Monday, June 23, 2008

How much time for SHTUFF do you have?

How much time do you have to create?

Wow! Good question!

I have a whole corner of my studio dedicated to nothing but the nuts and bolts of selling. From left to right, my photo studio, shipping and paper and computer supplies, computer, more shipping and bookkeeping, scanner, printer and fax.

I have kept track of my torch time, studio maintenance time, marketing time, and shipping and bookkeeping. I felt as though I was walking in circles, so I decided that the best way to figure out how to streamline and consolidate my tasks and see where I was losing time was to keep track of it. I bought a cheap timer and put it on a notepad in the corner of my studio. I wrote down everything I did and how long it took me to do it.

Yikes... what an eye-opener! I was really disappointed when I discovered that out of every hour I spend getting the beads to my clients doorstep, less than half was spent on the torch. Working glass in the flame is my big turn on... when I decided to become a full time lampworker, I didn't say to myself, and a part-time secretary, marketer, web builder, photographer, bookkeeper, advertiser... but I knew I was going to have to do all those things. What I didn't realize was how time consuming they would be. I won't even go into the time investment I made doing research and studying I had to do just to get a decent photograph or make a simple web page with my own domain name!

How much time do you spend creating versus all the other SHTUFF you have to do to get your product to your client?

Here is my breakdown when I added up all the time for 2 weeks and averaged it for an hour:

Torch time: about 20 minutes
studio maintenance (cleaning, ordering supplies, etc): about 5 minutes
shipping and bookkeeping: about 10 minutes
marketing (pics, editing, posting, newsletter, blog, etc.) about 20 minutes
staring at the ceiling: about 5 minutes

Am I nuts? Am I doing something wrong? This just doesn't seem right. Or is it?