP. Once I had completed one day, the rest of the week was replicated to match.

The key is to ensure your non negotiable items are listed first, in my case it was my day job, dropping off and picking up Woo, Dinner & Food Prep times and you will see I have included my Gym time in there. (otherwise I don’t have enough energy to function + I get grumpy if I don’t get active).

Set The Time

Setting the time to spend on your business is important, it gives you a goal, a plan and if you have to set a reminder in the early stages to ensure you keep to this time - do it. For me I have to choose a time that I will not get interrupted. In my world with a 1 year old, the best time is when she is asleep.

Plan The Time

Okay, so the alarm has gone off, its time to sit at your desk, work in your workshop - but what are you going to do? I know it sounds crazy, but you need to have a plan for the time you will spend on your business, because if you are anything like me you will get woo’d by the pretty colours on social media, get caught reading an interesting blog - yes - Shiny objects moment - and BANG - you just lost 2 hours of your life!

I appreciate it sounds like a meeting to organise a meeting, but do it, make a meeting with yourself once a week to plan your work for the week. Create that list of what you will you do in your allotted time - and be reasonable with yourself, don’t expect the content for 10 blogs on your first morning - maybe 10 blog post IDEA’s maybe.

Like I mentioned, feel free to copy and paste my board to your Dash - then make a date with yourself, make the time to spend time on your biz.

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Procrastination to Productivity in 6 Steps

Kerri Tutton

Handmade Biz Planner Blog Procrastination to Productivity in 6 Steps

As a creative developing your own business, it is totally understandable that at some point, sometime soon even, that you will get totally distracted and overwhelmed by all the things that you want to get done in your biz.

You might find yourself

  • spending more time writing your to do list than crossing it off

  • bouncing between unfinished tasks then bouncing on to another one

  • creating more and more ideas and trying to work on them

  • procrastinating about what or how to do the next task, but not actually doing it

If this sounds like you, then it may be time to invest in a system / method or process to help you experience the satisfaction of completing a task and boosting you to get some actual work done.

In my continuous search for answers to 'How can I do this better', I discovered an article by James Clear which inspired me to test the 'Ivy Lee Method' a repetitive cycle of 6 steps to assist in reaching peak productivity.

I'm testing it now, this is my Day 1.  These are the steps:

The Ivy Lee Method

  1. At the end of each day, write down six tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow

  2. Prioritise these task in order of importance

  3. When you start working the list, focus on only the first task until it is completed

  4. Repeat with the rest of the list, in order

  5. What is not finished on this day, move to the task list for the following day

  6. Continuously repeat this process

This task list method is basic enough to prevent you from getting too overwhelmed with the enormity of having to complete 'all the things' and simple enough to avoid getting too detailed about the work ahead.  

There is another benefit of this approach. How many times have you written a to do list and one or two items always seem to get trumped?  Which means by the end of your working week, you still have the 'filing' or 'expenses' on the to do list?  Well this method ensure that tasks are not forgotten and that they are all completed.

If I get to the end of today and I have 2 tasks left on my list.  They go to the top of tomorrow's list and I then add 4 more tasks in order of importance. Nothing is left.

There are a couple of key behaviours that you need to make this Ivy Lee method work for you.  The first is that you need to commit to attending to your list as a daily event, until it turns into a habit. The second, is that you ensure you prioritise in order of importance, rather than preference.

If you are running your handmade biz tasking yourself what you prefer to do, rather what needs to be done, you are not running a business, you are still in hobby mode.  If you are not sure how to prioritise your tasks, then create a criteria for your business, these should be influenced by your Mission, Vision statement. 

Have a go at the Ivy Lee method, or share with us your top method for avoiding procrastination and getting productive in your handmade business.

Want to road test the Ivy Lee Method?

Join the Handmade Biz Planner Library subscription and use the Dashboard created in Trello to list and manage your 6 tasks for the day.