Pen to Paper :: Workflow Scheduling

allison-barnhill-designs-workflow-scheduling

What is a typical day like for me?  Well, here is a little peek into my crazy, amazing and wonderful life.  I’m up every morning by 7:30, so I can see the twins head off to school.  My hubby is an early riser and he gets the twins up and packs lunches.  Lucky girl!  Most days Tom will take them to school and I take the quiet moment to make coffee and breakfast.  I pop open the laptop while I’m drinking coffee and check for emails that came in over the evening.  I typically spend the morning answering emails and making the plan for the day.

Once my coffee is done, I’m making my long commute from the living room to my studio — around a corner and down a hallway.  Whew!  I typically try to multi-task in the studio to maximize my time.  I only get about 5-6 hours of “work time” each day – on a good day – so I really want to make sure I’m getting all I can done in that time.

I organize my workload using my magic spreadsheet that affectionately call the “Delivery Schedule”.  Basically, it’s a listing of every client, delivery date, items ordered, and status.  They are arranged by delivery date – earliest to latest – and I color group them by month.  That way, I can easily see how many orders have to be completed by month.  It also helps me determine when I need to close a month to deliveries.  I try to keep the number of deliveries to 8 average size orders — of course, this does vary! I keep the status up to date – religiously, because with over 40 clients going at one time, it can get confusing trying to keep it all in your head — and something can get missed!

In addition to the delivery schedule, I always have a “to-day to-do” list.  Why?  Because I love writing little check boxes next to a task and doing that electronically isn’t as satisfying as putting pen to paper.  I am realistic with this daily to-do list, because I always feel better when all the boxes are checked at the end of the day.

I don’t have certain days that I do certain tasks — for example, I don’t ONLY print on Mondays and only assemble on Tuesdays.  I like to keep in fluid and honestly things change, so I tend to roll with the punches, so to speak.  And, I give my clients a week long delivery window, so if I need to push or pull an order earlier or later, I have the flexibility.  It does take some of that stress of me!

So, I’m usually wrapping up work around 2:30 or 3 – when I pick up the kids from school.  Then, I come home and help with homework, make dinner, clean the house…well, you get it.  Sometimes, I will pick up my laptop “after hours” to see if any new or important emails have come in since the afternoon.  I might answer them or even work on a design, if I want to get a jump on the next day.  But, chances are, I’m really just surfing Pinterest or Instagram!

So, that’s a day in my life and a little bit about my workflow scheduling.  What’s your day like?

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