Have you been wanting to start an Etsy shop or work on your Etsy shop, but you feel like you’re just too busy to actually be successful at it? Do you feel like you’re already pulled in a million different directions, and there’s no way that you can possible add another thing to your plate?
I totally get it. Believe me when I say I get it.
If you’ve been hanging out around the Creative Mom Boss community for any length of time, you’ve seen me struggle with this one myself.
I’ve talked in previous blog posts and in video trainings about how one of my biggest goals for this year was to be better about boundaries - boundaries between work and home, boundaries in the mental headspace that I allow the work to take up, and boundaries in how much I will allow the work to fill my time.
So I’ve been realllly working on this one for the past few months, and I have some tips to share about portioning out your time and maximizing your efficiency so that you don’t feel like you have an impossible task list in front of you that will never get done.
Because from what I can tell, there are always too many things to do and not enough time.
Whether you are drowning in Etsy orders, just getting started, or simply in the daydreaming phase of dreaming about the business that you’d like to create, you’ll feel busy. We ALL feel busy.
When I had my first child, I felt like I was so busy taking care of him. I mean, come on, an infant takes up all of your time right? Then I had my second, then my husband left for Afghanistan and I was alone taking care of both babies, then I had my third, and now I daydream about the times that I just had one little baby to take care of.
But that’s the deal with time; you can never appreciate how easy you had it until it gets harder. It always feels hard when you’re in the moment.
So here are my tips for managing the time that you do have, and making the most of it so that you can accomplish things in your day without allowing your to-do list to take over your life.
1) Decide what the most important tasks are for the day
You can get a special planner that helps you to prioritize if you like paper planners (I love this one).
I find that having a planner that specifies which things I need to get done today but then also allows for an additional to do list helps me to feel accomplished when I mark off the important things (yay for checking things off my list!) but also helps me to stay organized with upcoming things that need to get done.
If you need some help prioritizing, I would recommend the book Eat that Frog . It’s a very quick and easy read but the basic premise is that you should do the things that you DON’T like doing first, so you can get them out of the way.
I guess that means I should start working out first thing in the morning…but I digress.
For my Etsy shop, I sit down every single morning and map out the orders that I HAVE to get done for the day. They are the rush orders, or the ones that are due that day, or the ones that people have requested ship out ASAP and I’ve agreed to. They are the priorities for the day, and any other orders on top of that are just gravy (I typically have a queue of about 100 orders outstanding at all times).
I don’t always get extra orders out, and I hardly ever get my queue lower, but I ALWAYS get those prioritized orders done.
2) Decide what your goals are for your shop
We’ve talked about this in the past, but I am going to keep driving it home for you. You have to understand where you want to be in order to work toward getting there.
And you understand where you want to be by setting goals. I did a whole video training about goal setting and planning out your goals for the year right around New Year in January, so if you haven’t checked that out make sure you do. If you aren’t a member of the CMB community to watch the video trainings, you can click on the video trainings link and opt in. Once you opt in and get the password, the goal setting video is called Planning and Goal Setting for 2019.
I also want to remind you to give yourself grace and to set goals that are important for you. My goals don’t have to be your goals, and my business doesn’t have to be your business. Maybe your goal is NOT to make a full time income. May it is to make enough to pay your mortgage every month, or enough to pay off your credit card debt, or your student loan money and groceries.
Whatever that goal is - it is yours. Don’t get caught up in the trap of thinking that you have to make the most money EVER in order to be successful. Success looks different to every person, so allow yourself to look at your season of life and set the goals that will get you where YOU want to be.
3) Have a plan for what you need to do to make your shop successful
I’ve written blogs and done tons of video trainings about this, so here are some of my favorites:
If you are looking for more specific advice, or you’re interested in taking the (VERY) important step of actually investing in yourself and your business to pursue it as a real venture that is going to bring in consistent, monthly income for your family, I’d love for you to join the VIP waiting list for my exclusive course, Etsy Setup Success.
Here we walk through all the specific HOWS of setting up your Etsy shop, niching it down to appeal to your customers, making it stand out from the crowd, and driving traffic to it for sales.
4) Make a list of things that need to get done over the course of some period of time (week, month, 3 months)
My absolute favorite tool for to-do lists is Trello. Even though I love having the real life paper planner for my daily activities that need to get done, Trello helps me with the more long term goals.
I’m sure there are tons of features of Trello that I’m not even utilizing, but I basically use it as an online, digital bulletin board. There I can make a to do list for each section of my life that has things that need to get done - housekeeping, chores/errands, Etsy work, blogging work, etc.
I can create a post for each thing that needs to get done, and that way I don’t have to keep it all in my head (which takes up so much of my mental energy, and makes me feel like I’m constantly on edge).
Trello allows me to brain dump - I can put in on my list, and then I don’t have to think about it or remember it any more.
And bonus, I can achieve each post as it gets done, and I can move them around if something needs to be prioritized higher than something else, or if they need to move to a different list.
Basically Trello helps me to manage my life, and for that, I love it. It’s also free, which makes it a million times more amazing.
5) Batch things to work through the to-do list
Batching is my secret weapon to get more done. It is always going to be faster to do lots of the same things at one time rather than jumping from one task to another. This goes with housekeeping (boo), cooking, laundry (double boo), and Etsy work. I batch my Instagram posts, I batch my blog posts (or at least I try to), I’m working on batching some new, hot off the press Podcast episodes (woohoo!).
I’m a big believer in batching.
As I’ve gotten better about batching things together for maximum efficiency, I’ve also realized that working on one thing over and over again allows me to stay in that zone of creative genius so much better. I find this especially true with creative things, like marketing and content creation. I love to write, but there are times when I feel like I have writer’s block. By batching my blog posts or my social media posts and captions, I’m able to work on them when I am feeling most inspired, and then forget about it when I’m not feeling so wordy.
Likewise, if I went to my workshop and did 2 orders from my Etsy shop every day, it would take me forever. But if I go to my workshop and work for 3 hours, I can knock out SO much. And then maybe the next day I only have to do a few things to stay ahead of the game.
Batching is a game changer for me, and it has changed how I approach lots of areas of my life, particularly those that I don’t-so-much enjoy (like laundry and cleaning). By doing things all in one fell swoop, it takes it off my plate as yet another to-do, and allows me to accomplish the most in the least amount of time.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips to get the most done in your Etsy shop if you have limited time to work on it (which, let’s be honest, who doesn’t have limited time?!)
Do you have any special life/work time saving hacks that we should know about?
Share with the class! My Type-A heart is always looking for ways to increase productivity.