Spring KAL ~ Week 3
Hi friends! I hope you had a relaxing weekend and if Mother's Day is your thing, celebrating that! We threw a teeny party for Wiley's 3rd birthday which was a complete blast and total toddler chaos. I'll be cleaning up for months to come, ha!
This week I'd love to dive into an idea that's been present on my mind for a long time now - the myth of working hard/multi tasking all the things and how to move past that into a happier mindset about it. There are two things that happened that shifted these beliefs for me - one was hiring a business coach who completely changed the way I manage my working hours and the other is an online class I took with Jess Lively called Flow with Intention Online. I'd love to tell you a little more about both of them. Both had an impact on how I look at "being busy" and I hope this will inspire you in some small way too! I'd love to hear your thoughts. Maybe this is old news to you but whew I think my childhood did so much in teaching me the opposite - unlearning that was not easy!
Ok so let's talk about Jess Lively, I LOVE her for many reasons but one of the things she talks about a ton on her podcast is the myth of working hard. What she's taught me is that working super hard, doesn't lead to the best work. It's so simple and once I heard it was pretty much like OH I KNOW THAT! But it was the opposite of what I'd learned growing up and seen as examples in the adults around me. Forever I'd been told work had to be hard and that growing a business would be crazy difficult with long, tedious hours spent chipping away at it. In the beginning years when I started Knit Collage, that's how I worked...all the time and I was stressed a lot. Truth be told, I think this way of working started way earlier as I strived to get good grades, get in to a good college etc...It's a big part of what our culture ingrains in us. I was able to grow my business to an extent but it wasn't that fun or enjoyable and it felt like I was always chasing something/living in this fear mindset. When I started to actually change the way I thought about my work and business, things began to really get better. This quote from Bill Murray sums it up so well (I've mentioned this before!):
“I think the only reason I’ve had the career life that I’ve had is that someone told me some secrets early on about living. You can do the very best you can when you’re very, very relaxed, no matter what it is or what your job is, the more relaxed you are the better you are. That’s sort of why I got into acting. I realized the more fun I had, the better I did it. And I thought, that’s a job I could be proud of. It’s changed my life learning that, and it’s made me better at what I do.”
I just love this SO MUCH! So much that I have it on the wall next to me. It reminds me to relax and have fun. I even break it down into something simpler- the idea that work and building a business CAN be fun. It doesn't have to be this battle to grow or become viable. I have the power to choose how I want to approach it - in a fun way where I realized what a great opportunity I have to express myself creatively through this business or a stressed out way by focusing on all the hard things I have to do just to keep it going. I listened to a podcast with the actress Kristen Bell recently and she talked about the idea of suffering vs happiness and this definitely ties into this. Do I (or you?!) want to suffer through our days or choose to think of it as fun and a joy to do the things we do. I notice myself often times going back into old thought patterns where I'll say to myself oh growing the business and getting more help, that's going to be crazy hard to do or how will I make it through the slow summer season this time. It's hard to break these, especially since they've been 36 years in the making but just noticing that I'm doing that helps. I think the only thing I want to say, is that yes, I do still work hard on the business, all the time but it's my mindset about it that's changed.
The other part of this is how my business coach helped me and this is more of a tactical tip that may be in practice by you already! One of the first things I did with her was track my time for a period of about two weeks. I realized quickly that there was no method to the madness and that I was doing a very bad job of juggling my work load. I started time blocking and now swear by it. So I generally plan Mondays for emails and organization. Tuesdays I do marketing (no email!) and so on. I turn my phone on airplane while I'm working so I'm not distracted by instagram (ha! but it's so true, that one is my kryptonite!). I limit the time I check my emails to very little time, generally twice a week. I realized the world doesn't fall apart when I do this. It's made such a huge difference in a few ways. First of all having all day to really do emails means I do it and do it well on that day. I take my time getting back to people. The same goes for the theme/task of the other days. By having a plan for the week and what I'll do each day, I also stress less when I'm NOT working on something because I know there's a time carved out for it. This little thing has helped me immensely as just a practical tool I use day to day.
Ok, thank you for letting me rant here! This is one of those topics that I feel so strongly about because the way we grow up teaches us the opposite. Happy Knitting!
XOXO ~ Amy