Monday, October 1, 2012

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


Kristin said...

Every Sat or Sun I list out everything I need to do for the week, down to digging out tools prepping bags with the appropriate tips. I don't have a daily schedule per se, just the list. Mentally I schedule things for certain days (buttercream day, baking day, etc), and try to fit in as much of the other stuff when I can on those days. My goal is typically to have as little of a list as possible come Thursday morning when I start assembly.

Janet Hall said...

I have also been trying to implement a schedule. Monday I make my lists of things I need to do for the week and and then go make purchases and run other errands, wash clothes, pay bills, etc.

Tuesday I do sugar work and anything else that needs time to rest (i.e. making fondant).

Wednesday I finalize sugar work in progress and organize. If there are a lot of cakes due then I also begin to bake, wrap and even if it is just overnight, freeze layers.

On Thursday I take out any layers frozen from day before and finish baking. I organize the baking so that the first cakes in are the first ones that will be filled and stacked so that the others have time to rest. By Thursday evening I try to have everything filled, stacked, and crumb coated and waiting to settle.

Friday is decorating day finishing up early Saturday morning if necessary. Sometimes on Saturday I have to deliver the first cakes due and come back and finish any that are due on Sunday.

Lately though I am beginning to have events that are on Friday night so I am having to play around with my schedule more. This is just a rough plan I try to have in place but there are always things that muck up the me getting online on Tuesday, gum paste day! lol