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Time Flexibility

time

We all know time is money. But like money, we only have a certain amount of time in a day. Managing this, and being flexible with the changes that can happen along the way, is a topic I’ve been reflecting on.

Time Flexibility

Winter is hard, and if you’re anything like me it’s easy to slip into work mode. Next thing you know, other areas of your life start to be neglected. A friend calls to catch up and you realize your life has been consumed by work.

So how do you stop yourself from slipping into the haze of work mode? Ironically, I’ve found scheduling time for myself and time for hobbies has been the best balance.

Setting and enforcing work boundaries has also been a help. Mainly setting specific work hours – and sticking to them. If I find I can’t complete my work during those set hours, I find a way to work more efficiently.

And finally, I try to have a long-term mindset. It would be nice if I could everything done at once but that is not only unrealistic but a one-way ticket to exhaustion.

Time Management

Another trick I’ve been trying is scheduling each hour of my work day (breaks included). My process is simple as writing my daily-to-do list on a post it note; looking at my calendar, and filling in what needs to be done. I spend leftover time furthering my education or planning long-term projects.

Supposedly this tactic helps to save your creativity bank, and so far I’ve found that to be true. Plus, it’s helped me be more realistic with how long certain tasks take and enforces not spending too much time on one thing.


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No-Stress Notifications

notifications

Some days, technology feels like an added stress. If clearing out notifications is a trigger for you, check out these tips to manage that sense of urgency.

Turn off notifications

The best way to stay on task is to turn off notifications. If you have a schedule and stick to it, you don’t need to know every time a new email comes in or someone likes your photo.

If sticking to a schedule seems daunting at first, limit yourself to checking email and social media to every 15 minutes. Once that becomes easy, move it back to every 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and eventually to every hour.

Another healthy habit to get into is keeping devices away from your bed. Many of us are spending more time at home, and healthy boundaries are more important to keep than ever. Bedrooms are for sleeping, living rooms are for living, and the office is for working. Sticking to these rules and your life will improve in more ways than one.

Declutter

Sometimes apps that take us away from the task at hand. Clean out your apps periodically. Delete apps you don’t use anymore, but also consider deleting apps that are available online (Facebook, Pinterest, etc).

One great way to limit how often you pick up your phone is to invest in a smart speaker. This way you can set a timer, listen to podcast, or stream music without getting pulled into a phone blackhole.

Inspiration for this post came from “Digital Decluttering” by Beth Montpas published in the October 2020 issue of American Quilt Retailer.


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Social Media Magic

Social Media Magic

If everyday tasks get in the way of daily social media posts, check out these tips and tricks.

Plan your posts

Choosing a topic is the hardest part of social media. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be; pick a theme, and post it. This could be a new line of fabric or an interesting tool. Some people prefer to post based off the day of the week, such as “Top Tool Tuesday,” “What’s New Wednesday,” and “Show and Share Sunday.”

Don’t be hesitant to repost the same topic again; in the world of marketing a consumer has to be exposed to a topic or product seven times before they’re compelled to take action.

Take the photo

Now that you know what you want to post about, take a photo. Use your phone and remember these three rules: lighting, background, and focal point.

Make sure your product is the focal point of the photo, there’s good lighting, and the background is not distracting. Be sure to take several photos at different views and angles. The more photos you post the better.

Write a caption

Writing a caption is the second hardest part of social media. If you’re struggling to come up with copy, answer these three questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. Why do customers need it?
  3. What do you want them to do? (Call to action.)

Simply answer these questions as if you were talking to a friend. If you’re posting a product, don’t forget to tag the company and add a hashtag so your image is exposed to as many customers as possible.

Keep a consistent social media schedule

Now that you’ve got content down, create a schedule so you can stay up to date. Google calendar offers an easy, color coded way to plan your social media posts. Make sure to display holidays, events, and classes, and fill in accordingly.

Inspiration for this post came from “Social Media Magic in 5 Minutes,” by Kate Colleran, Joanne Hillestad, and Kris Poor published in the October 2020 issue of American Quilt Retailer.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.