Friday, September 10, 2010

Doing Less of...

I generally take a peek at the weekly list of blog articles Etsy admin posts regarding small business topics. Some of them I'll read all the way through, and some not. There was one this week that has me thinking, and I haven't completely come to an answer yet.

The article was titled, "What Will You Do Less Of?" and pointed out the obvious fact that so many of us live already packed lives but keep adding things to it - or at least planning to add things to it. New goals, new activities, or maybe spending more time on current ones. If our lives aren't going to come apart at the seams, that means something has to be removed.

I added a lot to my life last fall when I got into making rosaries and started my Etsy shop. Now I've added a second shop. I've just gotten a new Volume IV of the Liturgy of the Hours to replace the one I've finally admitted is lost so, of course, I plan to pray the Office more. And I keep intending to get more involved with my Secular Franciscan community (some serious overinvolvement led to a meltdown that's made me completely uninvolved). And I'm always vowing to clean my apartment and get more exercise.

So what can I do less of?

Spending time on the Etsy forum comes to mind first. I've learned a lot there, but now it seems I'm learning the same stuff over and over. I'll still spend some time there so I don't miss important announcements and news, but I can definitely cut down. My rebellion against that cutting down is to say, "But I have to have something I can do while I'm drinking my coffee!" Well, it's getting close to the equinox which means pretty soon I'll be spending 40 minutes a day using my prescription anti-SAD lamp. I can't do that at the computer, but I can do it while drinking coffee. It's usually been a good time for reading. I'm not sure I can really pray the Office while drinking coffee, but I might give it a shot.

The Etsy shop really does complicate things. Besides the time it takes to make rosaries, photograph them, list them, and mail out any I happen to sell, there are supplies to worry about. Right now I have a shipment from India that I'll most likely have to pick up myself at the FedEx office; that seller was the only one I could find who had a particular kind of pearl that a possible customer wants for a custom rosary (no, I don't even know if she's going to buy it yet). But if I cut down on the shopping and buying except when it's necessary for a custom order, or when I'm running out of something I really need - like beading wire - that would help a lot. And I have an incentive now because I'm broke. I don't know that I could shut down the Etsy shop right now - I have too much money invested in it. But I can cut down on the shopping and use up the supplies I have. The rosary making has slowed down some from the days of building inventory, when I used to make a half dozen a week, but if I just go with current supplies it could slow down even more. I already spend very little time on marketing/promotion.

I obviously can't give up my day job. But I can concentrate on leaving the office at the end of the day when I'm supposed to. Being able to leave everything behind is one of the few perks of being on wages instead of salary, and I'm not taking advantage of it. I generally waste at least an hour a day by not going home when I should.

So... we'll see.

None of these specific things was mentioned  in the article I read, but it made me think. You might not have any of the same issues, but possibly you can think of your own. I'm certainly not finished with the process yet (but I have to leave for work).

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