Every day is a whirlwind when you own your own interior design business.
Your "To Do" list could have legs and get a name because you carry it around like your child.
You can't be in five places at once. You aren't a therapist - but it sure feels like you need one (maybe on payroll). I get it. In fact, I just stressed myself out writing that introduction.
We've all been there. Being an interior designer can be STRESSFUL. There are a thousand and one moving parts that need to be handled at once.
Take a deep breath. INNNNNNN. OUTTTTTTTT.
I have good news for you - there are strategies and tactics that everyone can use to help manage and reduce stress! (Crazy, right?)
If you're like me, checklists are EVERYTHING. Seriously, writing this blog was on my checklist. Set your priorities first. What needs to happen in an hour? What is due tomorrow? What can wait until next week?
My recommendation - sit down with your calendar, pen, and paper, or with a digital program. Write EVERY SINGLE THING DOWN.
Then prioritize your activities for each day. Is it urgent? Or just important? Maybe neither...do you really HAVE to do it? That is a whole other blog post. Stay tuned for that.
But in the meantime, create a short daily task list that captures ONLY the top 3 priority tasks for each day. If you can get those 3 tasks done that day, it's a WIN.
And don't forget - when you are done, CROSS IT OUT.
"Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor - it's anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living," - Peter Walsh
It's true!! Organize your office, desk, workspace, kitchen table - wherever it is that you plan to execute your task list. A clean and organized workspace will leave you feeling relaxed and prepared to take your to-dos head-on. If you saw my desk now, you'd call me a hypocrite, but I do stop to clean and organize it at least once a week.
Pro-Tip: Think about it as if you were designing for your client's office! We preach being organized and having your space designed for efficiency - do the same with yours.
Disruptions suck. There, I said it. Whether it is your employees asking questions, your phone ringing off the hook, or your kids are screaming - it's impossible to get anything done and that's stressful.
If you can't put your phone (or kids) on mute, then let's focus on your reaction to these disruptions.
Pro-Tip: Anticipate them - and prevent them. You know your client is wondering when her demolition is going to start, so don't let her call and ask YOU. Instead, be proactive and let her know as soon as you do. You know that you get sucked down a rabbit hole every time you check email? Then only check email twice a day.
Plan and schedule for these disruptions by allocating certain hours of the day to handle these interruptions (like answering emails, calling back vendors, scheduling meetings, etc.). Block your time on the calendar and don't veer off track. It takes discipline but then becomes second nature.
This tip might blow your mind: Stop multi-tasking. Although most of think we are, we are NOT programmed to do a million things at once. When you multi-task, it takes longer to get something done because you're interrupting your focus - and it leaves room for errors (which is more time that you already don't have).
Focus on one task. Finish the task. Cross it off of the list. BOOM.
You shouldn't be inventing the wheel every time you send a proposal, work with a client, vendor, or plan out your marketing.
To minimize your stress, it's essential that you focus on using a PROCESS. Both you and your clients will appreciate the smooth implementation of your beautiful designs.
If you don't have any processes in place, click here to find out more.
Burnout is a real thing. We feel like we are going and going (and going) and we can burn ourselves out. We are creatives and we need time to breathe, step away, and reset.
It's easier said than done but set boundaries. Slowly work one or more of these into your routines. Here are a few:
What are some ways that YOU manage your stress? I'd love to know!