Monday, August 8, 2016

Being My Own Boss: WIL #1

Two months ago I got back from a long vacation from work and worked for two days before I e-mailed my Husbeast at about 10 a.m saying, "I can't do this any more."  Nothing against where I worked, it was a good job with decent people.  There was just nothing left after juggling my own business, a 40-hour a week, a home, a Husbeast, and trying to actually have a sliver of a life outside all of that once in a while (not very successfully) for so long.  To my Husbeast's credit, his reply was one sentence:  "Do what you have to do."

Ten minutes later I was speaking privately with my boss and giving her my notice.

My notice period was kind of long because there were some things we were working on that I wanted to see through to the end.  And then it was done.  Last week was my first full week as my own boss, working solely for Fat Lady Foods, LLC and I learned a lot already.  (Thus the WIL in the title, standing for "What I Learned".)  I fully expect to learn a lot more as time goes on, so I doubt this will be the only post of this nature on my blog, just the first.

And now, on to what I learned:

  • Create a To Do List every day, but do it in the morning, not the night before.
    • For the first week I created my To Do Lists the night before based on what hadn't been finished that day and what my priorities the next day were at the time.  What I found myself actually doing was changing the list around the next morning because during the night things had percolated in my mind and priorities had shifted without me even realizing it.  My brain has always kept working on things while I'm asleep, but have never had the extent of it so plainly demonstrated before.  So now it is clear not to make solid plans for the next day unless it is something that absolutely HAS to happen then, such as a Kitchen Day.
  • Assess what was accomplished at the end of each day.
    • This plays into the item above, really, as I need to know what was finished in order to be aware of what still needs to be done.  Also, it is a form of accountability for myself as I post my daily accomplishments on Facebook to a list of people who have indicated interest in seeing those posts.  This keeps me from falling into the trap of treating every day like a vacation day.  Like any job my productivity has to be evident to my boss (myself) and my supporters.  Productivity is evidence of responsible behavior.  Being irresponsible too often leads to failure, and failure leads to going back to being a Cube Farm occupant.
  • Don't let my sleep patterns get messed up over the weekend.
    • There really is no reason to sleep super late on weekends any more.  I am in full control of my own schedule, and if more sleep is needed, I can adjust things so that the issue is taken care of without fuss or muss.  Heck, if I need a nap for some reason, I can alter my schedule to allow time for one!  Sleep deprivation shouldn't exist in my world any more.  Admittedly, my sleep was messed up this weekend because of a stupid stomach bug that woke me up in the middle of the night and kept me awake for several hours that I normally sleep through, but when that is NOT the case there is no valid reason for me to sleep so late on a weekend that it means I can't get to sleep early enough to keep a normal schedule on Monday.
  • Follow a basic routine.
    • My most productive days last week were the days that I followed the same basic routine while altering the contents / tasks of said routine.  When that routine wasn't followed, I was scatterbrained and unfocused.  In other words, yet again, treat this like what it is:  my job.  It may take a while to find the optimal routine, and there's nothing saying that routine is set in stone for all of eternity.  As the backlogged items are completed  and ideas for making the business grow begin to really move forward, the needs of the company will change which will mean that the routine may have to change as well, but those changes need to be conscious changes and not just whims.
  • Let myself have Sundays to play without feeling guilty about not working.
    • I have to be careful with this one.  I know myself, and I know that if I am NOT careful, work stuff will start edging in on Sundays when it doesn't need to do so.  It is one thing to work on a Sunday when I am at a full weekend show or that is the only day I can book the kitchen for some reason, but in a normal week I should let myself relax and enjoy my Sundays without feeling any guilt.  No "just this one thing" exceptions allowed, because then it will become a regular occurrence.  I have definite tendencies toward workaholism.  The amusing thing is that I also have definite tendencies toward laziness.  When the two collide, it can be epic, and not always in a good way.  So there is a tightrope to be walked between keeping myself on track for full productivity, and letting it consume me to the point where there is nothing else in my life.  Neither of those options is a healthy one.

I have a lot more to learn, as stated earlier, and am still figuring this whole working for myself thing out, but I think the start that has been made is a good one.  There are things that I make sure get done every day like writing in my Commonplace Book, trying to keep a balance between getting things done for Fat Lady and getting things done that need doing around the house, and most importantly, making time to scritch the kitties throughout the day (the cats made me put that last one in - they think that should be my FIRST priority, of course!).  I make sure that to get dressed every day instead of working in my pajamas, because otherwise I won't take it seriously.

There are things that still need to be added into my schedule, but I need to get the basic format down first.  There needs to be some kind of movement every day.  Otherwise I'll sit and do spreadsheets and so on and never get over 1,000 steps a day.  I've tracked out a few potential walking routes on and hopefully can add them in when the heat starts easing off a bit.  Until then there are fitness DVD's and movement games for the gaming console.  I can also do laps inside the house if I want to just walk. There are options, I just have to decide which one to do each day.

Overall, I think it has been a good start.  The key is to just keep building on it.


  1. So proud of all you are doing! You are an inspiration to me in so many ways and I am definitely excited to watch you bloom in this new garden of your own creation!��


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