Time is a precious commodity that there never seems to be enough of. The old cliché that everyone gets the same amount of time each day, offers very little comfort. With our busy lives with work, family and friends, how can we manage all the time we need in order to accomplish all that we want to accomplish? Below, is a 10 step set of techniques that may help you with your time management needs.

Carry around a schedule so you can keep track of all your conversations with buyers, designers and others. Remember to note your thoughts on design, tours and other things, including activities you have for the week. Whether it’s presentations, dress design, or meeting with clients, remember to jot it all down. This will be your guide to understanding how much you can get done in a standard day. You can also keep track of how much time is used profitably and on tasks, versus how much time you waste on thoughts, conversations, and activities that have nothing to do with the projects at hand.

  1. Assign a time to any and all conversations and activities that are important to you. The longer your to-do list becomes, the more it becomes unmanageable. Schedule sections of time for the most important activities first; you can start with design, secondly talk with clients, and third, plan a runway presentation. Also, maintain the discipline to keep up with those tasks.
  2. Spend at least half of your time thinking and acting on the thoughts and activities that help you finish your most important tasks. In the fashion world you have to think and act on all opportunities.
  3. No matter what, interruptions are always around us. Emergencies with the family, traffic jams, just to name a few. Allow yourself some time for interruptions. Don’t lose your creative thunder by not predicting interruptions.
  4. Before you start each day, take at least half an hour to manage your day. What designs do you have to finish? What client is waiting for your call? What runway presentation do you have to organise? Doing this, will help you tackle each day with the assurance that you know what to do for that day.
  5. Before each task and call, take 5 minutes to decide the outcome you wish to obtain from the task or conversation. Do you want to finish that design or runway production? Finish up with a client or buyer? This will help you define what success in that task  means to you.
  6. Remain on task. When you absolutely need to get the job done, don’t allow anything to stand in your way. Fashion doesn’t wait for anyone.
  7. Phone is ringing. Emails are coming in. What do you do? If the job is not completed, continue ‘till it is. Phones have voicemail, and emails can wait. They are not going anywhere. Your job at hand is your priority.
  8. If you are not working on anything with social media, such as Facebook, then do not let these sites become a distraction. Switch them off. Don’t allow them to steal your new dress idea, runway project or buyer calls.
  9. Finally, make sure your most important tasks are completed. Not everything you assign time to will get done in one day. On the bright side, you still have 6 more days worth of time to manage. In fashion, you live to show another day.

BOE Magazine