Crafty Business: Kick Starting 2010 with an Up-To-Date Schedule!


The Crafty Business series has been dormant for awhile now so I’ve decided to bring it back just in time for hitting that reset button. Since being self employed entangles work and personal life so much, I’m going to address both sides: establishing a daily schedule you can actually stick to, establishing your daily/weekly/monthly tasks, lastly keeping healthy while getting work done (a huge struggle for me).  I’ll do one post on it each week (starting with today) through the end of January. If there is something in particular you would like me to focus my Crafty Business posts on in February, just leave a comment or send me an email: kristin {at} craftleftovers {dot} com.


It’s important to me to have a routine. My mom pointed out that since I was a kid, I would get crabby if I didn’t go to bed and get up at the same time each day. It’s still true! Since I do not HAVE to go anywhere or do anything at any particular time, but still have a lot of things I HAVE to do each day, what should my routine be? I think this is a problem for most of us who are self employed. This first Crafty Business post shows how I developed my schedule and made those seemingly ambiguous decisions in a systematic way.

I spent my days off during Christmas time coming up with a new work/workout/cleaning schedule. I decided that unless I get myself together I’m going to be miserable, tired, and perpetually running behind. That makes me stressed out and eventually leads to a crazy melt down. This process takes time, and it’s really only come into being because I kept a calendar pretty consistently for the last year. When it came time to nail down my schedule for the upcoming year, I had a good record to draw from.

Step 1: Set your Goals

This step is closely aligned with both steps 2 and 3 which will reflect what the goals for your day are, but it’s always a good idea to list them out. Screw what you have going on. This is where you list what you want to have going on!
1. Work 8 hours a day
2. Take time to workout
3. Take time to cook healthy food
4. Take the evenings off work so I have time to socialize, keep the apartment clean, and relax. I want to read a freaking book!

Step 2: Make a list of all the activities you have to do on a regular basis

This might seem like a no brainer, but it’s the most important step to making a schedule you can stick to. Don’t leave out that knit group you like to go to or it will botch your schedule every time it comes up (about every other week for me). For me my regular tasks are:

Work at the office – 8 hours a day
Workout – 1 1/2 hours (when I’ve changed, worked out, changed again, travel time)
Make a full dinner – 1 – 1 1/2 hours (about 4-5 times a week)
Meeting with the AP editorial staff – Tuesdays 6-7
City Council meeting – Tuesdays 7-9
Ames Maker Nights on Thursdays – 6-9pm
Ames Fiber Group every other Wednesday – 6-8pm
Ames workshop – 2nd Sunday of each month from 1-4pm
Ames Sew n’ Swap – 1 Saturday a month from 1-4pm

Step 3: Analyze the things you CAN change and schedule them where they make the most sense

Jason and I tend to workout at about 6-p.m., five days a week. We leave the office and go workout. Well, that doesn’t work because about 3 days a week I can’t go during that time and blow it off. It’s also not a good time for me to go if I plan to sticking to both my social/work plans and my health plans. What can I do? I can’t workout after 9 because then I won’t go to sleep at a decent time and I am already really tired.

The other thing I immediately see is that I tend to have a lot of stuff going on in the evening that tends to be more social. I shouldn’t depend on that time for “work” time.

So if I want to get 8+ hours in at the office working, I need to get there by 10am at the latest. That leaves the question, “When can I workout?” Is it possible to work it in? The only solution I see is to wake up early and go before I leave to work. This actually makes a lot of sense because working out makes me feel energized, hungry, and really positive. A very good way to start out my day.

Step 3: Mapping it out

Taking all that into account, here is what I came up with:

7:30 – wake up and go to the gym by 8:00
9:10 – eat snack, pack lunch
9:45 – go to work
12:00 – lunch (20 minutes is usually good for me)
5:00 – tidy up and wrap up any work things
6:00 – leave the office and go make dinner or have already eaten a packed meal and go be social
9:30 – take the rest of the evening off
11:30 – go to bed

And that’s it for today! Next week I’m going to write about how to establish your daily task list. It’s amazing how many “have to” tasks we have each day that cause the “should do soon or occasionally” tasks to get pushed to the side.

It feels good to be back on track again! I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Happy Crafting!

7 thoughts on “Crafty Business: Kick Starting 2010 with an Up-To-Date Schedule!

  1. I LOVE this! I find myself working hard to get the work/home/workout/social stuff all in without things getting totally skewed in bad directions.

    I have fewer of those evening social commitments and currently a much looser daytime schedule. Which should make it easier, right? Except that instead it gives me so many options that I don’t commit the right time to anything.

    Can’t wait until next week’s post.

  2. Love this! Been trying myself to balance work/fitness/family/commitments and it just gets so hard. I am hoping to add an Etsy store to all the regular stuff too!! I decided that 2010 I need to balance everything (balance is my word for 2010) and commit to using all the available time I have in any given day PRODUCTIVELY. Sure I will take time to relax/meditate but it will be scheduled.
    Loved seeing your day plan

  3. This is such great advice. In 2010 my goal is to make a work schedule, because right now it looks like this: work from 8 am to 12 pm. Repeat. Your post was wonderful, I’ll be linking.

  4. Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out how to reestablish a routine for myself, which is difficult because I don’t have a 9-5 job to force it into being. You’ve given me some great new ideas to think about. Thanks!

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