Monday, April 29, 2013

New Business Cards - Old Grocery Bags

Today I finally finished my business card design. I have been working off and on on it for months now. I was about to go to somewhere fancy today and pick out some paper for it - but I saw an old grocery bag and thought, "Hmmm, why not just use this for the paper? How fitting would that be? Why not use paper that most people don't think twice about tossing aside? Not only would it save money, but I think it goes along with the concept of this venture much better than the conventional method of printing business cards. And hey, I'm all for recycling and love the natural, rustic look, too! Grocery bags, you are redeemed and made new again and you now have a new purpose!"

So I actually cut out a piece from the bag the size of an 8 1/2"x11" paper and put it through my home printer and printed out a sheet full of cards. Loved how they turned out! I am still not sure whether or not I want the edges to be fuzzy, like they are in the picture, or straight edged using my X-Acto knife. I could see how both could fit the concept of this venture in different ways.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Awesome Tool to Discipline Your Mind and Accomplish Goals

Woah, sorry everyone! I've neglected the blog for the last almost month now. As my target date to open my shop space has been quickly approaching, I have been heavily concentrating on my projects and setting everything up.

I want to stop awhile, though, and talk about something that has really been a huge help in my process the last 2 weeks. I think it may especially be helpful to others who may be working for themselves or are creative types and need some structure. I know I have overthinking and perfectionistic tendencies coupled with a wild imagination, which, if not managed well, can make it difficult to get projects done on time. BUT, I think I may have found something to work these tendencies to my advantage by managing them and not letting them manage me in this tool I am about to share.

What led me to this tool was, three weeks ago or so, I ran into a hurdle that put me a week behind and I got a bit overwhelmed. I’ve noticed when I get overwhelmed, that's when overthinking, perfectionism, lack of focus really comes out, and my wheels are spinning but I'm getting nowhere. So everything was pretty much in chaos for a bit.

Thank goodness for friends, though! A friend of mine came one weekend to help hang some boards on the walls for me. It’s so good to have someone with a different perspective watching you work. I was being unnecessarily perfectionistic and didn’t even realize it until she pointed it out. She then proceeded to help organize my space, which was taking me forever to do because, again, perfectionism. I learned so much from that and seriously prayed for a way to learn to break from this pattern of “paralysis of analysis” and become more focused. I think that prayer was (and is still being) answered.
I just saw this on one of my former art school classmate's facebook page. Ha! So true!

So not long after I prayed for God to provide a way to break this pattern, a very practical and simple time management tool called the Pomodoro Technique, was suggested to me from someone with a similar temperament as myself. She was a freelancer who also had the same tendencies.

The website has a whole manual for it, and explains more how it helps you function more efficiently, but basically, you break up each task into doable chunks of time - most people do 25 minutes. You concentrate on one task during that chunk of time, which is called a "Pomodoro." After a Pomodoro is complete, you stop no matter what, and take 5-15 minute breaks to chill out, let your mind wonder, and/or take care of any distractions that may have come about during a Pomodoro. The breaks let you come up for air, allow creativity to flow, and help you to be more alert and productive to achieve optimum potential during the next Pomodoro. The great thing is, all you need is a timer and the rest of the minimal materials needed are free on the website.

I have to say, these last 2 weeks have been like night and day with the things I have been able to accomplish because of the way this simple structure successfully helps manage my temperament to my advantage. That being said, I’m not perfect at it yet, but it has really helped me already and I look forward to improving and moving along by cutting down more and more on wasted time and wheel spinning!

(I just want to say, in no way do I believe systems and tools like this are absolutely needed all the time. It is ultimately the Lord who sustains us and I truly believe he provided this tool at this specific time in my life. Who knows, it may not work for me later on. God is always changing things up like that so we have to keep depending on him and we do not go into auto-pilot or rest in systems. But I learned a lot and God was gracious to me through this.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...