I think today, December 1, 2009, is going to be the day of new beginnings. I'm not going to be average and make my resolutions on the first of the New Year. I am going to make them today.
I've really been in a funk recently. I had been struggling to get my freelance graphic design business off the ground for about a year and a half when suddenly it hit. What is it? Work. Work hit. I went from casual housewife and part-time designer to full-time designer and terrible housewife. Don't get me wrong here, this is exactly what I wanted. I absolutely want to be a full-time worker with money in my bank account, but the change threw me for a loop.
I wrestled with the idea of not working quite so much so I could have more downtime and time to take care of things around the house. But I kept getting pulled back to work. I really like to work because I really love what I do. And I want to do more of it. So I reorganized my life and thinking process. Each week I will make a comprehensive to-do list that includes everything I would like to get done that week. That means work tasks and home tasks go on the list. This week's list includes things like: magazine advertisement, save the date card, laundry, web edits, bake a chocolate cake. They all need to get done, so they're going on the list.
Of course making a list is only part of the equation. I have to actually do what's on the list. But I have a problem. When I see a giant list I freak out. I avoid it, I cry, I procrastinate! I cried my way through college with lists like this and I'm still at it. Giant lists seem insurmountable, don't they? Why is that? Because crossing things off the to-do list is so satisfying. So why do I let the projects haunt me? This is the age old question.
Getting to my goal
The list is there for a reason. The reason is that without the list no projects would get sent to clients, no kitchen would be cleaned, and no money would be in my bank account. I have to complete the tasks on my list. How?
Start with one thing.
I think my husband has told me that a hundred times. Each week. And it works every time. It's so strange that I have to hear it over and over again, but I do. It's a design flaw. INSIDE MY BRAIN. But Thomas is patient with me and encouraging. That means the work gets done.
I always choose the most fun thing to do first because then not only can I cross something off my list but I feel happy. It's great to feel happy. Especially after I all the stressing I did about that darn list! Phew!
On to the next task, laundry. Ugh. But today I remembered a trick my sister Jen taught me. When she doesn't want to do a chore she sets a timer for twenty minutes and just buckles down until the timer rings. If by the end of the timer she wants to stop, she does. But if she's on a roll and the chore isn't that bad she sets the timer again. I call it the "Jenny Twenny." Before too long, a couple of "twenny" minute segments add up to boring tasks getting crossed of that big ol' to-do list. And before I know it my list has whittled down to nearly nothing and I'm cracking open a beer on Friday afternoon.
But I have a new goal. I want to build a website, and not just a little website. My idea is gigantic. "Oh," I can hear you saying right now, "what's the big deal, Heather? You're a designer. You can build a website." Well, thank you for your encouragement, but I am a Print Designer. I play with paper, I make banners, I do press checks. You know, stuff you can touch, stuff that doesn't move and you can't click. I didn't take any web design classes in college, I know a smattering of HTML and I struggle my way through some CSS. But I've got this idea that is bouncing around like a super ball and it has to get out because it's getting really annoying with all those boing, boing, boings up there.
The list is my December 1st resolution that will, I hope, get me to my goal. I have to stay on task.