If you’ve been following me for a while then you will know that crochet is more than just a business to me. And you will also know that (for now) my crochet business is a “side hustle” as I also work full time in a job that can be demanding of my time during and our of office hours. On top of all that, I also have a family and household to coordinate and manage. And until February this year, we were foster parents to two young boys and had been for close to six years, and that was even more demanding of my time and energy than almost anything else in my life!
Thankfully, my biological children are almost all adults now, with my youngest only a few months away from turning 18. That allows me to have more flexibility with my time and has also allowed me to delegate more of the every day tasks. I have however always worked full time or (in my early years of motherhood) worked and studied, with the most time I’ve had off from work being 8 weeks when I had my third child.
I say all this, not to tire you out and make you wonder if I ever sleep, but to set the scene for not only why my crochet time is so important to me, but to help show that it is possible to find time to crochet every day with a busy life. And by the way, I do sleep and aim for at 7 hours every night!
I’m a big believer in putting my self care first. I liken it to the safety message on a plane where you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs in the event of an emergency. To me, my crochet time is self care time, and the tips that I am going to provide can be applied not only to finding time for crochet, but to anything that you want to make more time for in your life.
The main reason that I have the time to crochet daily is because I make the time. Crochet is important to me, as is exercise and spending time with my family. And because it is important, I have time set aside each day to focus on it. There is a bit more to it than making the time though. If I had my way, I would ignore many other tasks that I need to do and I would make even more time for crochet. But like you, I live in a world where crochet is only part of what I need to spend my day on, so it is important that I manage my time well.
So how do I manage my time so that I can crochet every day?
Firstly, I am very clear on my priorities and my schedule. I use calendars to schedule my time and Asana to manage all my projects for home, work and business. The key is to limit the surprises and be as aware as possible of what is on the horizon for taking up your time.
By having my priorities and my schedules sorted it means that I am able to plan and manage my time. A few minutes planning can mean many hours saved! Every Sunday night I sit down and review my calendars and Asana and I map all of the week’s tasks out on a white board so that I can see everything together for each day – similar to having a week to view diary in front of you. I am big on colour too so I use different colours to help me identify what is for business, what is for home and what is for work. By the end of the session I have all of the big ticket items mapped out against each day. These are my exercise routines, my meetings, my project tasks and anything else that is not routine every day stuff.
I then use this weekly plan to sit each night and plan out my next day. This usually only takes a few minutes, but it means that I can get started first thing in the morning and know exactly what I have to do that day. It improves my focus and it makes me much more efficient at getting through my day. How I map my time out is always evolving, but currently I have tasks allocated to time blocks – my morning before work, my time at work, and my time when I get home. I will sometimes add a couple of “filler tasks” which are tasks that I know will only take a few minutes and I can use to fill in spare time if the opportunity arises. I use these time blocks to keep track of my day and what I need to do. When I plan for the next day I tick off on the weekly planner what I did achieve (because sometimes the unexpected comes up!) and plan accordingly.
By having a weekly and daily plan it also allows for more flexibility for when the unexpected comes up. When an “emergency” meeting is called, or someone else needs my time, then I can look at my day plan and know exactly what tasks can be left for another day and what can’t. This also allows for me to say no to the unplanned if I need to. If someone needs something “urgently” (which is usually code for ‘they failed to plan’) then I am more comfortable saying no if I know my time cannot be spared. And, it enables me to identify tasks that I need to delegate so that I have more time for what are tasks that I cannot delegate.
I am also very conscious of how much time I allocate to certain tasks. Meals is an example. Preparing and cooking meals is not something that I like to spend a lot of time on. And because of that I make sure that I have either delegated the task (a bonus of teenage/adult children!) or I make it as simple and quick as possible. And that doesn’t mean take away or ordering in, that means using a meal planning service (thank you Hello Fresh) or making sure the meals I’m making do not require a lot of my time. My husband on the other hand loves to spend time cooking and he will quite happily spend hours on a Sunday preparing and cooking our Sunday meal.
Social media time is another one that I am strict on. I block out a few times a day to post and respond to messages and comments. It ensures that I don’t get lost scrolling. I also have the majority of notifications turned off on my phone so that my mind and time is not interrupted as often.
And don’t be afraid of routine either. Having routine makes you more efficient and makes your time more flexible when you need it to be. You
So you might have read this far and still wondering when it is that I actually get to crochet?!
So I’ll tell you…
First thing in the morning, one of my tasks is to crochet a square. You may have seen them on my social media stories, but I always post my first square of the day to my stories and share the progress in my news feed during the week. This first square of the day is my meditation time. It allows me to clear my mind, let ideas flow and calms me for the rest of the day.
Crochet is also my wind down time in the evening. I aim to be sitting no later than 8pm and I’ll watch tv programs with my daughter and my husband if he is home and wanting to watch tv too. Almost every night I manage at least an hour of crochet time, quite often closer to two. Some evenings I do have meetings for work, and for as many of them as I can I turn off the video and sit and make squares while attending. It can make for some very productive crocheting if I’m getting annoyed as my hook goes extra fast to make up for not losing my cool!
All of this is a snapshot of how I manage my time. Has any of it helped you? With everything that I do I have different hacks to make it easier and quicker to complete. But when you’re motivated by finding more time for a task that you love and are passionate about, then it is even easier to make the time for it too…
If you found this helpful or if you want to share with me how you find time to crochet, I would love to hear it! Comment below or send me a message through social media. You can find me on facebook and instagram.