We all have a workflow, even if we don't realize it. Whether we stay at home and work, clock-in somewhere or are constantly on the go. Most of you know that come September, or more realistically June, my "workflow" is going to make a drastic shift as I make the transition from a full time office employee to mama & full time wedding planner. While I'm going through these changes, a recurring theme in my thought process is setting myself up for success. I have to give a big shout out to Lara & Emily (Making Brands Happen) these two women really helped me shape how I think about my ideal day, and a lot of these principles were inspired by their teaching. I encourage to you sign up for one of their webinars! Amazing.
In a bigger way, I want to set myself up for the first months of motherhood by having an organized home and nursery, a freezer full of post-partum meals and logistics figured out. I have a diaper delivery service lined up, I know I will be breastfeeding and have all of the helpful tools ready to go, and we are in the process of looking for a co-sleeping option. There are so many unknowns about parenting- specifically those first weeks of life. It's so important to me to get these things nailed down before he arrives, so when I hold my baby for the first time I don't have to worry about anything but loving him.
In the present moment I don't have a ton of control over the flow of my day. But I can tweak small things to make it more pleasurable and to ensure I'm working at my fullest potention. Here are some little steps that I've thought through that make my day better. Using these tips below, I'm hoping to design my ideal day, or at least think it through. Knowing that some things work for me and some won't will be helpful in those trial months of getting things going. Eventually I'll have a flow for this whole motherhood & working from home business, but as of right now it's a mystery. I'm planning to take it day by day, and hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
Understand Your Creative Flow
Wedding planning isn't all about color swatches & floral designs. There are lots of timelines and budgets to nail down, and vendors to get a hold of. But some things are creative, and it's important to be in the right mindset for those things. Think about when you do your best creative work. For me, it's first thing in the morning, when I'm sitting down with my coffee. Maybe I'm the least inhibited at that point (not fully awake), but I write the most clearly and have more authentic ideas. In setting up my ideal day, I make sure to schedule blog posts first thing, and not at 3 in the afternoon when I'm feeling exhausted.
I love finding ways to make my life easier. A new app, filing system or pre-filled form makes my heart sing. Thinking through my entire process of planning and designing for a client clears my head so I can do the best creative work. I have several helpful tools that I've put in place that I can now never live without. Some of my favorites? Freshbooks, my Simplified Planner, and obviously my iPhone. Simplifiy and streamline.
Set Your Intention
Once you're ready for action, you understand your creative and work flow, and are ready to hit the pavement, set your intention. In any job I've ever had, and even in college I would use this practice. Sometimes all it takes is for me to say, "Today is going to be a lovely and productive day", to myself. Other days I silently pray for my work and for the people I will encounter. Just like my yoga pratice, this is a habit that I've really grown to love. I like to pose it as a question to myself, "what is your intention for this day?". Try it out!
Organize Your Space
Similar to streamlining, I like to have an organized space when I begin my workday, and this truly stems from the evening before. A clean desk, paperwork filed, e-mails all in their places. Removing external clutter has proven to be the number one thing to clear my mind. As a lifetime leaver of messes, I'm trying to change my ways because I know how beneficial an organized space is for my productivity. The next thing I do is organize my planner. I leave a space in my AM section for an action list, or the things I must do that morning. Usually it consists of e-mailing certain people, one big project and a few odds and ends. I love lists.
Connect With Someone
One of my biggest fears about motherhood and working from home is loneliness. Growing up, I had siblings and parents around from the moment I woke up, and would go to school and immediately hang by the lockers and chat with my friends. This didn't change in college, waking up with roomates and going to class together. Even now, Isaiah and I ride to work together in the morning and at the very least listen to NPR side by side, and say I love you before we go to work. While I was working at SPU, my friend and supervisor Megan always greeted us with a peppy "Welcome to work!" and a huge smile. She may think it's funny, but she's honestly one of the most genuinly positive and upbeat people I've ever met, all while still being real and sensitive. I'm worried about working alone and missing that connection with people. My plan is to check social media, or leave someone an uplifting note before I do much else.
So there you have it! These are just a few things that help me get organized and feel productive. Like I said, there is going to be radical change in my daily structure soon and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to handle it. Soon, I want to figure out a flow. Even though now it seems impossible to do the same amount of work while breasfeeding, changing diapers, and everything in between, I know we'll somehow make it happen. I'm hoping that I will spend two or three days at the flower shop, and the rest at home with my baby. He won't be seeing much daycare, but luckily my husband and my schedules are nicely blended so one of us can be fully present with him most of the time. I'll post an update on how this is working sometime down the road. What helps you in your day? I would love to hear how you make the most of your time!