Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Office C A L M

When there's many things in life to consider, and days fill of different deeds that require concentration, it's much easier to find that peace for working when the surroundings for working are somehow in order. 

I have spent some time lately diving deep into the land of organizing videos to find inspiration for my work space at the shop. 
My work space has open shelving under a counter top, and it's all too easy to just let the shelves get filled with junk to get it out of the way for now. I also use a certain number of binders daily at work, and their storage space has been a few steps away from the counter. It has provided me with about five extra steps worth of moving daily, but is becoming a nuisance, because I have to reach for the folders so many times. So I needed a re-do, and I've been working on it slowly, bit by bit, and solution by solution.

I've watched Alejandra's YouTube-videos from her website for inspiration. She's an American organizer who seems to find storage solutions to just about anything. I think I'd personally prefer a lot smaller amount of things to organise in the first place, and shiver at the sight of her pen collection (I don't think I've ever seen that many pens at one go), but her videos are fun and show her enthusiasm and love for color. And who wouldn't be inspired by fun and color?!

I took her advice, and carefully measured the nearest shelf below my desk to fit my most needed daily folders. I found these beautifully coloured and to my eyes calm binders first online, but then found out my local bookshop is selling them for half price, so instead of ordering them and getting them delivered to the door, I put on my winter boots and walked to the bookshop to collect them myself. 

And now I have my four most needed binders right at hand, just when I need them. Before this, one of them lived two steps away in the opposite direction, forcing me to bend over to floor level to pick it up (and because it's the bookkeeping binder, it's used sometimes several times a day). Two others lived on this shelf, along with some miscellany of cd's, wool yarn, hangers, baskets and a cup. The fourth binder (which had kiwi fruits on the cover) lived next to this shelf on the floor, because it had no space anywhere else. I don't have a "before" -picture of this shelf, but believe me, it's probably all for the best.

The wee shelf above this one got a revamp too.
It is the home of the daily most needed things at the shop - the receipts, the calculator, and the back-up drive.
Now it has everything arranged so that it's out of sight, but easy to reach for, even if you're not looking AT what you're looking FOR. All the extra rubbish is gone, and everything on the shelf is needed daily. I also love the way there's no space for the extra rubbish now - the spaces are used for good.

On the counter top live the Stress Tool Cards from Living With Ease - course I did in January. They help me daily. Here's hoping this one is helping you out too:

So is there something where you work/write/play that would need a revamp? Some thought? Arranging? What could be better where you spend most of your productive time? 

Monday, 3 February 2014

January wrapped up

January in the life of this micropreneur has gone by quickly and swiftly. There's been much on the go and a lot of things have been learned and accomplished. I'll gift wrap my January in 5 parcels for you.

1. Living with Ease - course by Sandra Pawula
Sandra's e-course was something I wanted to devote my January - the beginning of a new year - to. I woke up each morning a little earlier than the rest of the family to read the daily lesson and to do my homework. In three weeks I got to know so much more about stress and how it manifests itself in my life, how to deal with it and how to prevent it from invading my life sneakily without my permission. The course gave me straightforward tools to work with, and made me feel much more prepared for what this year has in stock for me. Sandra is doing another round of the course later in the spring, so if this is something that speaks to you, be sure to subscribe to the announcements Sandra has on the course page for when the next round will be up.

2. Creating C A L M
I didn't make any new year's resolutions. I did, however, choose one word to guide me through the year. My aim for the year is to create a little bit of calm each day of the year. It's a broad enough subject to cover most anything, so it feels easy to accomplish daily, but it's focused enough to give a sense of calm as a result of whatever it is I've chosen to do on a particular day. Creating calm has meant I've finished quite a few of unfinished businesses, done a fair bit of laundry and cleaning, taken a good few naps, recycled and renewed things that are no longer serving me as they are without causing stress. Taken a firm hold of things that are left winding by and finding out enough about them to let them have a life of their own again. This word seems really helpful, to me.

3. Financial plan
For the first time since beginning the running of the little dance wear shop I made a financial plan in the early days of January. It was a plan to see approximately how much money the shop would need  to make, so I could raise my own salary to meet at least some of the needs I have at the moment, and so it wouldn't mean less money to pay the bills for the shop. I counted the over all gross total I needed to make in a whole year, divided that into months, and divided the months into working days. It isn't a goal to sell your mother for, and there's breathing space there to meet the end-of-the-year goal - so it's a loose plan, which I think is good for being the first ever plan. But for the whole of January I kept a chart going to know where I was with the plan, and come to the end of January I had actually exceeded the goal, which was a complete surprise for me.

4. Work of elves
Every year around Christmastime I feel quite sad that I didn't think of Christmas before the end of November. I would have wanted to make the gifts for my lovelies by hand, and at the end of November I realize it's far too late to make something for most. So this year I thought I'd begin early. I'm in no hurry, and I don't want to create anything in a rush or because I have to. But I'm making a pair of woolly socks at the moment, on my spare time, when the rest of the family's watching TV and I can't be asked. They'll most definitely be ready by December :)
If you happen to still be stressed about The Christmas Past and the gift giving (or are already dreading Valentine's Day), there's a book fresh off the shelves of Amazon that's just been released about the gift giving frenzy and how to escape and avoid it. It's by Robert Wall, who is a fellow micropreneur-blogger, and the book can be found (and purchased for a ridiculously cheap price for the comfort it presents) HERE. I loved the book and Robert's humour. Well worth the investment :)

5. Blog friends
January has also been the beginning month for a wee group of bloggers to get together and support each other's work. It's been a great month of getting to know new blogs and personalities behind the writings. I notice my own writing has had less time to manifest itself in the past month, but I've had so much fun reading other people's blogs and getting inspired by them!

How has your January evolved?
What does your wrap-up look like with big bows and sparkly papers (I know things aren't always sparkly and fun, but if you were to present your most gifted, most glittery, bona-fide awesomeness in a parcel or a few, that would they be like)?