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Old February 20th, 2007, 12:17 PM   #1
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Your way of allocating your time, efficiency etc?

I'd like to hear how people allocate their time and manage their business.

I"m a one-person outfit here just starting, so there aren't other employees to sub out to, etc. The goal is to work about 55 hours. That's two days in my other business to pay bills, and 40 building the video business. I'd like to be fully transitioned into the vid biz by July and drop the other one (if it were possible I'd drop it now but can't).

Ideally, in a week:
(after the two days spent on the other business)
6-10 hours of marketing
25 or so of production
6-10 of skill development (since I am still learning software, technical production skills, etc)
A few hours devoted to organization, systems, business stuff, planning etc.
There also needs to be time devoted to preparing business materials, working on the web page, brochures etc although most of the paper stuff is done.

Problems I've noticed:
1. I'm at peak energy early in the day, but between business and other things I end up sitting down late afternoon or evening to work on video projects, when I'm tired and not very efficient. I would also like to work on marketing early in the day for this same reason.
2. I tend to get a project, get overwhelmed, go into a black hole and drop all the other stuff. So then the marketing (as well as the rest of my life) goes by the wayside because of the urgency of the project. Some of this probably comes from the fact that
A) I'm not experienced enough to estimate how long the project should take so I just dive in,
B) I lose time to solving technical issues since I'm just learning,
C) my workflow and planning is probably not very efficient yet
D) I sit there and play around with ideas, watch things over and over or allow myself to get distracted by TV, the web, email and phone calls.
This is all easy to do when your space options are limited, your 'studio' is in the corner of your bedroom, so you feel like you are always at work and there is no separation between work time and off time.
E) Because I'm not efficient I spend hours and days getting sucked into editing and not really getting that far when, if I had a better system, half that time spent on efficient editing would be more productive than all that time spent playing around.

3. It's very tempting to other life things get in the way and eat up your business hours because, well, you make your own schedule and you can always get back to it later. So I stop in the middle of the day, take a break, drive store, take a call from a friend that could wait, I get sucked into CNN in the background and HAVE to see what's breaking, then have to stop and make lunch, then dinner.....

4. I also spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with tech support for this or that, or searching out answers on tech boards. I also get stopped by still being in the learning curve - for instance, I'm working on a photoshop project for someone who wants me to change something in an effect. I've been working on it for a month - when I can get to it that is - fortunately it's more open-ended than urgent - but don't know how to do this and it's eating up a bunch of time and worry trying to figure it out and taking away from my more urgent projects.

5. As a result of these other things, skill development gets set to the side and I get a project, then am not ready for it because I haven't taken the time to really know my equipment, etc. Along this line I"d also like to incorporate time to spend time reading boards such as this to learn from them.

6. And let's forget the rest of my life - who has time for guitar lessons? Getting informed or researching current events? Working out? Having a life? Those things are important as well - for instance, if I don't take care of myself physically with things such as morning exercise, etc, I'll feel lousy and won't have as much energy to do the business. If I get more into documentaries and journalism later on it's important to be informed. You get the idea. So it's all about balance.

So...what works for you guys? How do you allocate time? Save time? Use shortcuts? Manage your business? What works for you, and what doesn't work for you in this respect?

Thanks

Last edited by Kell Smith; February 20th, 2007 at 12:56 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 03:34 PM   #2
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Bummer...
no takers?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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I'd like to hear how people allocate their time and manage their business.

<<I do what my wife tells me to do>>

I"m a one-person outfit here just starting, so there aren't other employees to sub out to, etc. The goal is to work about 55 hours. That's two days in my other business to pay bills, and 40 building the video business. I'd like to be fully transitioned into the vid biz by July and drop the other one (if it were possible I'd drop it now but can't).

Ideally, in a week:
(after the two days spent on the other business)
6-10 hours of marketing
25 or so of production
6-10 of skill development (since I am still learning software, technical production skills, etc)
A few hours devoted to organization, systems, business stuff, planning etc.
There also needs to be time devoted to preparing business materials, working on the web page, brochures etc although most of the paper stuff is done.

<<I would imagine that your hours spent on A,B,C would change depending on project demand, market demand etc. If you have to get it done, it has to be done. Sometimes you can have several projects going at the same time with various progressions, and sometimes you just have to stop it all and do one thing.>>

Problems I've noticed:
1. I'm at peak energy early in the day, but between business and other things I end up sitting down late afternoon or evening to work on video projects, when I'm tired and not very efficient. I would also like to work on marketing early in the day for this same reason.

<<I would spend my peak time on the projects, then take a break, then hit something else.>>

2. I tend to get a project, get overwhelmed, go into a black hole and drop all the other stuff. So then the marketing (as well as the rest of my life) goes by the wayside because of the urgency of the project. Some of this probably comes from the fact that
A) I'm not experienced enough to estimate how long the project should take so I just dive in,
B) I lose time to solving technical issues since I'm just learning,
C) my workflow and planning is probably not very efficient yet
D) I sit there and play around with ideas, watch things over and over or allow myself to get distracted by TV, the web, email and phone calls.
This is all easy to do when your space options are limited, your 'studio' is in the corner of your bedroom, so you feel like you are always at work and there is no separation between work time and off time.
E) Because I'm not efficient I spend hours and days getting sucked into editing and not really getting that far when, if I had a better system, half that time spent on efficient editing would be more productive than all that time spent playing around.

<<I don't know if you have anyone else you can talk to, you might try brainstorming with someone about your business plan. If not, you can start writing things down, such as time you are spending on different projects and such. Almost like punching a time clock. Because if you are truly spending too much time on something, then you need help, if it's only help from your client to have a better understanding of what they want. >>

3. It's very tempting to other life things get in the way and eat up your business hours because, well, you make your own schedule and you can always get back to it later. So I stop in the middle of the day, take a break, drive store, take a call from a friend that could wait, I get sucked into CNN in the background and HAVE to see what's breaking, then have to stop and make lunch, then dinner.....

<<You have to take care of you, if you burn out, then no more business. >>

4. I also spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone with tech support for this or that, or searching out answers on tech boards. I also get stopped by still being in the learning curve - for instance, I'm working on a photoshop project for someone who wants me to change something in an effect. I've been working on it for a month - when I can get to it that is - fortunately it's more open-ended than urgent - but don't know how to do this and it's eating up a bunch of time and worry trying to figure it out and taking away from my more urgent projects.

<<One of the best time savers is having good equiptment, as we all have been there when you push the power button and the computer begins to laugh like a madman. Learning is a process, once you learn, then apply it to the next process. With photoshop, it's a deep deep program. Try getting some training videos. >>

5. As a result of these other things, skill development gets set to the side and I get a project, then am not ready for it because I haven't taken the time to really know my equipment, etc. Along this line I"d also like to incorporate time to spend time reading boards such as this to learn from them.

<<see above>>

6. And let's forget the rest of my life - who has time for guitar lessons? Getting informed or researching current events? Working out? Having a life? Those things are important as well - for instance, if I don't take care of myself physically with things such as morning exercise, etc, I'll feel lousy and won't have as much energy to do the business. If I get more into documentaries and journalism later on it's important to be informed. You get the idea. So it's all about balance.

<<You'll need to figure out your dedication level to this. I love videography. Even one of those who loves weddings. So sometimes even though I'm tired, the energy comes from the inspiration of creating and being a part of someones special video. >>

So...what works for you guys? How do you allocate time? Save time? Use shortcuts? Manage your business? What works for you, and what doesn't work for you in this respect?

Thanks

<<To sum up, I constantly work. I make myself take breaks, but the drive become a successful vidoegrapher is spurned on by my passion for what I do. I love capturing the smiles, showing the love, and creating memories.>>
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #4
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Take a look at:

http://www.allkindsofminds.org/Categ...x?categoryID=4
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Old February 20th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wiley
Hey! You insinuating that I'm ADD? lol I don't deny it. =)
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Old February 20th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Davis

<<You'll need to figure out your dedication level to this. I love videography. Even one of those who loves weddings. So sometimes even though I'm tired, the energy comes from the inspiration of creating and being a part of someones special video. >>


<<To sum up, I constantly work. I make myself take breaks, but the drive become a successful vidoegrapher is spurned on by my passion for what I do. I love capturing the smiles, showing the love, and creating memories.>>
Thanks
Yes I can relate -
For these reasons, sometimes it's hard to keep it from taking over my time and the rest of my life. Because work can also be play, and it's here in the house at all hours, sometimes it's hard to keep 'work' and the rest of my life from colliding. Tricky to keep work and off hours separate, then they start running together, and then everything becomes inefficient as a result.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #7
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As a business owner doing "this" business, It's pretty hard to deligate X amount of hours to different tasks. It's constantly changing. I think in terms of what projects must I get done now, which ones can wait until I'm done with this one? I'm fairly organized, and work hard at that because I have to. Some people have mathematical minds that can keep up fine on the business end but may lack some creativity....Then there are those that are insanely creative but can't stay organized and manage anyting for the life of them. It's all about finding a blance between the two, and trying not to work 80 hours a week.

After doing this for 18 years, I have found a good balance, but still work non-stop, 80+ hours a week. It's a work in progress....
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Old February 20th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #8
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Actually the Dr. behind the Mind at a Time website, Mel Levine, would argue that ADD is an overused term and not helpful much of the time as a "diagnosis."

The point is that there are many different kinds of learning/working styles and that you should feel free to do what works for you. The information on the site is helpful in helping people recognize the wide range of learning styles, and to understand what those with learning styles not in the middle of the bell curve can do to learn more effectively and organize their lives to get the work done they want to get done.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 10:17 PM   #9
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Actually I plan to check out that site more thoroughly - it looks interesting.

Wow - 80+ hours a week! Yes my life is beginning to feel like that! But I'm gonna need to cap it at 40 to 55 hours in order to not get swallowed up. Do you guys think that's realistic?
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