If you are anything like me, then this glorious early summer has been a serious distraction at work, particularly if you usually feel short changed as I do, living in the glorious North West of England.
Motivation has been an issue for me for most (ok all) of this year and the improvements in weather have not made me more productive. Admittedly there have been other work and financial related issues this year that have needed my urgent attention. Everything, give or take a few false starts, is now in place however, so what excuses are left for me to dredge from the bottom of my think tank? None really. Although perhaps one.
Taking care of yourself is more important than you might think. By May I had still failed to shake off my sluggish semi-hybernation that always grips me as late autumn approaches and we head into winter. And yet in the last month I reached that point where I had to do something. It had been going on for too long and it was impacting every aspect of my life. This time around I am managing things with the use of apps because I like to see results. I love charts, spreadsheets, numbers, and to see something I can work with so I am using these tools to look after my health, something which has a big impact on my work.
I am calorie counting, taking exercise, balancing food with calorie burning, counting up the glasses of water I should be intaking every day (I am very lazy about hydration), and generally having a little bit more respect for myself. My sedentary lifestyle, I sit behind a sewing machine, a laptop, or at a design table all day, mean I do nothing, quite literally. I used a step counter here for a short time this week and in an average work day I will do less than 2500 steps. Statistics suggest you need to be doing 10,000. This explains a lot about my life over the last few years since I moved to Manchester and I really need to change things permanently now.
So with a diet app to re-educate my eating habits and an exercise app to show me that a little can make a difference I have the motivation to give it my best shot. Now, you might think that this is not a very fashion/business relevant posting, but it is. You see, I’ve been following this new regime for less than a month, and I’ve noticed that my mindset is starting to change. I finished a dress last week that’s been sitting on one of my mannequins for at least five months. I’ve managed to keep up my new marketing strategy, and guess what, more sales, which motivates me to start creating again. There’s a danger I will run low on stock at this rate.
When you work for yourself and you are your own motivation, staying focused is difficult at times. It isn’t all about being creative. Administration, selling, negotiating, these are all tasks that come as part of the sole proprietor package, but as creatives often all we want to do is create, not generate admin. It’s also easy to slip into routines that can harm your productivity or your outlook and it’s even easier to not see it coming until you’re stuck in a rut.
So if you’re like me, it might be time to take a look at your lifestyle outside of work to see how it might be impacting your lifestyle in work. It’s just a thought.