Planning For Success

                One of the questions people (cake and non cake) ask me the most is how do I do it?  What they are referring to is that I work a full time day job then do all the cake related stuff like help organize Cake Carnival, act as sponsor coordinator for the Canadian Cake Decorator’s Guild, magazine and collaboration pieces, tutorials, teach and make cake.  My answer….I have a well laid out plan.

                Now this plan needs to be flexible – I do have household stuff to do too.  Afterall, a happy wife means a happy life, right?  The way I juggle everything is to plan it out on paper – the old fashioned way!  Since most cakes are ordered for Saturday pickup/delivery, my planning starts on Sunday night.  After dinner, when dishes are done and lunches are in the fridge, I’ll sit down in the living room and while watching TV with my wife, look at my agenda for the month ahead.  Yes – MONTH.  I am looking to see if I have any upcoming orders that need earlier prep – sugar flowers that need making, components that need to be ordered and so on.

                The next thing I do is map out my “to do” list for the week then create a schedule.  I do not pencil in my normal daily routine (up at 5, gym at 6, etc).  What I do notate for during daytime at the office, is emails I need to send or calls to make (during lunch hour of course ;) ).  I also pencil in if I will be writing a tutorial or working on administrative stuff on my lunch hour.  My “cake job” starts really at 6pm when we’ve eaten and done dishes.  I’ll do any household stuff that needs to be done while supper is cooking (multitasking at its best) thus freeing up my evening.  My wife usually works out at night in the basement, so while she is doing that, I do the stuff I can’t do while we watch TV – so basically any of the project stuff that needs fine detail and attention or Baking on Wednesday night for weekend orders.  Once she is done, we settle down in the living room and watch TV – we are TV junkies – our PVR is constantly full of stuff to watch!  That is when I answer email, source supplies online, and any other admin type task.  Once that is done, I’ll make standard flower centers to have in stock.  By 10 pm, it is off to bed to be ready to start all over again.  Here is what a typical Monday schedule for me will look like:

6pm – Make Roses and hydrangea

7pm – Email; Order edible images for Davis cake (need del’y by Aug 8)

7:30pm – find Guild sponsor for November

8pm – Social media – promote upcoming classes

8:15 – Work on “A well laid out plan” for CDC

9:15 – Monarch Butterfly instruction sheet

           By having everything charted out for me, I am able to keep my sanity…..somewhat.  My Friday night schedule could go well into early Saturday am depending on how many orders I have that weekend.  I try as hard as I can to have my orders delivered or picked by 1pm on Saturday so I do get some ME time.  In the summer that means enjoying the sun and hanging by the pool, or if it is crappy out going to the movies or reading a book.

           I hope that if you are like me and work full time on top of trying to do cake, you have been inspired to try mapping out a timetable for yourself to make things run a bit more smoothly.  What are some of your tips for keeping up with everything?  I’d love to see your suggestions!  Feel free to comment below and let everyone know!

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