Getting things done these days seems to be a big challenge for me.
If I was to be totally transparent and vulnerable about my challenges, most of the reasons would be because I wanted to accomplish too much in too short a time. I often lack focus (being a creative with an entrepreneurial mindset does this to me) and I am overly optimistic about the realities of how long it will take to complete things. Mainly, the lack of focus and unrealistic planning happens because the un-controllables that pop up simply throw me off my gameplan (and there are a LOT of un-controllables in homeownership and homesteading and mommin’!)
Coming from a career of highly scripted plans and tactics, rock solid actions taken to effect change AND the benefits of seeing instant results (or lack thereof) in order to determine the next action… all the while, getting feedback from bosses or peers or just industry trends in general… well… becoming self employed and getting NONE of that is a BIG CHANGE. I thrived in that environment but no longer get that from the environment I now choose to be in.
How to adapt? Well, it means I need to create it for myself (which is not always easy when also running a small hobby farm, homestead, mommin’ to a newly kiddo newly graduated into toddlerhood AND trying to start a few businesses at the same time.) So a few months ago, I set out to do just that.
The good news, is that as hard as it is to do, it is WORTH IT and the benefit, is that I am learning some great habits and methods to become more productive for myself. I figured, if it was helpful to me, it was worth sharing with any other folks out there working hard to do the same sort of things and feeling often overwhelmed and challenged to actually check things OFF. THE. LIST.
Also, I thought a quick little update to let you all know where we are with some of our current projects around the house and some of the other goodies happening in our lives would be entertaining since we are a bit crazy and adventurous and well, working on a LOT!
- Budget Bathroom Renovation – 99% done… only a little tile work around the toilet left then I will be posting pics! It is NOT easy (even budget renovations LOL) especially when you have about 15 other things going on that you are trying to make headway on…. I hope to have completed in the next week! Did I ever show you what it looked like BEFORE I started the budget reno? Check the pics below… eeeesh.
- Deck Strip and Repaint – delayed due to a very WIERD yellow jacket infestation that happened for about a month. We had yellow jackets just swarming all over our deck and deck furniture as well as the trees above it… Our latest theory is that the ground hive we had on the northwest side of the house hatched a second queen and might have caused the hive to split? … causing chaos with the whole hive and confusion of where they should be? Who knows… maybe they just overcrowded their ground hive and opted to seek out new spaces… it was very strange though. I would love to know if anyone has any theories!
- ANYHOO – this week seems to be a cooler and less damp week so I hope to tackle some of the deck prep before the temps really dip.
- 2/3 of it has been powerwashed already and with the growing season winding down, it is probably smarter to repaint it NOW (since I can break down all the containers from spring/summer and store them… also cleaning off the deck as I go!)
- Hobby Room/ Office clean out and setup – in progress still but I have cleaned out and donated ALL OF THE BABY CLOTHING! WOOHOO! Now to tackle the adult clothing and re-organize/set up properly. Pics in OCTOBER on this one!
- 4 Seasons Room/Bar setup – Still no work on this one as it is a simple shelf hang and setup. Pics in the October update, but there’s one of my favorite pics of it in it’s current form below!
SOOOOO gratifying to take down this old, thick, textured pasted wallpaper (even though it took FOR-EVER.)
Every day for about a month, we had roughly 15-30 yellow jackets just swarming on our deck surface (and many more in the trees above!)
Other projects that popped up over these last two months:
- An AWESOME 8 week course on creating a Sustainable Business (leveraging social media, email lists and general product/business modeling.) If anyone is interested in learning more about this course, please reach out to me! I would love to help point you in the right direction!
- Launching a NEW BUSINESS endeavor with a close friend/longtime co-worker of mine that is in support of store-level retail workers. It will provide video, podcast and long form articles/blog posts that support them, nurture them, develop skill and create positive community for those who need it and are not receiving what they feel will help them in direct retail’s “NEW NORMAL”. It is a lofty endeavor with a big learning curve (learning to record, edit and craft content across many different platforms, creating a free model and subscription model, planning for future digital courses for those looking for more in depth help/development) but one that is very much needed in the marketplace to support the workforce. (This is obviously not meant to counter any corporation’s own programs, but to support the worker in their happiness, longevity and sense of confidence and pride in their employment. To learn more, head over to Stand Up Retail to sign up to our launch waitlist, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date!)
- Adventures with the Toddler! WOO… we finally took our first big road trip with our daughter in 22 months (her whole life) when we went to visit friends 4 states away at their new home. It was chock full of new experiences and it was a BLAST… but…. with the 2 year sleep regression in full swing, pushing in her last baby teeth, going through a big ol’ growth spurt AND learning how to sleep in a travel crib?? Oh, it was a fun one to say the least LOL. She was a champ, played and learned a TON and ‘mommy and daddy’ will be taking this week to try to catch up on our sleep. As most parents know, EEESH… when you hit 7 days in a row of only a few hours of sleep a night your body just sort of rebels. So… yeah, no major kitchen or recipe projects involving knives this week! LOL
- Preserving the harvests – this has been ongoing for about 4 weeks and at least once a week I have been saucing, baking, dehydrating or freezing our garden bounty for our winter months…. homesteading means you have to act when it happens (and you can never fully control when you need to preserve something… no matter what the ‘plan’ originally was… freak weather patterns, childcare challenges, equipment failures, lack of supply of needed items… hello canning lids, I’m looking at you…) ALL of these things mean you often need to quickly rearrange your ‘plan’ to accommodate the immediate action required. This year, I froze more sauce than canned, and froze more greens than planned. *shrug* The freezer may be overflowing, but at least we wont waste the hard worked garden harvests!
All in all, the last few months have been VERY productive for me, truly due to a few habits that I employed in order to have forward momentum AND sanity:
- TIME TRACKING. If you want to really see how to get the most out of your day/week, I highly suggest you do this, if even just for a week. And I mean HONEST TRACKING. Where is your free time going? You will be amazed to see you have more time than you think.
- Daily review of ‘THE LIST’ to see what if things need to be rearranged or re-prioritized based on any number of factors (weather, childcare, home issues, new emergencies.)
- ACCURATE CALENDAR – keeping a weekly calendar has been CRITICAL to keeping me up to date on the two (soon to be 3) business ideas and the content/posts required to support them, the homestead projects AND being a somewhat organized mom. Without an accurate calendar I would be LOST.
- ME TIMES (seriously, scheduling them!) – Giving myself one time block a day where I can do whatever I want has helped me not let those free moments slip into accidental ‘me time’. If I have an hour open, now I won’t pick up my book or browse social or click on the TV, I fill it with some work from THE LIST.
As much as the above 4 habits SEEM like simple habits, they are ones that are SO ridiculously simple that most of us assume we do them in some shape of form. I know I did. But guess what, we really don’t. When I purposefully set about to do these things consistently, I saw a major change in how much I accomplished on a weekly and daily basis. They require commitment, mindfulness (awareness of self and surroundings) and honesty to execute. Their simplicity is almost always their downfall: they are also very easy to commit to, but equally easy to let slide.
Try them for a 2 weeks straight (NO CHEATING) and I would bet you will feel more accomplished and satisfied with progress on that ‘list’.
If you are interested in a more detailed look at some of the habits I reference above, check out my post on Tips to Avoid the 4 P’s.
What projects are YOU working on? How are YOU keeping on track? Are my tips helpful? What other tips did I miss??
Let me know below!