What Should You Do When You Need To Take a Break?
Interview with a Vampire Queen: Cris Griffin
What Should You Do When You Need To Take a Break?Part Time Painter
by Nicole Cadet
Working two careers can be exhausting. Sometimes you just need to step away from one to keep your sanity. It might be that your day job has taken over your life and you barely have time to cook dinner, let alone paint. It could be that you are a full time artist, and you find yourself doing more business and marketing tasks than painting and you need time to create new products. There could be family commitments, illness or injury.
Whatever the reason, how should you go about the process of cutting back on some of your commitments?
I've had to do this several times as my work peaks and recedes. Some months can be very cruisy, while others I have maybe an hour to myself all day. I still keep on working both jobs, however the balance is definitely skewed towards the day job at the moment!
So where to start?
1. Identify the 'dead wood' you can trim from your life
2. Ease back on commitments you can't get rid of, or don't want to drop i.e. simplify your life!
3. Work smarter
What should you look at getting rid of first?
* Things you hate. You know the tasks I'm talking about. They are the ones that you drag your heels on, avoid answering emails to, put in the 'too hard' basket. They suck the creativity right out of you. They bore you. They feel like work. If you're doing work like this, and have very little time to call your own, you will burn out.
* Things that don't make any money or you are doing for free. If you can't do the job, someone else can. And if it's free, unless you are doing it for your own reasons it is unimportant. If it was truly important, they'd be paying you!
* Things that are not cost- or time-effective. If you spend 10 hours making something, then sell it for a few dollars, then you are selling yourself short... especially if your time is limited. Your time is a valuable commodity!
How to ease back on commitments and not disappear entirely
* Maintain an online presence somehow. Whether you use a blog, twitter, Face Book, or a mailing list, make sure you don't disappear off the face of the earth for 6 months at a time.
* Finish the things that you've started or reschedule them. It is bad business to turn around on a client and say 'that painting I'm halfway through, well can't do it' if you really can still finish it. Reputation is still king when it comes to business.
* Prepare people for the change or give them alternate contact points. If you're closing down your shops, try and give people warning, or at least tell them you can still ship products, and give them a contact point.
* Try and ease back on things, one thing at a time rather than all in one hit. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but if things are gradually getting more and more hectic, you can try and start cutting back one thing at a time
How to work smarter?
This is for another column, but essentially it comes down to:
* Know thyself. Know your limitations, habits and strengths and work to them
* Learn to say 'NO' and to prioritise your tasks
* Value your time and energy
* Try not to over commit!
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