Finding Balance: Paige from Little Nostalgia

To start us off on the quest to find balance, I'm happy to have Paige here to tell you about some things that help her keep a good schedule.

Virtual greetings! I’m Paige from Little Nostalgia, and I’m excited to be posting here today.

Since I quit my day job last November and became self-employed, it’s been hard to stay on top of everything my business needs, while also keeping the house from falling into squalor, AND having some sort of personal life. Some days I totally have my act together and get 50 things done before lunch, but other times I slide off the wagon and get caught up in a Hoarders marathon. Being my own boss is great, but it can be hard to find discipline when I’m only accountable to myself.

Calendar, $18, Etsy

That being said, the pendulum of balance swings pretty wildly around here. I still haven’t figured out a foolproof plan or how to clone myself, but there are a few tricks I’ve learned to keep everything flowing.

1. Follow a semi-regular schedule. When I got my first taste of professional freedom, I just skipped through the metaphorical meadow, doing whatever the heck I wanted all day long. Bad plan. These days I do my computer-based items first, then I work on assembling orders and/or DIY projects, and I save my “leaving the house” activities, including any socializing, for the afternoon. This gives me a sense of routine, but has enough flexibility that I don’t get bored.

2. Have a detailed to-do list. If you wear many hats, have a to do list that reflects that. Mine is a weekly list that’s divided into four categories: my main Etsy shop, my secondary Etsy shop, my blog, and life in general. Having everything on the same piece of paper helps SO much, plus it’s a good way to see what area of your life needs more attention that week.

To-do printable, $5, Etsy

3. Say no, and say it whenever you need to. Part of finding balance is not overextending yourself.  Whether it’s a last-minute order, or a friend who wants you to hang out in her new pool in the middle of the day, if you don’t have time, then you don’t have time! And that’s fine. Everyone else has a lot going on, too, and chances are, they’ll totally understand.

4. Have an accountability buddy. Like I said before, being accountable to myself can lead to bad TV marathons and eating Doritos. I’ve started telling my husband about assorted business tasks (usually things I hate doing, like bookkeeping), and he asks about my progress every couple of days. You can use your significant other, a friend, a fellow businessperson--anybody who will help keep you on track with their questions.

Hopefully you’ll find some of these to be useful! Do you have any business-and-balance tips to share? Do you do any of the above?

Keep up with Paige on her blog, Little Nostalgia, and on Twitter.

4 comments

  1. Paige is awesome, I am soooo bad at #3, and it is what easily causes me the most stress. Great advice!

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  2. Agreed... number 3 is the hardest. I am working up to that slowly!

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  3. You guys can totally do it! Once you get into the habit, it's kind of liberating.

    Thanks for hosting me today, Kristen! :-)

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  4. Thank you so much Paige! It's funny how just a few little changes can keep you on track. And I agree with Mitch and Traci- #3 is the worst, and we're going to hear more about that in future posts. I think it's a really important one for us all.

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