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~*~TIME MANAGEMENT .... OR ....

HOW TO WORK SMARTER / FASTER / AND HAVE MORE FUN~*~

Summer vacation is in full swing, the holidays are right around the corner, and your craft inventory is not where it should be for the upcoming shows ....

Relax and take a deep breath - Time is on your side. With some simple time saving stategies you will be able to produce more in less time, and enjoy the process.

1. Clear the decks. A clean space will create a lower stress environment. You will think clearer, feel calmer and more organized, and be better able to locate items necessary to the project at hand.

2. Get yourself a healthful snack and plenty of water. Refreshments are necessary to keep alert, healthy, and working at optimum level.

3. Take time before beginning your latest project to gather all of the necessary tools and materials. Much time is wasted looking for that one essential tool that you just KNEW was there.

4. Set up an assembly line. What ? Aren't assembly lines what they have at big manufacturing companies ? Yes, but you can create a mini assembly line at home. By using the same strategy as the larger companies but on a smaller scale, you will be able to produce much more than you can by completing one item at a time. For example: Cut out multiples of each item, base paint all the red sections then move on to the green, add all the buttons then all the raffia .... Set up your assembly line in whatever way will be the most comfortable and efficient for you.

5. Turn up the music. Something lively that keeps you moving at a brisk pace.

6. Keep moving. While the paint or glue is drying, do something else. Just keep going ... Each small step will mount up.

7. Don't save that step for tomorrow. Even if it's something small, get as much done as you can - NOW. When you get back to work the next day, those small steps that you already accomplished will save time and stress.

8. Take photographs. Even if you are POSITIVE that you will remember how you made those items, take photos. Not only for the purpose of time saving, but also record keeping and as a portfolio of your work.

9. Tag the items. Don't wait until later ... They aren't done 'til you tag 'em.

10. Take breaks. It's easy to get caught up in the creative process, time just seems to fly by. Make sure you take time out, walk away and get a fresh perspective. If not you may end up daydreaming and slowing down.

There you have it - Ten easy stategies to speed up production and make the most of your creativity and time.

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"Carol Gunkel / Professional Crafters.com The Craft Business Information Network all rights reserved.This article may not be reprinted, all or in part, without the author's express permission.

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