Friday, February 11, 2011

Working for the Work

Hi friends!  It's a wonderful, sunny Friday over here and I'm excited to write you all a little note.  Lately I have really been going through the motions.  Both my day job and GreenerMe are swamped with work to do, then there's house chores, social groups, friends, pets, reading..  The list of "To Do's" seems to get longer and longer, but my time gets shorter and shorter. 

On January 24th I turned 25 years old.  It's crazy to think I've been alive a quarter of a century, already!  I'm so excited for the next quarter of my life, and I'm ready to get serious about the future.  While I was taking my nightly shower (I am a water girl, for serious- stress and sickness is always alleviated by a nice, hot shower!) almost a month before my birthday, this thought hit me like a brick.. "Renee, you're 25..  What in the world are you doing with your life?  It's time to get serious."  Every since, I have been strategically planning ways to structure my time better so I can enjoy my life AND work a lot, without being overwhelmed.  I wanted to share my findings, in hopes that maybe you are going through the same motions.  Maybe this can help you, or maybe you can help me with your ways!

Often than not, after a long, stressful day at work, it's hard to come home and muster up more energy to focus on my crafty endeavors.  My poor brain feels like mush and I don't want to use it the rest of the evening. I would much rather curl up with my kitties and fiance and watch some Netflix.  I have succumbed to the darkness more often than not, and always kick myself by the end of the evening.  It sucks!  After doing this over and over, I finally found a fix.  You see, I'd work super hard all day, then take my "lunch" (and by lunch, I mean work on GreenerMe), and then come home and expect myself to get right into my studio and back to work for hours and hours.  In theory this would be awesome, but for me, this just is unreasonable.  I needed a break...  A way to refresh my mind and get back on track.  So, I started utilizing my lunch hour to take a nap and focus on myself!  Yes, during my lunch I close my office door, turn off the lights and lay down for about 20 - 30 minutes.  I love to sleep and always slept a LOT when I was younger, but now that I'm adult I feel guilty for it when I have all this other stuff to do.  This midday nap truly helps my psyche- I am happier, think clearer and get a boost of energy.  I freaking love and look forward to my naps and it has helped tremendously with my focus.

I couldn't stop there.  I still needed structure in my personal life, a way to take the stress of "you have a lot of work to do and must go home and immediately get to work!" off my shoulders a bit.  So I developed a schedule that works well for me and also gives me personal time to look forward to.  I thought of GreenerMe as a second job (even though you know I want it to be my first, ha!), and scheduled hours for it.  Tuesday - Thursday I work 7pm - 9pm.  On  Mondays, I clean house, maybe watch some TV and tidy up loose ends as needed.  On Friday, I take the evening off.  Saturday is designated for sleeping in, errands and I make sure to put in two hours worth of work before shutting down for the night.  Sunday, I get to sleep in, but then put in a long day of 12-6, afterwards I get to spend the evening with my honey.

Right now I'm only working about 14 hours a week, but I actually get more work done during this time than I ever did before.  I don't get as distracted and I'm rested and ready to keep going.  It was such a simple fix, and I'm so glad I have found a schedule that works well for me, so I can continue on to achieve my dream of one day being self-employed.

So now I want to know, how do you do it?  Managing your own business on the side is a lot of work, but is so rewarding.  How to do find the time to do it all?  I'd love to hear what works for you!


The Gleeful Peacock said...

Great post! I keep meaning to sit done and write a schedule but I have not done it yet. In two weeks I take my business full time and I know this is something I need to do.

I will say one of the things that I have been working on is improving my studio space. Although I do all my creating in there I have put little thought into creating a space the inspires me. My goal is to turn it into my favorite room of the house. Filled with my favorite art work and colors. Hopefully that will help motivate me more.

You are amazing and I am happy to be a friend and to watch your business grow.

Holly said...

That's awesome, Renee! I have always admired how organized and together you are, but it seems like you still find ways to improve. I love that! I'm so glad to hear your new schedule is treating you well. I can't help but picture you laying down your sleepy little face for a lunchtime nap, and it makes for one adorable mental image!

As for me, my work schedule is too varied to really lay out a routine like that. I have been thinking about coming up with a schedule for my days off though, because I really do feel like I could make them more productive that way.

Katie said...

I really like this post! Personally, I'm waiting for spring to feel motivated again and focusing more on my self-love than creative output. <3 you!

Briana Shepley said...

Man, I wish I knew! Crafting is my third freaking job so really, I just fit it in wherever I can! I'm pretty good though at time management so if I know it's going to be a stressful week, I try to schedule at least one night where I can sit down and create. It's an every evolving process, as you've explained! Let us know when you have it all figured out ;) Best!

Renee said...

Thank you guys for all the comments!! I was kind of anxious to post this, but hearing from you guys made me happy to share!

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