You may be surprised to find out that I have a problem with focus (well, if you know me in real life, or are my twitter or facebook friend, you’re probably not surprised). I have a tendency to go gung ho into something and then my brain goes “ping, ping, ping” to all different aspects of the project. Focusing on one thing is incredibly difficult. If I let myself go, I would have 100 different products, all completely unrelated.
Alternatively, I will focus exclusively on something that is not very important at the moment. For example, the past couple of weeks I have been so focused on product packaging that the actual product was not being made. I’m not saying that packaging isn’t important, it is. But if I am not actually producing anything, what am I going to put in the packages?
I have learned that in order to actually stay on target, every once in awhile I have to take the time to slow down, breathe deep and regroup. This weekend and yesterday was that time for me.
I was really starting to feel overwhelmed. The product packaging thing was eating at me. I didn’t know what to do next, or even what I needed to proceed. I was starting to freeze up and get nothing done.
So, on Saturday I finished up what was on my sewing table and then on Sunday I took the day off. I went to an art gallery and looked at other people’s work and just enjoyed some time with my family. Not only was it relaxing (well, as relaxing as going to an art gallery and hot glass studio with a two year old can be), it was inspirational.
However, it still wasn’t enough. I still felt overwhelmed yesterday when I walked back into the studio. The pile of fabric didn’t inspire me, it frightened me. The state of the house made me want to cry, and I was tense with the baby. I knew something needed to give.
After avoiding the obvious for over a month, I actually had to take stock of what my inventory looked like, and I had to get organized. I took the day and got my stuff together. I organized my fabric and put it away, I put my patterns back in their envelopes and folders, I cleaned up the Legos and Hot Wheels, and brought a set of shelves in for my product.
Then I got out the product out of the travel boxes and started putting it on the shelves. And I realized that I have a problem with overestimating what I have made. That gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.
Yes, I’m going to have to pack it back up to take to craft fairs in a few weeks, but for now I need the visual stimulation of actually seeing what I have done. I also realized I need a clean, organized work space and time off once in awhile.
If you are feeling overwhelmed in your business it might be time to take a time out and regroup. Take a day or two off and spend some time with family and friends. Then, when you get back to work, actually look at what your goals are and where you are in regard to meeting those goals. In my case, I wasn’t as far along as I thought I was, and I got my motivation from that. Maybe it will turn out that you are further along than you think. Either way, it will help keep you on target toward growing your business.