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by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

How would you like more time to make jewelry? Many artists juggle work, family and more, in addition to managing their jewelry-making business. Oftentimes jewelry-makers are working from home and find themselves unable to avoid distractions. Here are some tips to making more time for jewelry-making.

1) Practice the Art of Saying NO
Do you find yourself feeling stretched too thin? Rushing all the time and not having enough time to finish the things you want to? You might be suffering from the inability to say no. It's OK to say no. As much as we all want to do everything, learning how to effectively say no will give you the ability to focus your best time and energy on jewelry-making. Here are some tips for saying no the next time someone asks you to do something that you are not interested in or unable to do at this time.
  • Be firm. It's OK to kindly respond with, ''I can't do this right now.'' There is no need to provide a more detailed response and if pushed, you can simply say it doesn't fit with your schedule or you have other time commitments that prevent you from doing it.
  • If it is something that you are interested in, but just don't have the time for the full commitment, you can always respond back with, ''I can't do this right now, but I am willing to offer this….'' This way you are clearly letting the person know what you are willing to give and it can be on your own terms.
  • It's OK to let the person know you need to think about it and get back to them. This can buy you time to check your schedule, think about it and give you the ability to confidently respond once you decide if it is something you are able to commit to.
  • Avoid the guilt of saying no by remembering there are only so many hours in a given day and you want to be able to do the things you choose to do, well.
2) Schedule the Time
We spend time scheduling all the different aspects of our lives, such as work and appointments; however, we neglect to pencil in time for jewelry-making. Scheduling ''jewelry-making time'' on your calendar will force you to take time to do it. Having it formally scheduled will also help prevent it from getting bumped by other things that come up during the day.

3) Have a Dedicated Jewelry-Making Area
Ideally, you can create a workspace that is dedicated to jewelry-making. This will give you the ability to keep your work-in-progress going, saving you the time of having to pack it away every time you finish. It's also important to make others aware of your designated space so they can respect it as such. Organizing your workspace in a manner that works for you will help save countless hours searching for supplies or trying to find something you need.

4) Remove Distractions
It's impossible to avoid all distractions, but here are some things you can do to help prevent the majority of them, giving you more uninterrupted time for jewelry-making.
  • If your jewelry-making workspace is at home, develop a way of alerting your family that you're ''at work.'' This can be as simple as a sign on the door that signals you are working or certain hours they know to expect that you will be unavailable.
  • Leave your cell phone and/or computer in another area to avoid the disruption of a phone call or email. Unfortunately, many people assume that if you are working from home you are always available.
  • Communicate to others the importance of your work time and let them know why you will be unavailable.

5) Focus on What you Do Well
Another way to carve out more jewelry-making time is to focus on doing the things you do well and ''outsource'' the rest. For example, if you're struggling to update and maintain your website, is there someone else that can do this for you? Or if you are spending a lot of time preparing ads and promotional materials, is there some additional help you can enlist for this? This will give you more time to focus on what you do best. Maybe it's as simple as having someone clean your house or hiring a lawn service. If this frees up valuable jewelry-making time, it will be money well spent.

And last, but not least, make sure you're taking advantage of the time-saving resources Fire Mountain Gems and Beads offers to give you even more time to create:
  • Store frequently ordered items in our Favorites Center for quick and easy reordering.
  • Place orders 24/7 online at www.firemountaingems.com or call toll-free (800) 355-2137.
  • Have your order numbers ready? Use our fast Xpress ordering online.
  • Don't have time to scout out current trends? Quickly find out what's hot this season in the Fashion Spotlight.
  • Need some instant inspiration? Browse thousands of designs in our Gallery of Designs with an easy-to-use search to find exactly what you're looking for.
  • Pick up new techniques in a flash with our free beading resources, including video-tutorials, step-by-step printable instructions and more.
  • Quickly find answers to your jewelry-making questions in our Ask the Experts resource.
Resources:

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "5 Simple Steps to Make More Time for Jewelry-Making," featured in a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Thank you for the feature article on "Simple Steps to Make More Time for Jewelry-Making". I really needed to read that! Starting out from such a long time of inactivity in my workshop isn't easy so thank you again! Kind regards"
- Liz

"Hello, The article is excellent. Obviously, there are many people in the same situation. Lots of desire, plenty of ideas floating in the head ready to go, and no block of time to sit and get them started. I generally find that once started, I am determined to finish in a day or two. So the big issue is getting the time blocked (not like writers block), but once there are items on my table, it seems easier to tell everyone around me, I have to "finish". Somehow, they understand "finish" is important and "start something" doesn't register well in their facial expressions. I believe I will start saying something more like "I need to finish my thoughts into a beautiful piece" then the "finish" is in the front of the statement. {I work a 43 hour week most weeks with extra quite often - not jewelry or craft related. In addition, 3 small grandchildren live under the same roof and I often babysit and do things with them - hence the shortage of time}Have a great day."
- Mary


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