Of course, you know being productive helps you get more done in less time and moves you closer to your handmade business goals. And there’s another BIG benefit too. Maximizing your productivity frees up space for personal activities that too often get pushed aside when you have a business. This is really important for your mental well-being.
But the struggle to be more productive is real. Right? It’s hard to stay on top of “all the things” while also maintaining the quality of your work.
Today, let’s talk about what being more productive could mean for your business and five simple things you can do to up your productivity game. Plus, I’ll highlight 3 podcast episodes that include tips and tricks for getting and staying productive.
With these tools at hand, you’ll be able to confidently take control of your daily tasks. You may even become a productivity powerhouse! Let’s dive in.
What does “productive” mean for a maker?
Being productive means achieving (not doing) more in a shorter amount of time. It’s about increasing the output of your efforts in a streamlined and less stressful way. It will also save you money in the long run because you’re not doubling up on services.
In the context of a handmade business, this may include things like:
- using a time allocation strategy
- optimizing your workflow
- efficient management of materials and supplies
- tool and workspace organization
- automation and/or delegation
- balancing quality and quantity
- finding the right ratio of making and selling
It’s a continuous journey of improvement aimed at achieving efficient and effective production while maintaining your desired level of quality and customer service. All are crucial aspects of a sustainable and successful handmade business.
The benefits of improved productivity
Particularly if you’re a business of one, you’re wearing all the hats. It can be an overwhelming but necessary first phase of your business. Increased productivity can shorten this phase and get you to the point where you can bring in extra help as you grow. Specific advantages include:
Increased output and sales: When you tighten up production, you can create more items within a given timeframe. This increased output gives you more to sell which ultimately leads to increased revenue.
Time savings: By optimizing workflows, implementing time-saving techniques, and streamlining processes, you can save valuable time in all areas of your business. This time can be reinvested in creating more products, focusing on marketing efforts, exploring new designs, or even taking breaks for self-care.
Cost savings: How about saving some money? Efficient time management and streamlined processes reduce your labor costs by minimizing the time required to create each item. Effective material management and inventory control can prevent waste and minimize expenses related to excess inventory or rush orders. These cost savings can positively impact your bottom line and make your business more profitable.
Higher customer satisfaction: Better productivity often translates into shorter lead times and faster order fulfillment. This results in increased customer satisfaction as clients receive their products promptly.
Competitive advantage: In a competitive marketplace, being more productive may even give you a competitive edge. The ability to deliver products efficiently and at competitive prices can set your business apart from competitors.
More time for you: And perhaps most important, you can free up time for personal interests like family, friends, and hobbies. This makes you happier, more relaxed and prevents burnout. I always say your business should be part of your life … not take over your life.
As you can see, making a point to become and remain highly productive has a lot of upside. Here are 5 ways you can get started right now. Doing even one or two of them can get you moving in the right direction.
5 things to start doing today to make you more productive
- Plan out your day in advance so that you can stay on track and avoid distractions. Set reminders, if needed to keep you on schedule.
- Minimize time wasters. Turn off notifications for social media, email, and calls (except for priority callers, of course!) during work time. Resist the urge to distract yourself with busy work or games.
- Use technology to automate tasks. Technology can be a great time saver! Look for ways to streamline processes and automate mundane tasks so you have more time for the important stuff.
- Eat the frog first. Do the biggest or most important task first, when you are fresh and have energy. Everything after that will feel like coasting.
- Avoid multitasking. Multitasking is a myth. Many studies have proven that it takes longer to complete tasks when you’re constantly switching than if you just focus and get one thing done before moving to another. So focus on one thing until it is done, then move to the next.
The importance of taking breaks and rewarding yourself when you accomplish something
Something to remember – being productive doesn’t mean burning yourself out. It’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day.
Breaks are necessary for your physical and mental health AND the quality of your work. Take a few minutes each day to breathe, stretch, or take a walk outside.
Also, make it a habit to reward yourself for reaching milestones or completing tasks. This will keep you motivated and productive over the long haul.
Resources to help you become more productive
Listen to these podcast episodes for further direction and productivity tips and resources.
- Ep. 143 – The Power of Purpose – Let’s Get Serious about Productivity
- Ep. 147 – How to Ensure You See Results from an Online Course (this one shares a ton of tips to stay focused and get your money’s worth out of a course)
- Ep. 296 – ADHD Tendencies and How to Focus on Things that Matter
Plus, my Inspired! Daily Planner is a great way to plan your day and stay focused on that plan throughout the day.
Productivity – the key to a successful handmade business?
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some helpful ideas and resources to get started on your productivity journey. Becoming and staying productive is one of the most important skills you can have as a maker building a successful handmade business.
With the right tools and resources, plus some discipline and dedication, you can increase your productivity. It’s a great feeling watching your business run so smoothly, bringing in more money and having time to do all the other things you love in life.