The Crafty Alchemy Blog

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  1. CIRCULAR LOGO

    Working from home is the dream right? You can choose your own hours, wear what you want and a whole load of other plus points but it can be so easy to get distracted, "I'll just do the washing up" or "I'll just check Facebook" 2 hours later you're still on social media, before you know it most of the day has gone and you haven't actually finished anything - Can you tell I'm speaking from experience with this one? 

    Some people will say that all you need is strong self discipline, others will say that if you aren't hustling 24/7 then you're not working hard enough. I say find the way that works for you.

    Today I'm sharing the 5 methods I use to get things done in my studio, these small tweaks and changes to my routine have completely changed the way I work and I've seen a large increase in both the quality & quantity of work I'm creating.

    5 EASY STEPS TO WORKING FROM HOME

    1. Have a creative ritual or routine that you carry out before you start working.

    It doesn't have to be anything fancy or complicated just something simple like lighting a candle in your studio before you start working, doing something like this before you sit at your desk to do something creative tells your brain that it's time to be creative and if you do this often enough it soon becomes habit. My creative ritual is turning on my wax melter in my studio, putting my hair up and putting on my glasses & apron. One of my friends uses "hair up, sleeves up" and another friend of mine favours lighting her favourite scented candle then meditating for a few minutes before tackling the days tasks.

    2. Wear work clothes.

    I don't mean all suited & booted, but it's good idea have some "work jeans & work tops" seperate from your normal wardrobe. If you make wearing work clothes part of your routine your brain will start to make the connection between the work clothes and the work. When I started wearing jeans instead of joggers I quickly noticed that I did a lot more lounging about when I was in comfy joggers and a lot more work when I was in jeans. And of course you can still work in your pyjamas some of the time (one of the biggest perks of working form home).

    3. Set a timer.

    Choose a task to complete. Set a timer either on your phone or one of those kitchen timers for 1 hour and work until the hour is up, then go get a cuppa or have lunch. This also works really well if you have some sort of deadline looming. Because you're focusing on one task for a set amount of time you give it your full attention and consequently get more of it done. If you've got a really big task that is going to take a few hours to deal with break it down into hour long chunks with breaks in between and it's much easier to remain focused on it.

    4. Have a plan (and stick to it!)

    I know I bang on about planning a lot but it really is one of the most useful things you can do, you need to know where you're going to work out how to get there. Make a to do list and use it, for years I made lists in a book yet I didn't achieve half of the things on the list, why? Because I couldn't see it, out of sight, out of mind. Now I have an A4 weekly planning sheet* on my desk and a dry wipe board so no matter where I am in the studio I can see the list without rummaging through a book to find the list. On a Sunday I map out the week and I get most of it done most if the time, there's always going to be weeks when that doesn't happen but that's life, it happens. This was the change to my routine that made the biggest difference to my work processes.

    5. Set up your workspace.

    Where possible, set up your workspace the night before, get the things you need to do whatever it is you are doing, put them on your desk and remove the things you don't need. This method has a few plus points:

    A. Because you have set your desk up you know what you need to work on, your subconcious mind taps into that so when you go to sit down at your desk your mind is already prepared for the task at hand.

    B. You don't need to spend time gathering/finding the things you need for that particular job so you can just get straight on with it.

    C. You're not getting distracted by all of the cool things you found on your desk when clearing some room to work on your desk. 

    So those are my 5 ways to get things done when working from home, I hope you find them as useful as I have. If only one or two of them would fit with your work and goals that's absolutely fine, it's all about finding what works for YOU.

    If you give them a go I'd love to hear how you get on. I'm always really interested to find out how people work and what makes them tick, do you have any tips, tricks or techniques that you use? If so what are they? 

    *you can download the A4 Weekly Planning Sheet here

    Signature - Saturday Rock

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  2. Have you seen the Keep Going campaign? 

    It was started by Leona Thriftola, creator of Lucky Dip Club and The Indie Rollercoaster.  Indie Rollercoaster is aFacebook community for all Indie Business owners and is all about community over competition and supporting each other.

    Keep Going  was created after Leona realised it was one of the things that came up over and over again in the group. She asked the group to make things using the phrase Keep Going, and send the photos and a small paragraph about why you keep going to Leona, who then shares them on the Indie Roller Keep Going Instagram account regularly to remind and encourage indie biz owners everywhere to keep going.

    This was my submission for the campaign.

    My why is: I keep going becuase I've come too far to give in and walk away now. I also don't want to be responsible for making a unicorn cry.

    KEEP GOING - Indie Rollercoaster Keep Going campaign

     

    You can check out the Indie Roller Community & the Keep Going Campaign here:

    Instagram:  @keep_going_indieroller 

    Instagram: @indie_roller

    Facebook: @theindierollercoaster

    You can join the Indie Rollercoaster Community here.

    Signature - Saturday Rock

  3. On the Tuesday 1st May 2018 the next round of the 100  Day Goal starts, I'm so excited, this will be the seventh round of the 100 Day Goal I've taken part in and over the last 2 and a half years it's beome one of the main tools in my entrepreneurial toolbox, I use it over and over again and no matter what other productivity techniques I use I always come back to this one.

    The 100 Day Goal was created by Julia Bickerstaff of The Business Bakery, the idea is to set  goal you want to achieve by the end of the 100 Days then work towards it by doing one thing every day. So your first task is set your goal, it doesn't matter what it is, it could be to launch new product in your business or even set up a new business, or it could be personal like stopping smoking, losing weight or decluttering your house. There's also a lot of science backing up the theories of 100 Day Goal including that the process of doing one thing a day to move forward forms a habit so, before long, it's totally integrated into your daily life.

    Then you make your list of your 100 micro actions, you might not be able to think of 100 straight away but you'll come up with more as you go along, as long as each one gets you closer to your goal it's all good.

    Here's the kit that I use when working through the 100 Day Goal, a printable micro action list from The Business Bakery, a stash of coloured pens and a Tippex pen (essential for making mistakes vanish!), my reading glasses, a ruler, some aptly worded sticky notes and my gold Filofax which contains all of my business plans etc for both Crafty Alchemy  & Claire Salisbury Studios.

    100 Day Goal Kit Business Bakery

    I tend to use the 100 Day Goal system for those really big plans, the ones that seem so big that you begin to wonder if you'll be able to pull it off, and I'll admit I haven't always hit the goal that I've set but I've always been a lot closer to it than I would have been if I hadn't started at all. Sometimes the goal really is so big that you have to do it over several 100 Day Goals, it took me 3 and a half attempts to get Claire Salisbury Studios off the ground. It was actually one of Julia's daily inspiration emails that encouraged me to set off down a whole new path of surface pattern design which led to me wanting my own studio and range of products.

    This time around my goal is Crafty Alchemy based, it's quite a big goal and it's something I've wanted to do for years and years, so I've decided to go for it, I'd be lying if I said it doesn't make me a tad nervous, because it makes me very nervous (I know that lots of makers feel the same when they embark on something new, but it doesn't really help get rid of that feeling) My plan is to get a subscription box up & running.

    Julia runs 3 rounds of 100 Day Goals each year, starting on 1st January, 1st of May and 1st of September so if you can't join in this time round there's always another opportunity, You can sign up for all of the printables, daily emails and access to the Facebook group here  and it's totally free too.

    So, what do you want to achieve? Go on, get started!

    Signature - Saturday Rock