Productivity Report, 2 Jan 2007

  • Spun on spindle while waiting at the periodontist; about 20-30 minutes in the waiting room. I could have spun a lot more but I had no idea I was going to wind up just sitting and waiting as much as I did once I was actually in the chair, so my bag with my spinning was all the way across the room and I was stuck reading magazines.
  • Packed and shipped 5 boxes of stuff sold over the weekend.
  • Put up about 3 pounds of handpainted and hand-dyed bombyx silk in one-ounce lots from a dye day in December; about 40 minutes. Still to go: 2-3 pounds of tussah silk. Then both piles need to be tagged and inventoried and photographed, then those photos cropped and put online; probably this evening I’ll do the tussah and maybe the tagging. Then if it’s sunny in the morning, find a good spot with good light to take photos. My office works well for this in the mornings, though this time of year, good natural light is just horribly hard to find.
  • 45 minutes, about half a repeat, on the cashmere scarf; but then I decided I just really needed to give myself a break from small and fiddly and do something with needles that exceed the 3mm range.
  • Came to grips with the fact that I’d lost the pattern I wrote for a 900-yard pullover, and ripped the completed back so that it could have a new shot in a new pattern. About 15 minutes.
  • Roughed in a new pullover pattern; about 45 minutes
  • Started on the back, finishing the ribbing and a few inches other than that; about 3 hours.
    One evening's knitting on the Purple Slate Sweater
  • First set of test photos for “how to knit on” taken.

During the day, I typically engage in strictly work productivity, while evenings allow for personal non-work fiber stuff. It’s always a challenge to balance various types of productivity, too: there’s packing, shipping, inventory management, supply chain management (hah! that really means, “Crap, I’m almost out of silk again, I’d better buy some before I really am”), pricing, marketing, writing ad copy, dealing with correspondence… and that could be a whole job all by itself, if I let it! But there’s also dyeing, blending, spinning, testing patterns, and product development

December was a horror for me in terms of getting anything done, since I spent half of it Vicodined to the gills due to the aforementioned dental purgatory, which at least is winding down now. My third grader goes back to school tomorrow and between that and being done with the worst of the dental stuff, work productivity should start coming back to the levels I’d managed to settle on in October and November, which were solid levels of production in my opinion. I’ll definitely lose a few days to this whole periodontal surgery thing, but hopefully nothing like December.

I did manage to get a fair amount of writing done in December, which was a big missing piece that needed to be fit into my overall fiber work life; I’m not going to write December off as having been totally unproductive! My half-hitch article (which was written and finished in November) went online in Spindlicity, and I finished up my article about spindle plying on the go, which should be making its appearance soon in another fine online publication. I’m trying to set a goal for myself of getting at least one draft per week for fiber articles of various types; this obviously doesn’t mean all of those will be publication-grade, but I need to bring some focus and discipline to my fiber writing (a purpose this blog is intended to work towards as well).

For January, leaving aside sick days, I’m figuring on something like this for a division of work:

  • Production: 12-24 hours
  • Operations: 10-12 hours
  • Development: 12-20 hours

Total work hours in a typical week: 32 – 56.

Production is things like dyeing silk, or producing yarn and fiber for sale.

Operations is stuff like packing, shipping, inventory, accounting, routine correspondence.

Development is writing, patterns, product testing, market research, and some correspondence.

Both production and development have strong risks of slopping over into my personal life; in some cases this is acceptable and in other cases, it’s not — but that’s a whole new range of stuff to talk about, best left for another day. For now, suffice it to say I’m figuring a slack week is 30-some-odd hours of work, a busy week maybe as much as 60; with average weeks somewhere in the “around 40 work hours” range. The big tricky issue for me, really, is how to limit time and be focused; I have a tendency to just work nonstop, whatever I’m doing, and that’s what needs controlling most in my life.

2 thoughts on “Productivity Report, 2 Jan 2007

  1. I just wanted to say that I love reading about your daily adventures! I sure wish I had more time to spend with my spinning and knitting. I’ve been thinking about trying to slowly branch out, and maybe sell some fiber, etc… Though not enough to be able to quit my day job. It’s really eye opening to see what you put into your business. Good job keeping up with it, and I hope that it continues (can’t be easy I’m sure – I know I have a hard time updating my blog more than twice a week these days!)

    Thanks so much for sharing with us! And Happy New Year!

    abi

Comments are closed.