I recently read an interesting article on how to be productive which immediately took me back several years (cough, cough) to Freshman orientation class at Oklahoma State University. Since I was undecided in my major at that time I was funneled into a study skills class instead of a regular Freshman orientation class. The class spoke a lot about dovetailing work or stacking things that need to be done ie do your laundry and study at the same time. I dovetail work all the time, today it was crocheting while waiting at the orthodontist office.
You can find the article here: http://www.alibrown.com/blog/2013/02/21/%E2%80%9Cmy-1-secret-to-productivity-batching%E2%80%9D-by-ali-brown/
The article talks about batching which is a new concept for me. It reminds us to do our work in batches or groups of like items. If you are going to work on email then take make a commitment to check email twice a day instead of all day long. Which will save you time. Work on your paperwork at the same time everyday and so forth. Well, the study skills class spoke about the same kinds of things but added in another wrinkle…dovetailing. Sandwiching your work so that the washer is washing while the dryer is drying and you are doing something entirely different. Now in the crafting or handmade business this is a bit more difficult as we don’t have machines that do the work for us. So how can we dovetail or sandwich our work.
This is what dovetailing and batching looks like for my business ChocolateDogStudio;
While cutting out bibs I will also cut out cozies, and French press cozies. Then I arrange them by the color of thread and item and do all of the sewing requiring white thread at one time, then brown, blue etc…. I will also arrange them by the item. So all bibs requiring white thread, then all cozies needing white thread and so on.
Here the bibs are all arranged into thread color families. That way I finish multiple items before I need to change thread. I also sew buttons on in this way.
Here are the bibs and cozies all arranged according to color families before I start stitching.
What I really like about Ali’s article is keeping your distance from Social media and being careful about how often you check your email and facebook. Yes, I am guilty as charged. It started when I was worried about every little sale on Etsy and then I got a smart phone and the bad habit got worse. I have been working on disciplining myself to only check email and so forth twice a day or at most three times a day.
So now I am thinking about batching on my blog and writing several blog posts at once and having them post during the week. That way I am reaching my goals of blogging three times a week, without having to think about it every day.
If you run an Etsy shop there are several neat programs that will allow you to schedule your tweets. Check the Etsy apps and see which one will work for you. What a great time saver! It is time to get those set up again and keep them running. So I could dovetail my tweets and blog posts and then I could do other things during the time that I would normally spend doing those two things every day! Whew, what a time saver and a relief! I have felt a little stretched for time and I was wondering how to get it done this Christmas season.
Talk to you later, I’m off to write a couple of blog posts and schedule some posts!