Mondays are generally a bit of a shock to the system, but the first working Monday in January, after all the Christmas and New Year festivities is a seismic shock of epic tectonic shift proportions.
No matter that I've been pottering in the workroom over the past few days, packaging orders, tidying, organising, and listmaking....... even I can't kid myself that I'm match-fit for a full week filled with 8-hour days of creative endeavour.
However, having read the first chapter of How To Be A Productivity Ninja I am reasonably confident that I'll soon be up to speed. I've decided to focus on the sections which apply to me. For example, apparently time management is dead.
So THAT'S where I've been going wrong all these years. Bemoaning my lack of time management skills and continually implementing pointless tools and procedures to improve them.
I don't know WHAT I was thinking.
Also, apparently I need to be more ruthless and learn to say NO. And NEVER, under any circumstances, over-commit myself.
Hmmm.... that's going to be much more difficult as I am spectacularly bad at saying no.
Even when my commission order book is bursting at the seams and I know I can't clear it in a month of Sundays, if someone asks if I can make something specific as a matter of urgency I not only say "But of course!" I go on to add "I can do it in any of these 20 colours of silk which I have in stock, BUT perhaps you'd prefer it in this weird colour I haven't got, so I'll have to spend half a day experimenting with mixing an assortment of dyes to get just the right tone and shade then the other half of the carefully day hand dyeing all the silks and trimmings....?"
Then I'm taken aback when the customer says "Oh yes, that would be lovely. If you're sure it's no trouble....." I'm definitely my own worst enemy when it comes to over-reaching myself and not realising my limitations.
Of course, most of my customers are absolutely lovely. They generally know my modus operandi and are always happy to wait for me to bring their wishes to fruition. Depending on how busy I am, and whether the creative muse is with me, special orders can take some time.
Over the years, many of my customers/students have become firm friends, our bonds forged by a shared passion for all things tiny, and it gives me a warm glow to know that my creations are treasured in doll's houses all around the world.
However, according to the book, to become a true productivity ninja I need to learn to say no to some things at the outset, and definitely not offer something I haven't got and will take ages to achieve. In other words, I need to set myself realistic goals.
Let me try that again, without rolling on the floor helpless with laughter.
I need to set myself realistic goals.
That's better. I only snorted tea down my nose that time.
I can see that becoming a productivity ninja is going to be considerably more difficult than I thought. But nothing worthwhile is ever easy so I'll keep plugging away at it.
In the meantime, here's something inspirational I made over the holiday. One of my tasks for this week is to find a suitable frame, cut a mount board aperture, print out the image, frame it, then hang it on the door of my workroom.
What could possibly go wrong.....?