Monday, April 22, 2013

Creative Intentions Part One: Routines and Time Management

One of my main complaints with my current job (outside of the 'I don't feel connected to my coworkers', 'I'm just a paper pusher' and 'nobody cares what I do') is that I feel like I have no time to work on my projects.  I mean, I get up around 7:30am (sometimes 8, 8:30) and get home around 6pm. Some days of the week I have other obligations after work, and then I'm not home til maybe 8:30 or worse, 11pm.

But those 6pm days? I could do SO MUCH. When I look at it, I don't have an excuse to not work on getting this store together at least 3 nights out of the week.

I am guilty of having that 'gimme a break' mentality. I work 8 hours at a computer desk, and then come home saying to myself, 'I just need to unwind. I don't want to think'. This then turns into 4, 5, 6 hours of WoW with the EB (exotic boyfriend), or watching a series on Netflix while knitting/crocheting an item that has Nothing to do with my store.

There is so much room for improvement here, and rather than beating myself up about time wasted, I'd rather just revamp my schedule to put me in a better position for future success and satisfaction. Here are some things I intend to do:

1. Start a positive morning routine:
     It is so easy to get caught up in a cycle of negativity when you're unhappy with your job, or the goals you set are not coming to fruition soon enough. As an avid reader, I am substituting my normal 'morning manga' and daily paper for some really great blogs that I started following, that focus on creativity, owning a small business, and the little pleasures in life. I use Feedly to keep track of them all, and I love it. It gets me more invigorated for the day.

2. Allow for creativity even at work:
     This is something I started doing some time ago, but now I have more Intention behind it. Just because I'm at work, doesn't mean that my creativity dies for 8 hours a day.  I keep a journal and a notepad on me at all times, and throughout the day, I jot down ideas that may come to me. I think it is incredibly important to allow my creativity to come through whenever it sees fit; I just have to make sure I'm prepared with pen and paper. As an extra boost, I may keep my Pinterest open in a browser window for some visual stimuli, and listen to music.
    And of course, there's always the lunch break: I often use mine to either work on a project, get through some lessons in coding, or research more on having my own business...and I always take the full hour.

3. Avoid the Negative Nancy/Normans:
     You know who they are. They're probably the coworker you get along with the most, and it probably mostly has to do with the fact that so many things about your job piss you off. This type of thinking doesn't just sit at work, it eventually manifests in your life after you punch out. We all deserve to gripe, yes. But I noticed myself doing it every single day, and it was making the rest of my life equally annoying and disappointing. It was easy to take the 'Fuck this Shit' stance because I started the day out that way, and never stepped away from it. So now I curb the complaints to only when it's that time of the month ;), and all other days, I combat it with changing the subject, humor or music.

4. Set aside blocks of time after work for my goals:
     I can still play WoW with the EB. I can still watch 'Eureka' and 'Walking Dead' on Netflix. I just need to approach this from a more productive standpoint (and that may mean less time on WoW. I think I can take it). Personally, I prefer to get right to work when I get home rather than unwind and wait until later. So I have set aside 2 hours after work just for planning: Be it the schematics for a new item, learning about marketing myself, seeking inspiration, etc. It is incredibly important for me to keep myself informed since I'll be wearing many hats here, so that takes precedence. After planning comes creation. If I'm ready, I'll break out the yarn on a new project. As of right now, knitting is still very comforting to me, and I intend to keep it that way. A store item shouldn't be any more burdensome than a personal project. I set deadlines for everything I do already.

5. Remember that it is okay to chill out:
     With all of the things I hope to accomplish, I know that I will have times when I become a work horse, and forget about taking care of myself. So to try and prevent total burnout, I am going to schedule in necessary downtime to keep myself centered. I'm not quite sure how or when I'll do it--maybe I'll take off Fridays and indulge myself at a 24 hour spa, or just hang out with some good people. Whatever it is, I want it to remain a positive experience, and something that will allow me to feel excited for what I'll face when I get back to work.

This is just the beginning, but I think it's a strong start.

~Pusher. Of. Pens.~

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