It steals both money and time. Being effective and minimising downtime is crucial for any business owner. We met with the Swedish tattoo artist Frej Lind, who gives his best advice on how he manages his business while the ink is drying.

– There’s always something to do, even if the basic chores don’t provide a daily income – they need to be done.

There’s no such thing as ‘having nothing to do’ if you’re striving for a lucrative business. According to recent data from Salary.com, 23 % state that they’re ‘just plain bored’ when slipping into habits of time wasting at work. If you ever find yourself idle or (God forbid) bored – you’re doing it wrong. Solo-entrepreneurs shouldn’t underestimate the importance of making the most of time at all costs – but more importantly during downtime – because as it’s been said a thousand times: time is ka-ching ka-ching.

Tweet: “There’s no such thing as ‘having nothing to do’ if you’re striving for a lucrative business.” http://iztl.co/1PA5XPV via @iZettleUK.

Frej. Photo: Martin Bohm
Frej himself. Photo: Martin Bohm

The most frustrating thing for a tattoo artist is when a customer pulls a classic no-show. But there are ways to shoulder it. We spoke to the Swedish tattoo artist Frej Lind from Royal Arch Tattoo who gave us some basic ABC’s on how to shoulder no-shows and how to stay productive during the inevitable downtime.

How do you make the most of your time at work?

– I get to the studio at 8:00, have a quick breakfast while checking my messages and emails. Then I sit down and draw the sketches of the day. Sometimes I start working on pieces that are more time consuming and elaborately planned for the upcoming day, to save time whenever there’s a no-show. The first customer usually drops in at 10-11-ish, and a sitting usually takes around 3-5 hours (short breaks included). Then I usually have a second sitting during the afternoon, depending on my schedule. I manage to have a quick bite in between sittings.

What’s your secret for being productive when a customer simply doesn’t show up?

– There’s always something to do, even if the basic chores don’t provide a daily income they need to be done. In the best-case scenario, a new customer pops up. I usually get in touch with previously booked customers and ask if they want to come sooner. If however, the no-show happens on short notice and it’s difficult to find a replacement, I take the opportunity to catch up on other tasks, sketches for future customers, organising my workplace, fixing my accounting and do the boring stuff that needs doing.

There’s always something to do, even if the basic chores don’t provide a daily income they need to be done.

Frej’s ABCs on how to maximise your time:

  • Find what works for you. Not all people are night people, or morning people.
  • There’s always something to do. Even the boring stuff needs doing.
  • Try to find a balance between work, leisure and family (contact me and tell me how it went, I haven’t succeeded yet!)

Know this:

Turn each downfall into your advantage. There’s no shake-and-bake formula, downtime is bound to happen eventually, time that’s lost waiting can be fuelled with productivity!

 

3 useful tips on how to stop slacking:

Are you spending or killing time? Use the Rescue Time app to track your work habits.

Take the opportunity to get some work done in any given waiting line: in the waiting room, during a commute, in a queue. Make use of every minute.

Block distractions. Use Self-control for Mac or Self-Restraint for PC and make a list of websites that you want to block for a certain amount of time. A timer will unable you to cave in…

 

Stay tuned for more inspiration on how to boost your business, and make sure to sign up for the newsletter.