Maker Monday: My getting things done process

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While getting ready for my cuff sale, I realized just how empty my jewelry space was.  It immediately made me start questioning "HOW AM I GOING TO GET ALL OF THIS DONE!!???"  I began thinking of all of the pieces that I need to get done for the holiday and I immediately went into panic mode. I started feeling like I need to get an obscene amount of work done each day, but I can't even get Leo to nap well in the afternoon, so how am I going to have enough time to get all of this done??? Anxiety leads me to being impatient with my kids because all of a sudden they are in the way of me getting things done.  Once I feel panicked my efficiency immediately drops... then I feel behind... then I'm a ball of stress. I have SO many years of this routine under my belt. Luckily! This year, I gathered myself together rather quickly.  I pulled it together and made a plan.

 The bulk of my work happens at my desk in my studio. It's organized chaos. 

The bulk of my work happens at my desk in my studio. It's organized chaos. 

HOW I GET THINGS DONE WITHOUT LOSING MY MIND :)

1. MAKE A LIST. What do I need/want to make for this year's Open House? How many of each piece? Yada Yada. ...I make a list then I tally it all up. 420 pieces, I need to make before November 16. Which really seemed like a lot, but it also made me feel better. It's finite. It immediately took that over-exaggerated can't handle this unreal and impossible amount of work and turned it into something with a shape and size that might be a challenge, but is possible to accomplish if I was organized about it. 

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2. BREAK IT DOWN. How many days do I have to my show? I divided my piece number by how many days I have. I am now shooting for 5 pieces per day during the week and 15 pieces per day on the weekends. 

3. BLOCK OUT TIME. I work during naptime/rest time and after the kids go to bed. It's about 4 hours during the week days, more on the weekend when my husband is home to help.  If I have 4 hours to work and I don't block that out into half hours and hours I won't get anything that I need to work on done. I would fill my four hours aimlessly making jewelry and watching Game of Thrones. Focus is definitely a challenge for me, so I need to really keep myself on track. Blocking out my time helps. There are sometimes other opportunities when the kids are up, but it's not a regular thing. I've learned that if I focus on spending quality time with my kids when they're up, opportunities to get creative things done arise.  They only want to hang out with me for so long! :) If I do the opposite, try to work while they're up... before hanging out with them... Things fall apart quickly. :|

2:00-3:00 I work on my Story-of-Us photo book project.

3:00-4:00 I make jewelry (say hi to Lucy & Anthony & get them their snacks) 

8:00-9:00 I fill orders

9:00-10:00 I work on book design 

Blocking out time helps me to push several projects forward and to feel more satisfied with my day

 Kate enjoys helping me so a lot of days she helps me while Leo's taking his morning nap. I love that she wants to be a part of what I do. 

Kate enjoys helping me so a lot of days she helps me while Leo's taking his morning nap. I love that she wants to be a part of what I do. 

4. MAKE A PLAN. I use my planner to work backwards from the lists of things I'm working on. I like to keep a list for each project I'm working on. When I sit down to work, I write down the time I have available, then the task I'm going to work on. Example: 2:00-3:00 Edit photos. 3:00-4:00 make rectangle brass necklaces. Like that. This really helps me stay on task

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5 REMEMBER TO BE FLEXIBLE. Most of the time I have blocked out has some sort of interruption. When I expect it not to, I get frustrated. There are some days Kate plays outside in our van and I sit and make ear wires. I don't expect this type of gift every day. I just appreciate it when it happens. Last Sunday, my husband took the older 3 and I was home with Leo. He didn't nap well. So my work time got cut short. So I got my feathers all ruffled and was full of stress by the time Luke & the kids got home. I didn't meet my quota for the day (Not the end of the world) but I let it ruin my day. This past Friday, my older 3 were at their Grandma's and Leo and I were home together. Again, shorter nap than I would have liked, but I sat on the floor with him and he played toys and I worked on some chains. I got a ton done, with him awake, and still played with him the whole time. I changed my perspective and magically, my day was good. I wish I could do that all of time, but I'm thankful that I'm aware that it's possible.

 Of course I would love to have more uninterrupted time in my studio to work. But I know when our kids are all in school my heart will be broken... So I do my best to embrace this time. 

Of course I would love to have more uninterrupted time in my studio to work. But I know when our kids are all in school my heart will be broken... So I do my best to embrace this time. 

 My finished brass rectangle every day necklaces! Met my quota for the day!!! 

My finished brass rectangle every day necklaces! Met my quota for the day!!! 

In short, if you want to do something creative with your day. It's possible. It might not be as pretty as the studio spaces on Pinterest, but it's possible.  and in my book real is so much better!

Thank you for reading!

Have a great week!