Have you ever been overwhelmed with so much to do and not much time to do it all? Cake Decorating is not a difficult profession but it is a very time-consuming job! In this post time management of an effective cake decorator, I have some simple tips on how to manage your time effectively and efficiently. I hope it helps.
Often I get other cake decorators especially the beginners who ask me - How do you manage to do all that? I never have the time!
Some of you do as much as I do. Because we are all moms and wives, cake artist and working mothers... etc.
- I am a home based cake decorator who takes two (sometimes three) cakes a week.
I mostly specialize in wedding cakes which mean often baking and decorating three / four tier cakes. That's a lot of cake, buttercream, and goodies to prepare.
- A full-time mom. I have two children both still below 10.
- I'm room service at home.. which means, planning and preparing breakfast lunch dinners, cookies and all the goodies that go with it for play dates and children meet.
- Guess whose the dishwasher and housekeeper which means washing and laundry too (my husband helps with this when he can)
- I'm the only author of this blog which I like to share a lot of my cake & food journey and recipes.
- I have a YouTube Channel that I try to make videos when I can.
- and a Facebook page that is very active.
Now that's a lot on my plate - I know that most of you do as much as I do on a regular basis.... perhaps more...Right? and yet we go to bed with a feeling that we have not finished everything!
Back to the question - How do you manage everything?
Guess what? I don't manage everything nor can I manage my time to fit everything! BUT what I can do is ... Prioritize.
Prioritize! Yes, I prioritize the things that are important to me. When you prioritize your work - you automatically make time for that work. Trust me I want to do it all but I can't!!
You PRIORITIZE two important things - Your LIFE and Your DAY!!
Priorities for life: Using myself as an example again...
- My first most important priority is my kids/ my family!!
Hands down.. nothing else is more important. So if it means that I have to take less or no orders when they are on vacation - that's what I do. I make sure I have the time I want to spend with my kids.
Often I decorate at night because I'm busy with them during the day.
- My second priority is my Job/Cake business - yes!
It is my business and once you take the money you have to deliver. So I decide ahead of time, either I don't do an order but if I do - it's high up on the days' list. After all it involves someone's special day and my business reputation. So yes, the kids need to know that mom's cake orders are a priority.
- Next on my list (which should actually be no.1) is my own health which usually is me going to the gym or doing the ME stuff. I try to make it to the gym at least three times a week but sometimes a week passes off without.
- I can continue to list my priorities but I think you get the idea.
Priorities for today!
Things you have to do today! Things you can move to tomorrow. You cannot do everything in one day because there is no day ever when I know I'm going to do it all.
So, the only next good thing I can do is decide ahead of time what I will do today and what I will move for tomorrow. Once I do that I am mentally much less stressed over why I could not do that thing I am supposed to do. I will do it tomorrow and my mind has settled on that thought.
- When I have a cake order, it's high up on the list.
- Which means sometimes the kids have to play on their own.
- My husband has to make time to take them to their activities. (which he does most of the time)
- My meals are more simple and quick to make.
You remember those stir-fry recipes and quick meals I share with you. Those are usually for these days. So when mom is busy they cannot demand treats. They have come to understand this.
- Often the laundry gets moved to the next day
- The sink is full of dishes to be washed for a longer time. Usually, I hate a messy kitchen but when I'm busy with a cake I can be so consumed that these things don't bother me. (again bless my husband who usually takes care of this)
- When I have no cake something else goes up on that list. Like editing a video for my YouTube Channel. Writing a blog post, downloading and editing my cake pictures from the camera.... etc..
- you get the idea... right?
So you see what's most important is to decide what is important.
We all have different ways to deal with priorities. My husband has a planner that helps him check mark which keeps him sane.
I usually do most of my priorities in my head. My schedule in on my calendar which keeps me on track.
Here's an important tip from me to you - Get the family involved.
This is a more important thing that you think - get the family on the same understanding as yours.
Again using myself as an example.
- My kids know that a cake order is very important to mama and so they have to leave mama alone to finish her work.
- My husband too does a few extra things to lighten my workload like keep the kids out of my hair.
- The whole family knows that when mom's busy with her business work she may not have time to cook a big meal - sandwiches and cereals are acceptable.
- My friends often know - if I'm not replying means I'm probably busy with a cake.
- In return I do the same - Even when I have a cake order - I spread my workload - do as much as I can over a couple of days!! Remember my post? Timeline for decorating your cakes? That's one way to manage time efficiently. So a lot of what goes on the cake can be done in advance like flowers, toppers. etc..
So you see the fact that my family knows takes the stress out of trying to convince them that I cannot attend to them. Which leaves me in a better mood to do my work. A better me is a good creative and happy artist. Need I say more.
So that's my personal take on Time-Management and how I deal with it. I've used myself as an example throughout this post and I know some of you will identify with it.
Time management and stress
This little slide here says it best. We all need time management to avoid stress because stress can lead not just to poor productivity but also to poor health.
I hope this helps you understand the concept and gives you something to help lighten that stress. There is no point stressing on a workload because the stress is not going to make work less just more difficult.
Again, this is my personal opinion and how I deal with my time management. I do not claim to be right or insist that this is the only way to do it. I respect that you may not share the same view as mine and we'd love to hear about it in a comment below this post.