Business Monday: Daily Scheduling

Last week I wrote about coming up with a weekly to-do list for tasks that repeat each week, then adding in daily things based on what you have going on that week.

This week we will address the topic of how you're actually spending your day. This is much more difficult to predict if you have a home-based business, but there are always parameters that you can use to organize your schedule.

If you have kids those are your parameters. When children are little you basically have to be there to deal with them when they need it, and you don't know when they'll need you or not. You have a lot less flexibility because you're basically in crisis mode and have to be ready to respond all the time.

When they get older and go to school (Yay!) you'll have blocks of time that you can use to get things done. The challenge is to be disciplined and actually use that time productively.

My kids get on the school bus really early, so I've been forced to be an early riser for years. It stinks, but I can get a lot done early in the morning as a result. If I don't get distracted and start messing around online, that is.

What I try to do most days is get all of my computer stuff done before 8 or 8:30, including writing blog entries, scheduling facebook posts for myself and the other pages I administer, answering emails, printing out shipping labels, etc.

At 8:30 or so I start on cake stuff, and then at 10 I go do errands if I have to mail anything. Thursdays and Fridays are slightly different, because those are baking and decorating days. The early afternoons are for gumpaste or prepping decorations, and I try to be done with everything cake-related by 4pm so that I can be done with that and pay attention to the kids when they get home.

(The 4pm thing usually doesn't work, but that's something that I'm going to work on from now on. The key to that is to stick to the schedule and not mess around online so much. I find the internet is the ultimate distraction and schedule-ruiner.)

One thing that I also want to do is to have one day that's entirely free from cake tasks. That would probably have to be Mondays, and so far I've not been able to maintain that, but I will try. Maybe it could be my housecleaning day, woo hoo.

How do you break down your daily schedule? Do you try to stick to a schedule, or do you just wing it?

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA