Thursday, November 12, 2009

Looking for Balance (in all the wrong places)

One of my lovely piddix customers wrote me today asking for advice on finding work/life balance. If only I had a good answer! While I am pretty good at "crying uncle" once I've reached a breaking point, achieving equilibrium before I reach it is a skill I am seriously lacking.

Since my last newsletter went out more than six weeks ago, I've worked mostly 16-hour days, staying up until 3 am most nights on the following:

1. A 70-item wholesale catalog of printed collage sheets. By Thanksgiving you'll be able to find printed piddix sheets in person if you live near Minneapolis and online for everyone else.

2. A free, 12-page pdf titled "Seven Tips for Etsy Success," published this morning on indiefixx.

3. A new, soon-to-be-released collaboration with Annie Howes.

4. Negotiation of several commercial contracts, including one that should land piddix images in Barnes & Nobles nationwide by late 2010.

And so much more...

Lucky for my sleep-deprived-brain, I dropped the collage sheet files off at the printers this week, so things are getting back to normal. But I still fear falling right back into the late-night routine the next time another large project comes up. Anyone out there have any tips to share that have worked for you? I'd love to hear them.


Lara said...

Oh, Corinna. I can totally commiserate. Like you, I have a hard time finding balance in my life. Recently its been easier, because I can just remind myself that I'm not getting paid to think about work at home! But when you're in school, or trying to create (or sustain) a successful business, balance is a white rabbit. (Call me pessimistic!)

My best advice might sound a little strange--but remember that I grew up doing homework in my mother's lamaze classes and it will make more sense.

I prepare for stress as if preparing for labor. I know its coming, I know its inevitable and all I can do is mentally fortify. And once it hits, I try my hardest to relax and breathe when those moments of quiet do arrive. Instead of mind racing in bed, or being stressed at dinner, force yourself to stop thinking about work and be mindful of something else. When you give your brain time to recuperate, 16 hour days won't take such a toll on you.

Anyways, my two cents. I told you it would be a bit odd!

piddix said...

I like it Lara. I think you're right. There's stress. And then there's the stress caused by thinking about all the stress. So much of life is our attitude. That's a great reminder for me to think happy. Thanks. said...

Loosing balance and planned order in my life was a very stressful for me. Honestly I was not prepared and so many things seems —Āhaotic to me, doing this or that, returning back to another tasks and start over again and again... But then, few weeks ago I stopped and realised there is nothing scarry in it and it is just as it is. It is not good and not bad either, it is as it suppose to be. I suddenly realised, what if everything what I called stress would go away from my life... It would be boring....So, I am back facing my friendly "stress" and dealing with it

changesustain said...

Corinna, you continue to amaze me with your energy and enthusiasm for your own business as well as helping others. I can see that doing this helps your business, but I get that that's not really why you do it. No wonder you are up until 3am! I was terrible at work/life balance when I was working full time as a teacher. Now that I'm doing other things, I'm a little better and I find that it is all about being kind to yourself - truly kind - and realising that things will get done, or be re-prioritised, or not, but that either way the sun keeps coming up!

piddix said...

Changesustain, all of the teachers I know really do put everything they have into their job. It's too bad that it's almost expected to be that way. I'm so glad you were able to find more balance afterward. All three of you (Lara and Fashiontouch) all have similar tips that I'm trying to incorporate now...breathe...perspective...knowing it will be okay. As one of my old bosses used to say, no one will die in our line of work if we miss a deadline (I'm not a paramedic, for example). It is so very helpful to be reminded to step back a bit and remember why I'm doing all this. Thanks all.

Susan said...

Wow! You have a busy, busy gal! Good luck to you! Can't wait to see what lands in my local B & N!

As for stress, well, I try not to work myself into a frenzy but it has a tendency to sneak up me. With two kids 8 & 10 it's easy to get into so many things that sleep is optional! Once I get things done I find that a glass of wine, a silent room, and good nights sleep fixes alot of the damage!

Jen said...

oops! Just realised that I hadn't linked my profile properly!!