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  • Writer's pictureKieran Helbling

Making Time for Your Small Business: The Power of Daily Progress

Something that I have been learning on this journey is that as a small business owner, finding the time to dedicate to your passion can be challenging, especially when juggling so many other responsibilities. However, I have a hypothesis that part of the key to success lies in consistency and persistence. In this blog post, I'll share my approach to making time for Spalted Sparrow Studios, even on the busiest days, and how doing one small thing each day can propel the business forward.


The Importance of Taking One Small Step Every Day:

When it comes to building a successful small business, I'm finding that consistency is crucial. It's not just about setting aside large chunks of time; it's about making a conscious effort to work on my business every single day. This consistent dedication allows you to maintain momentum, stay motivated, and keep your goals in sight.


Even on the busiest days, I try to to do at least one small thing to move Spalted Sparrow Studios forward. It could be as simple as writing a blog (how very meta!), posting on social media, replying to an email, or sketching a new design. I may only have 30 minutes to get down in the shop, so I may take that time to do a little cleaning or add finish to a project that is ready for it. These small tasks may not seem significant individually, but over time, they accumulate and contribute to the overall growth of the business. Forward progress, no matter how small, is still progress. And for you folks that love checking things off your to-do list, this approach gives plenty of opportunities to do so.


Tips for Making Time:

Here are some strategies I've been using to help me make time for my small business, even when life gets hectic:


1. Prioritize: I take a few minutes to identify the most critical tasks that need to be done, and focus on completing them first. This way, I can ensure that I'm making progress on the essential aspects of my business. For instance, I knew that before I could sell anything, I needed a virtual storefront and things to sell. So I prioritized work related to those tasks ahead of less urgent items.


2. Break Tasks into Smaller Chunks: Breaking larger tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces can make them less overwhelming and easier to fit into my busy schedule. Some tasks are straightforward - writing a social media post doesn't take me very long, as an example. However, building things requires numerous steps, and much of the time it isn't something that could be done in a single day even if I had the time available. So I break that work into smaller chunks. I may only be able to fit one of the steps in on a given day, or maybe I can handle most of them. Either way, it gives me clarity on when to start and when I can stop.


3. Set Daily Goals: I try to establish specific, achievable daily goals to help me stay on track and maintain a sense of accomplishment. During the regular work week, I have a limited amount of time I can dedicate to being in the shop and that can make me feel like I am not making necessary progress. Taking any of the prioritized work that is broken down into smaller chunks helps make it possible for me to strategize around the goal(s) I want to meet for the day.


4. Use a Planner or Task Management App: I have tons of ideas for projects while I am in the middle of another project. And I also get requests from customers while in the middle of building something else. I have needed a way to keep my tasks and deadlines organized. My current organizer of choice is Notion.so. It is a very flexible sandbox with various templates for organizing anything you are working on. I'll likely make a future blog post about how I am using it - and that's an idea that I will jot down on my blog ideas list.


5. Schedule Dedicated Work Time: Even on the busiest days, I try to set aside dedicated blocks of time for my business, even if it's just 5-30 minutes each day. The specific work I do comes from any of the tasks I have on hand from the above steps. It may be at any time of day - sometimes during lunch, sometimes late at night - but either way I treat this time as non-negotiable and protect it from distractions as best I can.


6. Embrace Imperfection: While I do try to make sure I am being intentional about my time, I also accept that not every day will be perfect, and sometimes I may not accomplish everything I set out to do. I stay focused on progress, not perfection.


7. Celebrate Wins: I do my best to remember to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Recognizing my progress keeps me motivated and remind me of how far I've come in my woodworking and small business journey. Burnout is real and one way to help avoid it is by taking time to appreciate where I am at right in this moment. Perspective helps keep things fun and rewarding.


tl;dr

Making time for Spalted Sparrow Studios seemed daunting, but the power of daily progress has made everything I have wanted to do feel so much more attainable. By consistently dedicating time to my passion, even if it's just one small task a day, I'm taking steps towards achieving my goals and building a reputable business.

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