How to get back into a routine after a major move.

I hope your summer has been a good one.

Mine has been extremely busy with the move and even a mini vacation, but now it’s time to get back into some sort of routine.

With moving comes semi-organized chaos, bittersweet moments, and then learning the ins and outs of a new place. It has definitely been an adventure for me.

I have my new office set up, complete with two desks, a beautiful built-in bookcase, and plenty of room to move around. It’s a nice change from the spare room I used as an office in my other house. Amd the bright paint is a motivator in itself.

I spent the majority of July either moving, packing, unpacking, or painting. I do have to say I’m glad the packing and moving part is done at least. The unpacking and painting will be done over time, but at least I have the main things unpacked.

It has been wonderful to just spend some time in my new house to figure out what I want to put where, which light switches do what, and do some yard work. I know it’s going to take time to get it all figured out, but that’s all part of the process.

I looked back at my last blog post and realized it has been over two months since I wrote anything. I honestly thought being able to do it from my phone would be easier, but it seems I was wrong. Apparently I need a little more structure than I thought.

Getting back into a routine after a major move doesn’t come easy; at least not for me. And this time it was me doing the majority alone; aside from help with the big stuff over the course of one weekend. Going through my late husband’s things wasn’t easy; it was hard to decide what to keep and what to give away. I don’t wish that scenario on anyone.

Now, to let you know what’s working for me in regards to getting back into a routine:

  • A view. My office faces south (as did my other one) but the view isn’t blocked by trees. I can see the road and the field across the road, plus I’ll see bison during the winter as they graze in the corn field. (Perhaps some inspiration for my fiction.)
  • Books and work-related things only. My office is only for work; no crafts allowed. That means no yarn, no fabric, no sewing machine, and no weaving projects. My Cricut is allowed, but a lot of its use will be for products in my Etsy shops.
  • A Kanban board within reach. I have used a kanban board before and it worked. Somewhere along the way I stopped using it, and my progress went to shit. Getting back into using it is helping. The first time I heard about a kanban board was when I watched one of Sarra Cannon’s Heart Breathings videos several years ago. Here’s a post from her in January 2021 resetting hers. I love her enthusiasm, and her methods work.
My Kanban Board ready for the next set of sticky notes. And of course my AWAI Copywriter’s Cheat Sheet.
  • Cutting the clutter. Yes, I am in a new space; but yet the clutter finds a way. It doesn’t take long for the mail to pile up on my desk, or the binders full of printed material to not be put back on the bookshelf. I find if I tidy before I leave it for the day, the next morning is easier to get right to work.
  • Take breaks. I’m terrible when it comes to regular breaks/mealtimes, but I’m getting better. By taking breaks for a snack, meal, or to refill my water bottle, I find I am more productive and can stick to a schedule.

It’s a big change being in a new home; but a change that needed to be made. As I get settled and figure out the creaks, groans, and lay of the land I’ll also be growing as a person.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do since I moved was to make the decision to have my Buddy euthanized. His loss of sight and hearing left him terribly anxious all the time, and I couldn’t bear to see him suffer because of it. I believe him and my late husband are now howling together (something they did on an almost daily basis) in Heaven; and their ashes are side by side on my mantle.

In closing I want to leave you with this: no matter what life throws at you, find a way to keep moving forward. Ask for help if you need it, or change your postal code if necessary…and always remember you’re never alone.

Procrastination: My own worst enemy.

Oh my! I’ve been terrible at keeping to my weekly schedule lately, haven’t I?

I could make 100 excuses, but in the end, there really has been no reason to not sit down at my computer for a couple hours and do my blogging. My procrastination has taken over again, which I am kicking myself for now. My apologies!

I’m the first to admit I can find other things to do when I should be staying on task. Probably not something I should be admitting, but only by admitting it can I make the changes I need to.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

In a sense, it’s like anything else. You do not see it being a problem until you admit there’s a problem. After that, you can then take the steps needed to fix it. I suppose it’s along the lines of health issues. If you don’t think you’re overweight you’re not going to change your exercise and eating habits. If you don’t think you drink too much you’re not going to cut back.

What is procrastination?

In a nutshell, it’s putting off until tomorrow what should be done today.

Procrastination affects us all to some degree. Sadly some more than others. And it’s the tasks we like the least that we procrastinate the most. Or, in the case of writers, not knowing what to write about when we sit down at the computer.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just do what needs to be done so we can move on to the next part of our day?

Don’t get me wrong: I love my blogs and I enjoy sharing what I know/do with you. Perhaps it’s the overwhelm I’m feeling right now with the upcoming move, and having to go through a house full of things. It’s amazing how much “stuff” a person collects over the years.

In all honesty, procrastinating with the sorting and packing is also a thing. I have been trying to do something each day; even if it’s just one box or tote. Or one thing out in the yard. And I may have overdone it yesterday, so I’m glad today is a rainy, breezy day. It’s giving me more incentive to sit down and get my blogs done and spend a little more time on a course I’m taking.

How to avoid procrastination.

I honestly don’t think it can be avoided 100 percent, but there are things we can do to make things easier on ourselves.

  • Start the task and finish it. Chances are the task at hand really isn’t going to take up a lot of time. And if it is, break it up into smaller tasks so there’s some progress made.
  • Be accountable. It’s easy to piss around and not do what you should be doing if you’re the only one who knows what needs doing. (Pot calling the kettle black here.) Something as simple as a little chart (light bulb moment for a printable) can go a long way to show progress. I need to do this, because sometimes my planner just isn’t enough. And seeing a lot of checkmarks, stars, or coloured in squares is a reward in itself.
  • Set a timer. The Pomodoro technique does work…if you stick to it. I have used it and have been much more productive than when I don’t.
  • Delegate if possible. When you’re working for yourself it’s a little more difficult to delegate the tasks. If your budget allows, hire a VA for the little things so you can spend more time on the big things. It’s easy to get caught up in the social media posts, Pinterest pins, and other shiny objects. Let someone else do those while you pay attention to the main project at hand, using the Pomodoro technique if necessary.
  • Reward yourself. I know this sounds a little childish, but it works. We all need a little positive reinforcement, and something as simple as a new book or spending some time colouring in an adult colouring book (yes, the ones with the f-word) is sometimes all it takes.

Now, as I have been writing my brain has been going 100 miles an hour; so I’ve been making notes (better than starting something new instead of getting this done) of things to do later.

If you’re like me, and I feel you are in some ways (or you wouldn’t be reading this), shiny objects do try to lead you astray. By jotting down those shiny objects you can remember them, but finish the task at hand before you start chasing them.

And yes, I will try hard to practice what I preach. 🙂

That all being said, sometimes we get taken away from our writing/task because something unexpected comes up that needs our attention.

Case in point: As I was writing I had an email pop up from an Etsy customer regarding one of my crochet patterns. Instead of making her wait (and risking a bad review) I responded with demo photos of a stitch she was unclear about. I didn’t have those photos handy, so grabbed a hook and some yarn to show her what I meant. Once they were sent off, I resumed my post.

Thanks to my Etsy customer, I have a photo for this post. The link will take you to the listing, if you’re interested in learning how to make a lingerie/doll clothes bag.

At the end of the day we should procrastinate less, but sometimes things do come up. It’s up to us to decide what should take precedence. For me, it was a 10-minute delay in finishing my post. For my customer, it was quick service and the solution to a problem she was having.

Question: Are you guilty of procrastinating a little…or a lot?

Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle [Ep. 4]

Welcome to Episode 4: Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle

In this episode I’m going to give you 3 hobby examples, and how you can turn them into some extra cash. Keep in mind these are suggestions, and the amount of money you make is entirely up to you. Remember though, implementation is the key factor no matter which route you take.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

Turning Your Hobby Into a Side Hustle

Note: This blog post is copied from the episode script. There may be slight changes during the episode but for the most part it’s verbatim.

#1. For the Gardener

Many people, myself included, love to garden. It’s relaxing, is a good form of exercise, and is a provider of healthy snacks.

  • Market Garden. If you love to plant but find yourself with an abundance of produce during the growing season, selling your excess at a local Farmer’s Market or even at your farm gate is an option. Plant things such as carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cabbage, beans, peas, potatoes, lettuce, spinach, beets, etc and you will have a good customer base. 
  • Word of mouth is probably the best type of advertising, as are posters put up in your local community. If you’re active on social media you can post updates when you’re at a market or let others know how to contact you if they would like to buy. 
  • You will need access to at least an acre of land, depending on how much you want to plant. This is an ideal side hustle for farmers or acreage owners, simply because of the amount of space needed.
  • U-pick garden. Similar to a market garden, except your customers come to you and pick their own produce. U-pick’s are generally for fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, saskatoons, and apples. Your location will determine the types of fruits and vegetables you plant, as well as the amount of traffic you’ll get. A u-pick along a frequently used roadway will do better than one that’s off the beaten path.
  • Greenhouse. If you love to plant and tend to seedlings, then this is an ideal venture. A lot of seedlings can be grown in a backyard greenhouse that’s as small as 8’ X 10’. Access to water, and electricity for fans and heaters is beneficial. Depending on where you live, you could easily need the heater at night, and a fan during the day to cool down the greenhouse.
  • This is where you can experiment with flower varieties, vegetables, fruits, and even houseplants. Unlike the Market Garden and U-Pick, this is a gardening side hustle that you can do from your urban backyard.

If you have a green thumb and enjoy getting your hands dirty, gardening may just be what earns you some vacation money.

The tip of the iceberg when it comes to hobbies.

#2. For the Fiber Artist

This is one of my favourite pastimes. I love to crochet, spin my own yarn, and design new patterns for practical things. I have been crocheting since I was 8 or 9, and have made dozens, if not hundreds, of items over the years. I have earned thousands of dollars over the years by selling my items, designing and selling patterns, and by teaching others via Skillshare.

  • Sell ready made items. This avenue is perfect for craft sales, farmer’s markets, an Etsy shop, or even your own website. It’s the one I have pursued over the years, mainly around the holidays. It’s perfect for those of you who like to make the items, even though you don’t need them.
  • In addition to selling ready-made, you could also do custom orders. That way you won’t be filling up closets with items you might sell. Rather, you’ll be making the item for a customer after they have paid you for it.
  • Design patterns. If you like to design patterns for clothing, practical household items, or even toys, this could be for you. I have designed crochet patterns for placemats, clothing, and other household items. One of my best-selling patterns is for a lingerie bag, which is made from cotton yarn and can be used for lingerie, reusable make-up pads, or even doll clothes.
  • Teach others. If you’re good at a craft why not teach others what you know? Not only does it help someone else learn a new skill, it also gives you an additional stream of income. You can either teach one-on-one, have a small class, or record your lessons and upload to a platform such as Skillshare. I have made a few hundred dollars doing the latter over the years, and with only two short classes.

No matter what form of the fiber arts you pursue, there is money to be made. And since the entire world has had to spend more time at home, more people are utilizing the time to learn something new, or they’re shopping online. Why not try your hand at selling directly to customers, designing and making the patterns digital downloads. Or teaching via Skillshare, Teachable, or even your own YouTube Channel. No matter which format you choose, your earnings could be enough to buy that new RV or a lakeside cabin.

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Mid-roll Commercial End

#3. For the Artist

Anyone with some artistic ability can cash in on their talent. The invention of PNG and high resolution printers and scanners has made it so much easier for artists to share their work with the world.

  • Drawing. If you’re good with a pencil and paper, you can sell your art on sites like Etsy, or make it available for commercial use via sites like Creative Market. You can sell your drawings as PDF files for wall art, or JPEG or PNG files that other creators can use in their planners, calendars, journals, colouring books, and so forth. I myself have purchased commercial rights graphics from designers on Creative Market.
  • The beauty here is you can design, draw, upload, set your price, and it then becomes a form of passive income. I’m trying to convince my daughter to take this route, as her artistic talents could easily supplement her maternity leave in a couple of months.
  • Painting. Whether you paint portraits, abstract, or landscape, you can sell your art online, do custom orders, or consign it to galleries. Or you can scan your finished paintings and make them available as digital downloads customers can purchase via Etsy or another digital products platform. If you have your own website you can sell directly from there.
  • Making your paintings into greeting cards could also prove to be quite lucrative. No matter what you decide, be sure to sign your works of art. You could become a famous artist one day.

When it comes to creating, do what works best for you. If being put under pressure stifles your creativity, don’t commission portraits or other custom work. If a timeline fuels the fire, by all means, run with it. Either way, your artistic talent could fund a trip to Rome, Paris, or wherever you want to go.

Conclusion

This episode has only touched on a few ways on how to turn your hobby into a side hustle. And I haven’t even talked about the financial side of it, aside from giving you ideas on what you could do with your side hustle earnings. I am not here to tell you where to invest, or how to spend your earnings. I’m here to help you find little ways to add to your bank account, or the coffee can under your bed. 

I’m also here to tell you to keep it fun. If it is no longer enjoyable, then it is no longer a hobby. It becomes a chore, and we all dislike chores I’m sure. Keep it fun for you, and don’t let it interfere with your family time. I’m the first to admit when I start something new I eat, sleep, and breathe it. As I get older I am learning to prioritize and take a step back from spending every waking minute on one thing. 

Remember, it’s a hobby. If you want to turn it into a full time thing, that’s entirely up to you. But based on personal experience, take it one step at a time. There’s nothing worse than burning yourself out doing something that once gave you joy.

With Christmas just around the corner I’ll be taking a little break to spend time with family, get caught up on some little projects I’ve been putting off, and planning out the first quarter of 2022. I’m excited to continue this venture; or perhaps I should say adventure. My podcast and blog posts will resume the first week of January, with more about me and why I do what I do.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thanks for joining me, and I’ll see you next year!

If you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.


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