Saturday, April 20, 2013

Finding Balance When Things Get Crazy


Your heart starts racing from that 3rd cup of coffee, the anxiety builds from your extensive to do list, you’re freaking out on your loved ones, the laundry needs to be done, the dishes are dirty, your inbox is full, bookkeeping has been untouched for months...

You know you have to do something about it, but if you’re like me, this sends you into overdrive where you try to do more and more, faster and faster. I have been working on balancing orders, inquiries, work and all the things in-between and thought this post perfectly conveyed the chaos especially since it's 3 DAYS LATE!

After my holiday retail season was done, I went on a relaxing and invigorating trip to Joshua Tree mid-December. I assumed that business would be slow and that January would be dedicated to tax and finance time. I thought I would get an early start and finish my taxes by February 1st, but then I received a bunch of Valentine’s orders in January and the frenzy started again.

For the first months of this year, I have dedicated my time to taxes and financial planning, while completing orders. I have mixed in researching, creating and spending what feels like way too much time yet not enough on communications and marketing. In fact though, there’s always something. Orders happen when you don’t plan, equipment breaks down, a friend or family member needs help...

Although I am busy so much of the time, I have found ways to improve the balance between work and life. Last weekend, I escaped to Mendocino for some rest and rejuvenation. The much-needed time away meant limited cell phone access, no business work, just good food, walks and fun. It allowed for me to have time to think, not think and when I arrived home, it led me to come up with a list of ways to overcome the craziness.

Five Ways To Have More Balance When Things Are Crazy

1. Get organized.
Seek ways to simplify tasks that need to get done. What can be automated, streamlined or tossed out? There are plenty of apps for time management, more efficient social media posting and more. Maybe the way you produce your work needs to be in more of an assembly line style? Is there one area of your studio that is an absolute mess? Deal with it! Toss the unnecessary, put everything it it's proper place! This is also a time for to do lists. Try to reasonably list what you need to do from those that are high priority to those that can wait. The less you have to organize, the less time you spend trying to find things and the more you can focus on what you really want to do.
2. Focus 
Stop multitasking and focus on the single most important task at the top of your list.
3. Stop wasting time.
It's easy to say yes to everything, but not everything is worth your time or the money. This means minimizing communications with customers that don't treat you like a professional, axing wholesale or consignment accounts that are flakey or getting rid of anything that causes you a headache.
4. Go outside.
Seriously. Just lay in the grass and stare at the clouds, venture on a hike. Be still. Move. Either way, you will ALWAYS come back with a clearer head. It doesn't have to be hours. You can do it in even 5 minutes. Just head out the door and go for a walk or find a nice place to sit, close your eyes and breathe.
5. Stop working and enjoy life.
Take the time to enjoy the people that are important to you. This might mean that you include friends or family to help you with your tasks or that you do something that isn't at all related to your art or craft. Read a book, garden, swim in that cold Pacific Ocean that is right outside our doors... Inspiration and rejuvenation come from all kinds of places.

You Will Move Mountains by inkbyjeng

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