Over the past year, I've really made the effort to achieve balance between my work and personal life. And after over a decade of extreme workaholic tendencies, I've finally gotten to a place where I feel good in allowing myself time off. I work very little (if at all) on the weekends these days, and although I could still use some improvement when it comes to ending my work days at a reasonable hour during the week, I'm proud of myself for getting to this place. I used to always worry that my work would suffer if I wasn't working around the clock, but it turns out that the opposite is true.
So now that I've been able to figure that out, my current struggle is finding balance professionally. A few years ago, I ran one business, my eco-friendly clothing line. Mountains of the Moon had been my sole job for many years, and although it required very long hours, it sustained me. Unfortunately, the economy started to suffer, and it seemed to affect small, independent businesses the hardest. I watched the majority of the boutiques that carried my line go out of business and many of my fellow designers shut their doors as well. I eventually realized that I needed to find another means of income to supplement, so I started my art and greeting card line on the side. A couple of months after that, this blog came to be. And then there were three; three different business that I love equally, but that require very different tasks and, admittedly, aren't always so easy to balance.
I'll be honest - it is my clothing label, which is by far the largest operation of the three, that has suffered the most in terms of where I put my efforts. Designing and producing clothing collections is a long, complicated, and expensive process. And although I'm lucky to have a wonderful employee who has been with me for years now, it's just not possible to give Mountains of the Moon the time it truly needs to flourish while I have two other things going on that require daily attention as well. This week, as I've been finishing up the final touches on Bubby and Bean Art's 2012 holiday card collection (as seen in the image above), I've been feeling a little stressed about how to get Mountains of the Moon ready for the holiday season as well. I've had things like 'redesign MotM's website' and 're-shoot product photos' and 'design new pieces' on my list for months, but even if I break them down into smaller, more doable tasks, there are only so many hours in each day. Oh yeah, and I also do part-time freelance design work. Yes, I am all over the place.
All of this has made me wonder - if I was able to figure out how to find balance between work and play, why is it so difficult for me to find balance between my various companies as well? I've created schedules, very well organized 'to do' lists, charts, etc. I've devoted full days to each separate business, and I've tried splitting each day up as well. But ultimately, there is only so much time and brain power to distribute among them.
I know that many of my readers own multiple businesses and/or have 'day jobs' and then run daily blogs or Etsy shops in their down time. I'd love to get your input on this. What are your secrets for dividing your time between your different responsibilities in a productive way (while still allowing yourself personal time away from work)?
And those are my deep thoughts for this Friday. Make sure you give yourself some downtime this weekend! :)
FILED UNDER: random thoughts/life