Being a creative entrepreneur is no joke. You are the one responsible for doing ALL the things:
Writing Blog Posts/Articles
The To-Do list goes on and on. Now, let’s add in your service projects, time with family and friends, routine chores, exercising, remembering to keep up with oil changes, haircuts, and teeth cleanings. If you’re really lucky, you might be able to have time for a hobby. And if you’re a side-hustler, you can pretty much multiply all of that by two.
Working from home has its own special challenges. It’s just as easy to let work take over your life as it is to get completely distracted by all the things that need to get done around the house. Work/life balance? Can seem just about as real as a unicorn.
The good news is that it’s MUCH more real than that. And while I won’t say that I’ve got everything perfectly worked out, I’m pretty happy with how things are going. For me, it’s a delicate balance of being intentional, going with the flow, and leaving room for magic.
Start by being intentional and getting strategic.
- First things first, you’ve GOT to nail down your top priorities. (These can change, so make sure you reevaluate from time to time.) Make a commitment to focus on your biggest priorities.
- While we’re at it, stop multitasking. It’s been proven that while multitasking sounds great in theory, it just doesn’t work in practice. Instead, work on one project at a time and REALLY focus. You’ll get your projects done better and faster than you ever could while you were multitasking.
- Pay attention to numbing. The biggest time suck in the world is what we do when we’re overwhelmed or procrastinating. Netflix marathons, getting sucked down the rabbit hole of the internet, playing Candy Crush for hours...we all have that thing we do.
- Learn how to say no...and mean it. (Scope creep happens in all areas of our lives, not just in our design projects.) You don’t have to explain or justify, just simply say, “Ah, man! I wish I could, but I just can’t add anything else right now.” And while you’re at it, let go of those activities you’re already doing that don’t fall in line with your priorities.
Once you’re committed to being intentional about your priorities and how you use your time means, you’ll know when you can just go with the flow and leave room for the kind of magic that happens when you least expect it. You can use that freed-up time to:
- Do something you really enjoy. When was the last time you took the time to just have fun? (Not the pretend kind of fun that we do when we’re numbing, either. Real, actual, active FUN.) The mental rejuvenation that you get makes it even easier to stay focused on your intentions.
- Spend time with actual people and build strong relationships. Play a game with your family, have coffee with a friend. You probably already know this, but put your phone down, look them in the eye, and give them your full attention. This is where the real joy in life is. (Yes, even a super analytical, über-introvert like me HAS to have people in her life.)
- Work on a new skill. It doesn’t have to be work-related, but it can be! Figure out that new photo editing app, learn how to make homemade ravioli, learn yoga. Learning is the best way to exercise your brain which leads to more happiness and greater creative flow. Who doesn’t need more of that??
So, there you have it - a tiny peek into how I manage to do all the things. What are your plans to get intentional and start 2018 off with a bang? Tell us in the comments!