Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - Pricing & Productivity Tool

Today's Tasting Table features a new Tool!  If you make things to sell, you know how important - and difficult - pricing can be.  We all struggle with putting a price tag on our time.  I used to try and write my hours down on a piece of paper by my sewing machine, but would usually forget to write it down until it was too late.  So I'd end up guessing and not have any idea how accurate my numbers were.

A friend of mine suggested getting a count-up timer.  She uses one and said it works great for her.  So the hunt was on.  Most stores only carry kitchen timers, and the majority of them only count down - not up - or if they do count up it's only for a couple of hours.  I searched high and low, and finally found this one on Amazon.

It's perfect!  It's small and lightweight and comes with a lanyard so I can wear it around my neck.  (I added the adjustable slider so I could draw it up shorter after I put it over my head, since I kept bumping the buttons on my sewing table and messing up the count - if the manufacturer is listening - this would be a great addition to your product!)

It has 3 functions - timer, clock & count-up.  I just push the "count-up" button, then press the yellow "start/stop" button when I start working.  If I stop to take a phone call, check my email, or whatever, I just push the yellow button again to stop it, then another press resumes the count where I left off.  At the end of the day, I write down the total time in my notebook, then press the "clear" button to set the timer back to zero ready for the next day.

I used it while making the 15 laptop sleeves (previous post) and totaled up my time for all 15, then divided to calculate the average time per case.  It's a great tool when pricing my items, as I now know exactly how long it takes to make something.

It's also nice (or depressing) to see exactly how much time I spend working each day.  It's surprising, because many times I feel like I've been working all day, only to find I actually only spent a few hours sewing, once you filter out all the interruptions...


  1. I have one of those (different company) that I use for longarming and have used for years. It is very helpful. I agree that it is a bit discouraging to find how few hours you have been "working" after subtracting the interruptions when most people get paid for those things during the day.
    It helps you to work smarter - not harder. :)


  2. Sounds like a great tool. Those interruptions do add up.


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