For the month of February I challenged myself to post a blog everyday. I decided to commemorate Black Women in Art and Art History in these posts. Last year, I wanted to do this but I didn’t because I overthought what I would post and ended up not actually posting anything.
This year, I remembered and I shared this challenge online with friends, announcing it as my 21 day challenge. No details given because I didn’t know exactly how I would do it, but I knew that this year I would do something! I had no idea that I would actually learn from this. This challenge proved to be very successful because I didn’t give up even when I made mistakes or thought that no one cared about what I posted. Which is completely false, because I care and during this challenge I realized how important this blog is to me.
I learned a few things that I will share with you because somewhere out there I know someone else needs to hear this. The three points below helped me find a better work life balance and more importantly reduce stress in my life.
- Don’t give up! Even though some days I didn’t feel like it, I still did it. And to my surprise, it was so worth it. Why? Because I set out to do something and got it done. Just the fact that I completed it is a new record for me. Before this challenge, I was posting once a month, if that. I feel accomplished and MOTIVATED to keep on going. It’s not perfect, but I’m trying and I will see improvement the more I write, post and share. So to all my readers, DON’T GIVE UP! It will definitely give you a boost of confidence.
- You WILL make mistakes, learn from them. You will mess up, and people will correct you. It maybe embarrassing too. Some of the feedback from peers and your readers may make you want to stop using the Internet altogether. You might even want to stay in bed all day…yes, this happened to me, I was so into my feelings. I’m a sensitive person. And looking back on the time I spent in bed feeling sorry for myself, I could have spent the same amount of time actually doing something, like writing or making art. No one wants to make mistakes but the longer you prolong the process and try not to make mistakes….you won’t learn. And guess what, you have to learn those lessons, now or later. Pick your choice. You will make mistakes.
- TIME MANAGEMENT. I have a family. Our family is young and very active. There are times when I don’t know where I will find the time to do anything. And when I do find the time, sometimes I just want peace and quiet, I don’t want to work. I searched the internet looking for ways to figure out how to express myself creatively without interruption when you have young children and here is what I have come to find out. There is no one answer. If you are not waking up early or staying up late, or have children that work alongside you fantastically to help you create your amazing projects…then you have got to do what you can do, when you can do it. For me, waking up early or staying up late just aren’t the answer for me, right now. (I have high hopes this will change very soon.) I’ve tried and tried to do both and have done both, not long term though. (It’s a process people.) I used to beat myself up when I couldn’t find the time to paint or write in peace because sleep took me over. About two weeks into my month of writing I found out that life will get in the way of your dreams, if you choose. You can fight it only for so long. And I fought it, I tried to stay up late, wake up early, act like I didn’t hear my children so my husband would take care of it so I could have five more minutes to work on a post or draw. I tried to control everything. And I discovered that it wasn’t working for me. I’ve never really adhered to any schedules or routines but it was apparent that if I wanted to make this work, I needed to discipline myself even if it was a minor change. AND it worked! I didn’t fill out a calendar and post on the fridge or anything like that. I didn’t even say anything to anyone. I just said, if you want it, find the time and do what you can with that time. I realized that in order for this to work for me, I would have to break up my projects into smaller tasks. For example, the kids get carried away playing with their toys and a few minutes of work time revealed itself to me. I would pull out my cellphone and work on a post. If I didn’t complete that post, no worries, I would work on it later. To be honest, starting a project and having to stop and leave it for later took some time getting use too. I began to schedule posts in advance, find photos beforehand and embrace the interruptions as opportunities to spend more quality time with my children. I was planning out my various posts and projects by breaking them into smaller digestible pieces that could be completed in minutes rather than hours…AND then it happened…I realized I was….WORKING SMARTER! Eventually I know I will get “hungry” and wake up at 4am like it’s in my blood, but until then, I’m doing what I can when I can and I’m not stressed about it anymore. And I’m happier!
Be sure to let me know of any additional ways that helped you find a better work life balance in the comments below, I would love to hear about what worked for you. Follow me on Instagram @kymberligrant.
Good luck with your writing, artworks or whatever it is you are working on. Just know you can achieve anything if you find what works best for you.