Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Even if we won't admit it to ourselves

I am in the midst of an EXCELLENT book called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. It is the kind of book that resonates with the ideas I have in theory, but is compelling enough to get me to actually DO something to live those ideas.

In a way, it's a time management and productivity book, but instead of squeezing more things into your limited time, it's about choosing VERY strategically what is actually worth spending time on. I'm reading it slowly to savor it and I am thinking about how to put these concepts into practice.

To that end, I sat down today and wrote up my priority list. It hasn't changed, but I am committing to be disciplined about focusing only on these things instead of getting distracted by shiny things on the Internet.
  • FAMILY - kid-wrangling, being wifely (whatever that means), doing *fun* stuff together
  • HOME - finish unpacking after the remodel, laundry, dishes, keeping the filth and clutter down
  • CRAFT - work on my scrapbooks, and continue making them for others via The Papercraft Lab
  • SELF-CARE - exercise, eat well, cook at home, sleep enough
  • WORK - yep!  Starting a part-time contract gig next week
Work was a new addition to the list and actually triggered the re-evaluation of my commitments.  I am setting up shop as an independent consultant project manager (sounds so much fancier than it is!) and have a couple of clients for a total of about 20 hours a week.

Our new business covers my PM work and TJ's motorsports mobile app development.  Here's the fancy new logo I got on Etsy.  Pretty cool, huh?  I have to say that as a papercrafter and lover of stationery, I was especially excited about choosing a logo.

Here are some of the things I am completing or quitting to "find" 20 hours a week for this work:
  • Completed Coursera Creative Problem Solving class online, which completes my credits needed for renewing my PMP certification for 3 more years.
  • Completed two scrapbooks for Papercraft Lab clients
  • Un-enrolled from two other Coursera courses that "sounded interesting"
  • Declined the role of coordinating summer playdates for our toddler group
  • Stopped taking custom metal orders in my Etsy shop (still selling ready-made items!)
  • Facebook (I may need to detox gradually - I've already removed it from my phone. SO hard.)
  • Quit trying to be "social coordinator" and making new friends - need to focus on my existing ones!
  • Buying the snack for T's preschool at Trader Joe's instead of baking it
  • Stopped watching TV (no more Glee, Grey's Anatomy, The Mindy Project, etc.)
  • Finishing a scrapbook layout that will be used as a "demo" in an upcoming class
  • Decided not to enroll the girls in additional classes this summer other than Little Gym
  • Blogging. I haven't been motivated to write much here, so I'm taking a break for a while
In addition to going through my existing activities with a fine-toothed comb, I'm trying to be VERY selective about what I take on. I have a tendency to add projects on a whim, or volunteer for stuff when asked, so this is going to be a significant mindset change.  Wish me luck! 

If you read Essentialism, I'd love to know what you thought.


  1. Glee is getting lame loss there. I love your new lists and how energized you are to do this. I hope I'm still on the list of people you want to hang with...strategically.

  2. I feel like my life could use a makeover like this. Lately it seems I am wasting so much time dithering around on small tasks that really could be skipped. I cut back on work this spring because i was feeling overwhelmed all the time - but now I am filling up the leftover time with surfing and Facebook. GAH.

    Good for you for reworking - and huge congratulations on the job! It really does feel great to have a little structure to your week and to be back in the world of adults, at least for a few hours a week. I'll miss your blog - hope you don't give it up entirely! - but will totally understand about new projects needing their own space and time. Good luck!

    1. @Lynn - I will probably continue to blog at - not all crafty stuff, but with a focus towards recording family memories.

      I *so* understand what you mean about losing the found time to Facebook and web surfing! It's so easy to get lost in blogs and stuff.

  3. Good luck on your new venture! I hope you love it!

  4. All the best - your new logo looks great.

    I'm fascinated by that book - that is my "take" on time management too, when I coach clients, that is.

    And just so you know, I also deleted FB off my phone recently - blogged on my Organising Queen blog about it here


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