admin. day

It's funny the reaction I get from people when I tell them that I design knitting patterns full-time.

They may express piquant interest at first, share a knitting anecdote or ask for sock repair – (that is, if they don't just stand there with a blank expression and say "... Sewing patterns?")

But more often than not, they will end up asking me: "So what do you DO all day?"
If they're kind, I guess they're picturing me sitting on the chesterfield, knitting cozily away and perhaps taking a few notes on a nice pad of paper...
Or perhaps, if they have some knitting experience, they can picture me sewing something up, or boxing up a completed sample to send off to a publisher or yarn company.

But nobody, myself included, can really put into the picture the weird, vast extent of OTHER stuff that goes along with this strange job of mine.

By my own choice, admittedly, I am my own:
Bookkeeper;
Test knitter;
Tech editor;
Marketing department;
R&D/product development department;
Publishing/print house;
and office staff.

On any given day, I might need to re-vamp my workshop brochure and save it to .pdf; send it off to the store that wants me to come teach; fire off an e-mail to my web maven to ask her to update it on my websites; order more cardstock for printing patterns (and solid ink for the laser printer); balance the business checkbook …

It makes for very interesting days, if I'm not run out of my tree in 18 different directions before noon!

I know I'm not alone in this: so many of us who work from home (my brother being a new addition!) face the daunting pile of stuff-that-needs-to-get-done-now - without a support team to fob it off on help us with it.
So I want to share with you all the BEST IDEA I EVER HAD to help me with all of this:

Admin Day.

For me, Admin Day falls on a Friday, because there's payroll happening for Boyhood's construction company, and his bookkeeper comes in to print paychecks anyway... there's a natural cloud of finance in the air, coming from the QuickBooks in her corner.
So I take a cue from her consummately capable aura and dive into bank accounts and bill paying for all of my work day on Friday.

Okay, so it's a decidedly un-sexy way to spend a day (I mean, really - it's DEFINITELY not knitting!), but when it's done, it's done for the week. No more. Once a week, I enter in new transactions into Quicken, pay bills, and if the bank statements have come, I get to reconcile accounts. (Who else misses the little balloons that Quicken used to give you when your accounts balanced!? I mean, really - throw a dog a bone, here - I liked that little perk, silly as it was.)

And the payoff for a day of slog slog slog through balance sheets and accounts?
Six days of blessed peace.
You see, with Admin. day, I can willfully ignore any non-burning issue and file it in my folders for Friday. New bill in the mail? Wait for a few days. Phone call to make to Apple Tech Support to send in the bricked laptop? Talk to ya Friday, sweethearts.

This week, Admin. Day brought me two whole days on the couch, plugging away on Secret Design Content for An Amazing Yarn Company Whom We All Love... and I didn't have to jump up every 5 minutes to deal with the minutiae of my business life.

Now that's what a work week should look like.