How-to: Keep calm and carry on

In yesterday’s post I mentioned that I was juggling several big projects these days. It is overwhelming, but doable. Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to handle it all!

1. Keep calm and carry on. The universe serves up what you can handle. You CAN handle it. Accept it and plan to conquer like Xena: Warrior Princess! Ayeeee…yah!!!!

2. Plan. Outline your projects in order of duties, and importance of those duties. These should be nuggets that you can work on piece by piece.

3. Make a list of things to clear off your schedule. Pretend you are going to a distant land and must choose your extracurricular activities wisely. Let people know you will answer email three times a week, or even once a week. Pre-schedule your blogs, reschedule appointments, do not take on new appointments, stock up on food and water, DVR your favorite shows.

4. Clean your work area from distractions. No one can work in a pigpen. It’s distracting. Before you start, clear your area, set out a clean-smelling candle, wrap up any small chores. Make sure you have a decent chair and good lighting.

5. Turn off the Internet! I didn’t think I could do this, but my daughter recently made it a ritual for my writing time. You will be amazed at how much more work you will complete.

6. Stock up on supplies so you won’t have to run to the store. Pencils, erasers, notepads, etc.

7. Fight procrastination. Yes, we all work well under pressure, but if your projects really are of the important variety, you want as much time to make them the best they can be. Therefore, allow yourself some cushion. That way later down the road, you won’t be saying, “Darn, I wish I had done it that way.”

8. Make sure you have the correct objectives! This should actually be toward the top. Before you clock in the hours, make sure you know EXACTLY what the end result is supposed to be. I like to write out reminders on a sheet of paper and keep it by my desk. Here is a sample I made for when I’m writing my novels.

9. Focus as if you are picking up a tiny seed bead with tweezers. Zero in on the task at hand. Don’t water down your energy by trying to multi-task – again, this is for BIG projects. Make-or-break projects. Push yourself, even when you think you’ve had enough!

10. Visualize the glory of crossing the finish line! With EVERYTHING I do, I always have a clear image in my brain of the finish line. Whether it is seeing my project on store shelves, my name on a book, my byline, etc. I also visualize scenarios over and over until they come true. Like my book agent calling me to say “Congrats, your manuscript sold!” I replay it repeatedly. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, it will eventually, I promise.

11. It is OK to let go if it is not meant to be. It is one thing to defy the odds and conquer, but sometimes we get clear signs – bricks falling on our heads – that we are on the wrong path. Adjustment is in order. So be ready for that, it’s Ok, it happens. Just make sure to have Plan B ready to rock.

12. Reward yourself – and step away for a second. Take a mini-nap, take vitamins, take a gourmet coffee break. Go see a movie. No matter how busy you are, it helps to step away to clear your head and comeback fresh.

13. Take vitamins! most important. You will be sucking all the juice out of your batteries. Be ready, think healthy, fuel up in the best way possible.

Love & light,

7 Responses

  1. thank you for these tips.
    i printed them out and put them in my work area.
    i’ve got a big project coming up and i really needed this to help focus for early 2010.

  2. Kathy: Thank you for the wonderful list of tips. Very good stuff. It’s SO easy to get all wrapped up in stuff that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Indeed.

    Something tells me you follow “The Secret” methodology. Am I right?

    Thanks again for the tips!

  3. Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder of how to focus. I have been struggling to start my crafty business and blog while working full time, and have felt so overwhelmed. These tips will help me do better in the new year. I wish you much success and love!

  4. Those are all great ideas! I needed to hear all of them. I am the worst about 1-7 for sure.

    I am trying to focus right now on Valentine jewelry, and here I am on the internet.

    Great blog Kathy!


  5. I have to tell you that this advice is just plain GREAT!! Especially since I am finishing my final year of grad studies and boy, is procrastination and senioritis in tow. So, this weekend it is about clearing out the clutter. Mine, my husband’s, and our wee guys “way too many toys.” And then, the work begins! Thank you for this list..I’m about to print it out and place in on my dream board! Gracias Kathy!!!

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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