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Nature Manipulated (NM) creates visual, wearable and practical art that reflects upon nature and all of its elements. At NM, we believe that everything is a part of nature, some things are just "nature manipulated."

NM specializes in one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, handmade greeting cards, nature photography and other unique accessories.

To read more about who's behind NM, please click here.
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Friday, June 5, 2009

How Do You Manage Keeping Up Your Shop While Working Full Time?

I've had my Etsy shop now for several years and recently opened one on Artfire. I've also been maintaining this blog and investing more time in promoting all of my endevours. But when does it become too much? I have a full time job and generally don't come home till after 6pm. I try and go to the gym which pushes me back to about 8pm. Then I have to eat dinner, which if I'm cooking takes away another two hours. When the heck do I find time for my hobbies and crafts? Lately, I've been finding it harder to do. I find myself needing down time, time away from the computer and from doing much of anything. I consider making things relaxing but it ceases to be when I start thinking of how I have to photograph my items, add them to my shops and then promote them. Sometimes that process takes longer than the creating part itself, and it's definitely not as exciting!

So how do you balance everything? How do you manage to succeed at your craft and crafting business while keeping a full time job? How do you do this while leaving enough time for yourself? Please share your stories or offer your advice. I'm sure there's a lot of us out here going through the same thing.

Photo courtesy of Point of View Photographic Art


Butterfly-Crafts said...

I actually feel very similar to you. I commute for 3.5hrs a day to a day job i despise, have to have a home life and find time to run my Artfire store along with making items. We need another day in the week!

Heart and Sow Designs said...

I personally don't know but would love to here others advice too. I cut back my hours at work to just work more on my home business. I go to the gym too and sometimes take care of grandkids, run my mother-in-law to doctors appts. etc. So its challenging for me too.

CAPow said...

A few months ago I took an administrative job that has a significant ammount of down time. And the bosses actually encourage me to go online to keep from dying of boredom. So I get to work on a lot of the promotional side while at work. But I get out at 7pm every night, and like you, can't seem to find time to actually create new items. I actually feel really guilty when I take a night to veg or take extra time at the gym...I feel like I'm not working hard enough at what I would like to become a legit business... it's tough to find the right balance.

Head Bitch in Charge said...

For me it's not finding the time (I work at home) but managing it well. I face the same dilemmas about the online aspect of things taking so much more time. What I started doing was try out 1 or 2 new networking sites each month. At the end of the month I would dump the ones I didn't like (sorry Entrecard) and keep the ones I like (Twitter!).

I do this constantly...always weeding out the things that I don't see decent results with. This way you can keep exploring and trying new things while also keeping a good core of tried and true ones. Some may take a lot longer to know if it works or not but the trick is to do it all in managable pieces.

I also try to break it up in to different days to make it more managable. I only allow myself a little time in the mornings to network so one day I'll upload to Flickr, the next I'll blog (and write several posts if I'm lucky), the next I'll catch up with listings and photo editing. You get the idea. For me it's all about small, managable tasks. I'm too much of a procratinator to do it any other way!

Nature Manipulated said...

Great advice HBIC! I should work out a schedule.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

If I was still working full-time I would have to turn down custom orders that I have been doing. I guess everything happens for a reason and my layoff came at the right time :)

Time management is a hard concept and different for everyone! I hope you find what works for you :)

TiLT said...

Ugh - I don't work full time - but I am home full time with a preschooler....so nothing really gets done until 8pm either.
I do have the advantage of naptime - but I all too often need it for myself to make up for staying awake until 2am sewing :P
More help on the weekends would be nice - but I am pretty much full time mom then too...so zero days to focus.

Small manageable tasks - like HBIC works best - although I have not been good like her to schedule it...and I get sucked into the computer way WAY too much :) BUt my custom orders came from my blog, so it may be worth it :)

Becky said...

I kind of haphadzardly juggle everything - wish I could manage my time better too! If you crack it let me know! :D

Glasstastic Treasures said...

I work full time as well. I commute 1.5 hours a day. I eat lunch at my desk so I can do personal stuff on the internet: check my shops (I have 4 online), emails, etc.

During the weekend is when I do all my creating of beads, maybe some jewelry. Weeknights is when I edit and list items (after dinner and some hubby time), and network, maybe some jewelry if I feel like it.

If you find it difficult to manage time, treat it like a real job. Make a list of what you want to get done. Then write up a schedule of when you want to do it, for each day throughout the week. Always schedule to do first what you least like to do. Then it's done and over with, and the rest is cake!

I hope this helps! I too have grandkids out on some weekends, that is a true weekend for me! Like a vacation. Otherwise, all my free time at home and work is consumed by my craft. But I don't mind at this stage. Otherwise I'd be home watching TV!

Amie McCracken said...

Very relevant post and comments to my life right now! I'm working full time plus a few side jobs when I can. And then my etsy and crafting. Priorities! That's about all I can say. And focus on one thing at a time, not many or you will get lost.

storybeader said...

good question! I get home at 5:15 and don't cook much. And my husband is working mostly nights. So the weekend and nights is when I'm on the computer. Think my artistic output has slowed way down because of the blog. And I'm not reading as much, or exercising, or cleaning.... Don't know what to do, except spend my vacation time around the housee, and take 3-day weekends!

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