Friday, September 19, 2014

Money Short? Job Security Gone? Exhausted? Let's Change Our Mindsets in 10 Steps.

Feeling exhausted? Insecure about work? Wish you made more money? Is your mountain of debt keeping you up at night? Do these thoughts invade your nightmares? I've had heart-to-hearts with friends, business coaches, fellow indie business owners, and professionals (even in formerly bullet-proof fields like nursing) and a common consensus has emerged: in this current economic climate there is a general feeling of insecurity and exhaustion, leading to malaise. 

Doing one of my favorite things: morning planning and happy time. More on this below.

We're comparing ourselves to others and even comparing past and current successes. I try not to let the pressure get to me but before my recent day-cation I was frustrated to near-tears from working so much and making so little for it during my current transition to a new blog/brand name. (I'm making less than minimum wage if I were to really sit and count the hours? Which I won't, too demoralizing.) It's hard for everyone right now. Yet when I'm in my work-groove writing, making, and creating everything's natural. Zen. And I know I'm making the right choices and sacrifices.

Here are some exercises I vow to follow to become more productive and more secure. I hope you'll join me and leave any suggestions you might have in the comments. Let's help each other get better! I hope to share progress on these steps on the blog.

Vow 1) Make a Killer Schedule and Stick to it: Frustration and exhaustion can be cured by making and sticking to a schedule. Schedule ALL the things. I even plan to schedule time to cook and freeze healthy meals ahead of time with friends/family to maximize productivity.

Vow 2) Work Harder in Less Time to Get Shit Did: Let's vow to set aside dedicated time and cracking away to get things done ASAP. Don't get distracted by social media, your house mess, nada! Set a timer and really knock out tasks fast and efficiently.

Vow 3) Set Aside Happy Time for Yourself: Now that you have more time because you're better scheduled and work was done in less time... get to crafting, traveling, relaxing with a book or video games, and spending more time with friends/family. You must recharge to work better later.


Vow 4) Sleep!: I ironically give you this advice as I'm typing this article at 11:59 AM and intend to pack some orders and do a little organizing before bed...to arise early and get some work done at my part time vegan kitchen job. Don't be like me, sleep so you're healthy and productive. I'm taking melatonin (natural hormone) to help get back into a healthy sleep cycle.

Vow 5) Establish an Un-Rushed "Morning Happy Time": When you're sleeping more you can arise early! Leaving for work in a rush starts your day in a frenzy. Get up earlier and spend some time with loved ones over tea or sit with our journal and take notes. I miss this part of the day (my fav, been so busy I've skipped it) and plan to re-establish it. When I worked an office job I'd wake up extra early to avoid traffic, sit at my desk with my tea, check e-mails and get situated. It makes the rest of your day smoother to start relaxed instead of frazzled. (Try listening to your favorite music while you're at it. Setting my Pandora to the Prince and Michael Jackson stations does the trick for me!)

I like a combo of inspiring photo-books and self-improvement reading. Can't wait to make time for reading stacks of books.

Vow 6) Start Detailed Journaling/Planners: I try to keep a journal for my business/work-out/healthy eating progress, planning and ideas. Writing it all out is meditative, I love experimenting with different types of journaling. Do you have any to recommend? I love the "Morning Pages" recommendation in The Artist's Way, you simply purge all your thoughts good or bad into your journal in the morning to clear your mind.

Vow 7) Treat Yo Self: I have big time buyer's remorse, but working hard non-stop without stopping to treat yourself is extremely draining. Stop to do something you love, buy yourself something nice (even if it's cheap or thrifted) every now and then. It raises morale.

I'm always making new tableaus. It's not perfect yet but the journey is relaxing and keeping things fresh/attractive keeps me working happy.

Vow 8) Get Organized and Keep Home Clean/Attractive: Not knowing where everything is kills time and work flow. Know where all your supplies are, establish rules to keep your home/work-space clutter free, and surround yourself with objects that inspire.

Vow 9) Daily Improvement: Stay up-to-date in your field and read books on self-improvement. Take notes and apply them. I'm working on Wake up and Live and The 7 Habits of Productive People.

Vow 10) Count Your Blessings Daily, Keep Positive: You're reading this now so you've yet to shed your mortal coil. You're alive; rejoice! Stay positive instead of self-critiquing yourself into an inertia slump. Maybe write what you're grateful for in your journal daily.

Bonus: Always gravitate toward doing exactly what you want to do. (Exercise to find what that is here). You may not be able to do so immediately, but life's too short not to work hard toward it.

Take these vows with me and exhaustion will be no more. We'll the energy and positively we need to conquer work and tasks and make that money! Security, here we come.

Planning on taking these steps with me? Do it! For real. Let's get shit done so we can relax and stop stressing. I would love any tips you have, do share in the comments. It's been crazy lately, but I'm determined to make it better.
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26 comments:

  1. Can you be my life coach already?

    This came at a perfect time. Thank you.

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    1. Glad it helped. I am getting into coaching next, actually ;D Stay tuned.

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  2. These are really helpful tips. I find that I check my email too often, I think because I work alone and email provides me with social interaction. I'm going to have to limit myself to every hour or something. And I want to spend more time reading too. I have to work more efficiently to leave time to pursue other interests. I love your point about keeping an organized space too. I can get really distracted by mess - especially stacks of papers. Thanks for the inspiration. Jo

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    1. No problem Jo. Don't get me wrong my merchandise mess paralyzes me all the time, I'm always re-arranging merch and losing the original positions and then it takes me WAY too long to pack orders. I'm actively trying to improve it. Same here on working alone, I like to sometimes open Facebook chat or call someone but it's better to drill down and focus- then set a coffee date with whoever is free, guilt-free. I want more work-days together with pals too. No time for books because my crap schedule but I can't wait to dig in. Need knowledge!

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    2. I lose merchandise way to often. I've started keeping a record as I list something of where I put it. I just have a word document for each bin and am listing what is in each so I can shut them up and put them away. Then I can search the word documents to find where the item is even if it is buried in the bottom of a bin. You wouldn't believe how long I've had to search for items at times. It is so frustrating especially when it is a small sale. Not long ago I couldn't find a $6 book and ended up purchasing it off of Amazon and having it sent to my customer because I never did find it! I envy your home. It looks so stress free.

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    3. Ha, right there with you. I had to refund $5 today because I couldn't fit 2 bits to a set. No more! Gonna crack down, I know how, just haven't willed myself to do it when so much else is going on and my schedule is wacky. Will share tips soon (and in an ebook to come.)

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  3. Thanks Van! Decluttering is at the top of my list right now and I have been making progress, both with stuff and all the paperwork that accumulates. It feels so good and freeing to do it. Also, think I'm going to set the alarm on my phone to limit my morning online browsing, I get too lost and waste precious time. :)

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    1. Yep, the timer is a wise ideas .It's crazy how many hours can get sucked into browsing! Limit it to the morning happyness, then crack down on work. I have clutter to tackle, too...

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  4. This is a great list for anyone to follow! We all need to be more productive in our lives, I always say.:)

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    1. Agreed wholeheartidly, always a work in progress, too.

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  5. Very good list - just one to add. Make sure to set aside for spending with people you love - even if it is only a 1/2 hr here or hour there.

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    1. Agreed 100%, I have that in the "happiness time" section. I want to schedule things so I can spend morning time wiht my boyfriend whenever possible so we can encourage each other on the busy days and eat breakfast together more, always fun to do. Also, my family says they miss me. Need to schedule time for that... sorry, family...

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  6. Great advice, Van! I especially agree with scheduling time to relax and have fun. When you're running your own business, you can easily put in 60-80 hours a week. We need balance. We need to remember that there is a life and people outside of what we do for a living. Thanks for posting this :)

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  7. I write morning pages too. It helps. I get ideas while writing morning pages frequently. All alarms off. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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    1. I never did them consistently but can't wait to try, glad you had a good experience from it. I need to read all of "The Artist's Way" while I'm at it!

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  8. I was feeling like that this week. I have been looking for a part time job, but nothing has worked out.

    I definitely need to set a schedule for creating products for my online store.

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    1. It's been a universally bad week it seems like, what's up with that? Even as I wrote the article my boyfriend texted that he was having the worst day and may have no job soon. Just bad mojo in the air, I was frazzled but I'm feeling better/dedicated to getting stuff done. It's been a super productive day thus far!

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  9. Sleep! You can do anything with the right amount of sleep!

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    1. I know :\ did it again last night, we gotta work on this.

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  10. Great post and great tips. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  11. Numbers 1 and 2 are what I am going to focus on. I'm scheduling in exercise. Even just 15-20 mins a day. I have to force myself not to look at the huge mountain of things to do. Otherwise I give up and lay down on the couch and watch Law and Order. Eat the elephant one bite at a time! lol

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    1. I know how you feel, it's daunting and then you just give up. It really does help to schedule one thing a day and accomplish it (as weird as that feels). Better to accomplish one big thing "right" rather than set a million tasks and do them wrong or worse, not start.

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  12. Me time is so very, very important. I'm juggling three actual jobs with weekly commitments right now, plus a free lance gig or two on the side - the only thing that is keeping me sane is that I cram in into 60 hours during the week and keep weekends totally and completely free!

    I REALLY need to work on organizing, though. During the week I run around like crazy because I've forgotten something, mixed up my appointments...something. Always something.

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    1. I feel you Kelly, I remember the 60 hour weeks. I screwed up all the time and was (even more) disorganized, had a giant bag of random mess with me at all times.

      One thing I want to borrow from the vegan kitchen I part time at is their giant white board to-do list system. Every night it's updated and you do what's on the board the next day crossing off as you go along, making to-dos tangible like that is a good way to knock stuff out and stay organized. Good luck getting it together!

      I miss having completely work free days, I was happiest during those times. Now even if I'm miraculously doing nothing I'm at least always -thinking- of work. I can't go back to those times now as an indie biz owner but I can try. Can't stop my thoughts, after all ;D

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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