I am often asked how I get so much done, when do I sleep and is my energy for sale on Etsy, so I thought it was due time that I share how I do what I do. Here are the top ten keys to my productivity…
I love it.
I really, really enjoy what I do. It’s my hobby and business and I love it. Sometimes too much. You know the old saying…when you love your work, it doesn’t feel like work. A business is successful because the person driving it is passionate about what they’re doing. Oh yeah…I’m passionate.
I am not a perfectionist and thankfully I don’t have to be in this business. Things that are old and distressed are not perfect and I embrace that. I don’t spend hours sanding every nook and cranny of a piece. I use a paint sprayer to save a lot of time. I don’t agonize about my cones lining up perfectly on my wreaths. I do a good job, but I work as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I use every spare moment.
I don’t wait for the time when I have three hours of concentrated work, I squeeze work in whenever I can. If my kids are playing happily or having a time of rest, I seize the moment and pull out a counter-top project or write a blog post. I know what I can work on when the kids are awake and focus on the things I can’t when they’re asleep.
When primer is drying on one piece, I’ll work on something else. I paint several pieces at once to save washing out the sprayer for just one piece. I work assembly-line-style on my glittered letters and such. While dinner is bubbling on the stove and laundry is in the dryer, I’ll work on decoupaging some sheet music. It’s extremely rare for me to sit down and watch TV without working on something while I’m doing it. Get the idea? I’m always on the move.
I have help.
I couldn’t do all of this alone. My husband watches the kids when I need to get some things done. We hire a babysitter once a week, so I have concentrated work time during the day. I may be a one-woman-show, but there are a lot of people who make it possible.
I know which projects are most important and focus on getting those done first. I force myself to work on the projects that I don’t feel like doing to get them behind me. I work on what will alleviate stress. I also am patient with pieces I don’t have a vision for. I’ve learned it’s best to not force it.
I stay up late.
I’ve always been a early-to-bed girl, but I have embraced official night owl status. I stay up until around 11:00 almost every night and sometimes later. I must admit that when my son wakes me up at 5:30, it’s tough and I really look forward to when my boys are old enough to get their own morning snack and turn on a show while mom gets a little more sleep, but it’s fine for now. We snuggle on the couch and watch Phineas & Ferb and I’ll stay in my jammies until 10:00, so I feel like I had a relaxed morning.
I don’t always look or feel organized, but I’m organized enough. I keep a running to-do list. I use sticky notes. I have idea books and a calendar. And I have piles and I know just what needs to happen in each of them. Somehow it works.
I work hard.
I am not a lazy person and when I work, I work hard. I make the most of my time and rarely take breaks. I line projects up for myself, so I can go right from one thing to another.
I sometimes let other things slide.
The truth is, it may seem like I can do everything well, but I can’t and often don’t. If I’m working really hard on the business, my housework slips. If I’m busy with my kids, I don’t have a lot checked off the to-do list. I have been so busy this year that I have gained 10 lbs! The time I would use for exercise is taken up with work. I have to be patient with myself and constantly work at being balanced (and I’ve got to get back on the treadmill!)
I know I’m always showing new projects I’ve completed and the pretty parts of my house and I’m sure it seems like I have it all together. The truth is, there are times that I am overwhelmed. Times I fail. Times I am burnt out and tired. Times when the dust bunnies and crushed Cheerios could earn me a spot on an episode of “How Clean is Your House?” There are times I’m in tears, because I just need a break…
…but then tomorrow is a new day and I read some encouraging comments and see what an inspiration my blog is to others. Or I get an exciting call from someone who loves my work. Or my husband or mom tells me how proud they are of my accomplishments. Or my 3 1/2 year old points to something I made and says, “Mommy…woo painted dat? I fink it’s nice.” This is a crazy, hectic, exciting, and fulfilling business and I’m ok with being tired at the end of the day and being a homebody and a project junkie. It’s in my personality.
So, to answer the sleep question…I may not get much, but I sleep hard!