Stationery Entrepreneur Manages Her Life and Business With Lists

unnamedRunning a company and managing a family is not an easy feat. However, our featured list producer for this month does just that. In fact Bonnie Marcus launched her stationary company while she was pregnant with her first child. As a pregnant entrepreneur, she launched HMHB, where she blogs about pregnancy advice and writes about maternity products, like baby bottles, for other moms. She has been kind enough to answer a few questions and share some of her productivity tips.

1.  Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?

As the owner of a very busy design studio, and mommy to 3 very busy little boys, I wouldn’t be able to last one day without having a “to-do” list of priorities in front of me!  There is always too much to do & too little time to get it all done, but with a list of priorities, it is all much more manageable. 2.  What do you make lists about?

I make lists for my daily priorities at work, as well as for my long-term projects. I also like to make shopping lists for my family as well – a food shopping list, list of birthday presents we need to buy, supplies that my children may need for school, etc. I always keep our family shopping lists out on the kitchen counter, so my children and husband could add to it as well.  When they use the last of anything, they know to add it to the list.  This is extremely helpful so I don’t have to be a “detective” and have to look around the house to see what the family needs.  I think it’s important for the whole family to have a part in the process.

3.  How often do you make lists?

I make a task list by priority when I get to the design studio in the morning.  I love the feeling of crossing my “to-do’s” off the list as I accomplish them throughout the day.

4.  Why do you make lists?

I find that making lists makes my day go much smoother – instead of having all of my “to do’s” floating around in my head, it’s very helpful to be able to put them all on a piece of paper, and not try to concentrate on everything at once.

5.  What type of list do you make the most?

Definitely tasks.  My day is filled with many design deadlines, from greeting cards for Target to holiday photo cards for Kodak, and listing them out by priority helps me focus on what’s important each day.

6.  How do you make lists? (Handwritten/email/apps)

I’ve tried to use a few of the list-making apps, but I enjoy hand-written lists the most!  The feeling of crossing off a completed task is very gratifying.  Also, I love incorporating colors & using highlighters on my lists as well.  Having a pretty to-do list always makes the “to-do’s” seem more enjoyable.

7.How have you found lists help you succeed in your personal and professional life?

Before I started making lists, I would constantly say that I had “too much to do,” but now that I make lists and prioritize my “to-do’s,” my daily tasks seem much more manageable.  I find that it’s most helpful to break down projects into bite-sized pieces.

8.  Who is your productivity mentor?

My husband.  He is able to focus on just getting one project done at a time.  I think that many women take pride in being able to multi-task, but I’ve found that it’s much more effective to concentrate on one thing at a time, instead of trying to do everything at once.

9.  What is the most interesting list you’ve ever made?

I once took a class where the instructor asked students to make a list of what you want people to say about you at your funeral.  It was actually a very thought-provoking exercise!

10.  What’s #1 on your bucket list?

A trip around the world would be incredible!

11.  What keeps popping up on your list over and over again?

To update my website!  Technology changes so frequently that as soon as we have the “latest & greatest” technology, something new pops up!  Managing a website on a regular basis is crucial to a company’s success.

Bonnie Marcus launched her stylish stationery company, the Bonnie Marcus Collection “where fashion meets paper” in 2002, when pregnant with her first child. Twelve years and three little boys later, Bonnie’s fashionable designs can be found in thousands of retail stores around the world on everything from greeting cards, gift wrap, and invitations to apparel, fashion accessories, and most recently, make-up!  Her key to success is making the time to do something fun each day.

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