Dealing with a Schedule

For traders and related people to share

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Neibelungen
Post Centurion
Posts: 522
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:56 pm
Location: Leeds
Contact:

Dealing with a Schedule

Postby Neibelungen » Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:23 pm

Thought I'd start a new thread to get the ball rolling on our nice shiney new forum.

How do people manage their time and work

To me, the biggest problem has to be trying to manage my time and work schedule effectively.

OK, so everybody uses a calander and say's ' Right, this will take X number of days/hours/weeks'. Yep... fill in the space and put the next one in afterwards. In theory it should be pretty easy , but it never seems to work like that.

It does seem to me if you work with metal, then the concept of time being linear doesn't apply. Hmmm maybe all that metal effects localized gravity, hence time runs differently for us. Seems to me, every armourer going has a reputation for long delivery times... and I've worked very hard to get my reputation that good :wink:

I'd appreciate any advice on how others manage to work theirs out and what sort of system they employ.



User avatar
sally
Post Knight
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Sunny Wales
Contact:

Postby sally » Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:57 pm

I find this a very difficult area as I'm also working almost fulltime whilst trying to develop my writing and trading businesses. I try to batch make some of my regular items (pomanders, plague rats, booklets) etc and am always to be found with something like a hat on the go. Even so I still find I run out of things 'all of a sudden' and then tie myself into knots trying to find time to make soap or do felting or deal with a comission whilst also keeping up with life. Most days I leave the house at 6.30am for work, get back about 5.30pm, eat, then work until about 10 either on the writing or on my wider products. It gets a bit much sometimes! I get the impression most of us are in a fairly similar situation though, so I'm not complaining, just wishing I had a few more hours in the day.



Lady Jane
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Postby Lady Jane » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:25 pm

Schedule...hmm... read about those once. I never could manage one myself. After 20 plus years of custom clothing and costumes I find I need to be really in the mood to sew, and that might mean starting at 5 p.m. and continuing till 3 a.m. if there's a deadline looming. Many course tutors have tried to teach me "time management" but I think us "creative" people work to a different rhythm than most people. After all you wouldn't expect a painter or sculptor to keep regular office hours, they work frenetically when inspired. It does however mean some serious re-arranging of household committments sometimes when a deadline is fast approaching, thank goodness my family can make a meal or fetch take-away without too much muttering. My 2006 New Years Resolution was to be better organised, but I think it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks. :lol:



User avatar
Steve Stocker
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:24 pm
Location: Mid-Devon
Contact:

Postby Steve Stocker » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:40 pm

For me, the two things that help most are and understanding and supportive spouse and making do with less sleep than I used to.
Mountaineering skills in my office and workshop are a bomus as well :oops:


Usted no tiene prioridad

User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:41 pm

I have a Nigel.

I work on something.

When it's done he tells me what's next.

Works marvellously (most of the time), and when I get behind he prods me (aka shouts and nags me :lol: ).


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."
Miss Piggy
RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Tuppence
Post Knight
Posts: 1397
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:20 pm
Location: chaos-world, west yorks
Contact:

Postby Tuppence » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:42 pm

I also tend to go without sleep for a few days when I need to.


"What a lovely hat! But may I make one teensy suggestion? If it blows off, don't chase it."

Miss Piggy

RIP Edward the avatar cat.

User avatar
Drachelis
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:29 am
Location: SW Wales
Contact:

Postby Drachelis » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:45 pm

I try to do household things and shopping of a morning so that I can sew afternoon and evening when the energy for walking is low. This seems to work and when I have a heavy workload Ming does the cooking.

I cut out of a mornng ( need the energy bit) and will cut out more than one garment - usually commissions and for stock.

I have trained Ming to do eyelets, button loops and button holes and fixing aiglets on to cords - he can sit in the evening and do the which stops him tapping and fiddling with bits and pieces :D

I can eyelet and button loop when we are travelling and am often found on long journies ( when he is driving) doing the masses of eyelets on a back laced gown.

As I said previously on another thread I do tend to make my deadlines early, mid, and late moth to give a couple of days leeway to cover the untoward happenings..

I was taught to do a costume schedule for each garment when doing theatrical stuff for a production which also built in fitting times - and I still would if I were costuming a production - but nowadays it is usually one offs and I allocate calculated time plus a week when quoting deadlines - and obviously its on a first come first served order book where I can work on a linear basis. ( although I might make or cover buttons for several garments at one time ( a button binge)

Does it all work perfectly? Nah... :? but its there or therabouts 99% of the time.


Cheryl
Shadowlight Designs



User avatar
gregory23b
Absolute Wizard
Posts: 2923
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 9:46 pm
Location: Gyppeswyk, Suffolk

Postby gregory23b » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:57 pm

I work to deadlines in my normal job, even though I do the work I have to prod the client to meet their deadline...approvals etc.

But with the historical work I try to do the same, if the client has a deadline I will let them know if I can meet it or not. I do treat commission work in the same way as normal work as it is just a different item. So am not deadline averse.

I have specific time set aside for major projects that need a few days at a stretch, eg I have allocated the easter bank holiday for a commission (my wife is so impressed - not) because it needs a continuous amount of time to finish. Other smaller jobs are fitted into the normal work schedule or negotiated as required.

I have found that some reenactment clients are reluctant to give a required delivery time (other than yesterday or tomorrow) and are quite surprised when one is offered that is usually sooner than they expect. Not sure what they were expecting but let's face it they want it, we say they can have it so why not?

But armourers have different planes of existence so we cut lots of slack.... :D


middle english dictionary

Isabela on G23b "...somehow more approachable in real life"

http://medievalcolours.blogspot.com

"I know my place." Alice the Huswyf

User avatar
Jackie Phillips
Posts: 234
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:34 pm
Location: Now where I want to be....
Contact:

Postby Jackie Phillips » Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:45 am

I try to stick to a work schedule - which is not the same as a delivery schedule - and I plan it every time, but it's amazing how much life can get in the way. Like Cheryl, I stick to early-, mid- and late- month deadlines where possible unless the garment is for a specific event, but almost always, I write the delivery date on my work list as being a week earlier than the customer has actually requested - kind of like setting my alarm clock to be ten minutes fast in the hope of fooling myself into getting up earlier.

I'm lucky really in that the only person I have to look after is me, and if all I get to eat is toast for a week while I plough on, well so be it (actually that almost never happens, I like food too much, but I could do it).


Trust your instincts, whatever else you do.

X
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:48 am

Postby X » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:45 pm

From a customer's point of view, I generally don't mind how long the waiting time is for an item I've ordered - as long as it's accurate. I can handle being told "It won't be ready until 2010" at point of ordering; this means I can either go somewhere else or settle down to wait. However, if the trader promises I can have it a week next Tuesday, and gradually puts the delivery time back and back and back until it ends up being 2010, that really, really annoys me. That happened to me once, and not only will I never order anything from that trader again, but neither will anyone who knows me (although I have to admit that in this case, not only was the item late, but also of extremely poor quality).

I deal with deadlines all the time at work - pretty much everything I do has a deadline - and one thing I have found effective is to not put off the little ten-minute jobs. You know the one - "It'll only take ten minutes - I'll do it tomorrow". And, of course, you don't. And six months later, you still haven't done it and someone's banging on the door demanding to know where the £$%^ it is and why the &*() you haven't done it. Do it immediately, and then it's done and you don't have to think about it any more. And everyone thinks you're dead efficient.

And the tedious jobs. The ones that are repetitive, mind-numbingly boring, and long. My favourite thing is my iPod, on which I listen to talking books - that way, I can work and read at the same time. It certainly helps with such things as the garment with forty eyelets, or three metres of hem.



User avatar
Lord High Everything Esle
Post Centurion
Posts: 652
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:43 pm
Location: Ilkley Moor Baa't t'at
Contact:

Postby Lord High Everything Esle » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:04 pm

The problem with being self employed is keeping the work coming in. We all know builders who turn up and start a job only to disappear onto another and only come back if you winge. I'm sure they are not doing this to annoy or out of lazyness but in order to make their business run smoothly.

I suppose the same applies to re-enactor tradesmen. They need an order book to ensure continuity of business otherwise they go hungry in the lean months.

Of course I never do this because I sell off the self.


Will/Dave, the Jolly Box Man and Barber Surgeon

"Physicians of all men are most happy; what good success soever they have, the world proclaimeth, and what faults they commit the earth coverest." Frances Quarles (1592-1644) Nicocles

frances
Post Knight
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: Slaving over redoing the website: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/createthemood/
Contact:

Postby frances » Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:55 am

When I get back from an event I always have such good intentions. But it is difficult to be creative when one is very tired, no matter how urgent the particular job is. So I give myself excuses not to do it. Then have still not done it by the next event, and again, wish I had!!

On the other hand, just before packing for an event it is amazing how creative I can be and how fast I can work to finish things ready to take with me.

But generally I too have to be in the mood, and to have stretches of uninterrupted time. Nothing planned ahead for Easter, so I have been dyeing batches of yarn pretty colours. Quite absorbing and quite creative. But having spent three days on it, I was glad to get out and about this afternoon. Another big batch to get down to, but maybe I will not get bored as I plan to use different colour combinations.

The one thing I do put off these days is paperwork. Oh, hello Mr/Ms taxperson!!



User avatar
Drachelis
Posts: 288
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 11:29 am
Location: SW Wales
Contact:

Postby Drachelis » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:58 am

I totally agree with Frances about creative speed at the last minute - this results in being too tired on Saturday night to get to the beer tent.


When we are out every weekend at events during the summer I tend to allocate Mondays as rest and recuperation and the dreaded paperwork and obviously Friday is pack up and get there day - so I have three productive days ( snd the house goes to pot).

Last year, being our first year of trading, was a steep learning curve - we started by a three dimensional jigsaw of packing into the jeep and ended with a long wheelbase Fiat Ducato van ( which unfortunately is at the garage waiting to see whether it is the head gaskt or the head that needs replacing - Ouch!) This year we plan to keep all the tentage etc in the van ready as well as completed stock ( on a permanent hanging rail - they are all n plastic protectors anyway) I will have one male and one female dummy in the house and the rest can party in the van ( I am hoping that they might make babies o I have a childs size one :D )

Having learnt from last year I am scheduling my order book differently - there is no possibility to make replacement stock and complete commission orders at the same pace over june,july and august - so estimates will have a longer lead time up to September when it will revert to normal - if there is an important rush job and clients are prepared to pay the rush job premium ( seeing that it will reduce the replacement stock I can make) then I will make time for it.

All fine on paper .
:D

We will see how it pans out over the season.



Cheryl
Shadowlight Designs[/url]



frances
Post Knight
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: Slaving over redoing the website: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/createthemood/
Contact:

Postby frances » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:36 pm

Many moons ago I was on a women's management traing course. The only thing I can remember is the trainer advising us all to give ourselves three treats a day. 'Three Mars bars a day' ??? was said under our collective breaths. hehehe. No, no, do not neglect yourself was the point. Walk up the stairs slowly rather than take the lift, wander around the park at lunch-time rather than eat at the desk, and so on.

So these days, I try to give myself Wednesday as my weekend. Working from home it is only to easy to suddenly realise that you have not been to the hairdresser for over a year, that your underwear has all seen better days and when was the last time you went to the cinema.



User avatar
Kate Tiler
Post Centurion
Posts: 620
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 10:23 pm
Location: Leicestershire
Contact:

Postby Kate Tiler » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:56 pm

Ah - this is where I have been going wrong for a while!

Jon has spent the last two years telling me to take Mondays & Tuesdays as my weekends, instead of working - Monday I can usually just about manage, but schools do seem to want to book me on a Tuesday!

Mondays I am usually good to neither man nor beast, which is why I have started to try 7 say 'no' more often & have gotten more picky about weekend events.

This year at least I have been able to allow myself to not do outdoor willow sculptures in Jan/Feb/March, except for one which was a training day. I figured that as i was working 7 days a week on the mural I was allowed not to get frostbite on top of that!


http://www.katetiler.co.uk
http://www.companyofartisans.co.uk
"In art as in life everything is possible as long as it is based on love" Marc Chagall

frances
Post Knight
Posts: 1003
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:32 pm
Location: Slaving over redoing the website: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/createthemood/
Contact:

Postby frances » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:13 pm

Yes, I have a schedule. But .... it was a lovely day on Saturday, and they forecast rain the next day. And the lawn was over a foot high and growing ever higher. So I had to mow it, oh, and there are some weeds, and crikey, that bush needs pruning before it flowers, and so does that shrub which half died over the winter. :P




Return to “Traders Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests