Wednesday, November 3, 2010

5Tips for Managing Your Online Time

{ a BIG thank you to The Vintage Bug for the use of this photo. Purchase here}

Today's topic is time. Yes that thing that we all complain we just don't have enough of {especially at this time of the year}. I'm challenging myself as I get ready to re-open Back Home Again to spend less time on the computer and more time at the sewing machine. To do this I've had to be honest with myself about how much time I actually spend on the computer: answering e-mails, blog comments, blog posting, twittering, facebooking etc.... Here's the way I see it!
1. Be honest! You don't need to “research” your competition on a daily basis and the etsy forums don't hold the magic answer. So often I convince myself that I must browse etsy and other online venues {all in the name of a better business}, when all I'm doing is wasting time. It is time to get real with the way you spend your computer time and shopping is not productive for your handmade business.

2. Set a schedule and create a routine. You would never accept employment without knowing what your schedule is going to be. Obviously, you have to spend time on the computer for your online business but a set schedule will alleviate some of the pitfalls of working online. Set schedule computer times on a regular basis and discipline yourself. Get on the computer, stay focused, get the job done and clock out.

3. Keep a log. Similar to a food log a work log will keep you honest, show you where you're wasting time and help you strategize interventions. On your log document the time you went on, time off, specifically what you did and how you made a difference for your online handmade business. At the end of the week, review your log and strategize a new way of doing business.

4. Simplify your online social networking. Be very picky about your social promoting. I know it's the “buzz word” of online marketing but I'm not convinced of its importance. You do need to promote but if you have nothing to promote, what's the point? You should NEVER spend more time networking than creating. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER {yes I meant to shout it out}

5. Use a timer. Jen @ Jen's closet clued me in to this idea some time ago {and she is a very successful seller}. Use your timer to keep you honest. Unless I'm listing or working on a blog article, I set the timer for 15 minutes. That is more than enough time to do what you need to do in terms of browsing or social networking. When the timer goes off, I get up.

There is so much to explore in terms of time management but for now I'm out of time. You know I had to say that....

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!



  1. This is so good. Thanks so much for that. I needed to hear (read) it. I love the idea about keeping a log, so simple yet so important. So much wasted time. I am off to get a log and my timer. Thanks again.

  2. thanks much for the tips. i like the idea of a log and a timer. now i think my time is up :)

  3. Great tips, especially about 'researching' because I love to see what others are making or buying or selling and I know I have my own to make, buy and sell. Thanks!

  4. Oh, you know I spend too much time on Twitter. *blush* but that's my "standing around the cooler time."

    I do like the idea of a timer though. :-)


  5. Great advice! Thanks so much for the mention! I do love the timer method!

  6. Thanks for stopping by and giving your input ladies. I hear ya Dahlila, I would be perfectly happy hanging out at the water cooler all day! LOL

  7. Great tips! I read a great tip the other day ( the Etsy forums) from one seller, who said she doesn't spend too much time obsessing about views or social networking, but mostly concentrates on product, and it shows, she has magnificent sales!

  8. great advice for sure! i can waste far too much time online if i'm not careful. i love the days when i just step away entirely and don't think about it! so glad you to get in touch again!! have a super weekend! susan

  9. i really enjoy your blog.... and all your projects. i am looking for your tutorial on simple place mats but it not an active post anymore....suggestions?

  10. Those are great reminders. Never spend more time promoting/networking than creating really made sense to me. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

  11. LuAnn, your time management tips are very "timely". I had to say that....anyway, I am working on these issues right now, and trying to do a tune-up for the beginning of the year.

    I love the new look of your blog and hope to see you back blogging in 2011.