Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To Everything Its Time and Season

I though the above pendant was quite appropriate for what was on my mind today. Make sure you check out her shop - it's full of fun stuff!

So what is on my mind? The changing seasons, how life transforms over time, planning, time management, balancing acts, and all that fun stuff. What do I mean? Well, as my readers know, I took a break from my shops and I'm currently working hard to get them back into shape. Part of doing that is figuring out how I'm going to manage my time spent online. 

Every small business owner and artisan faces the same challenge. How do you find the time to create, sell, promote, and live the rest of your life? Right now I'm balancing my shop, life with my hubby, my writing, and my health. Granted, that's the old mix I was managing before, but things have changed some.

I learned last month that I have osteoarthritis in my hips and knees, in addition to the wrist and shoulder that I already knew about. Yes, I'm way to young to have this condition normally. It's the result of spending three years on prednisone because of my asthma (which I now, thank God! am off of!). 

This means I have to rearrange my thinking patterns. I'm used to the old, "If it hurts, rest it," mindset. Makes sense right? Not with arthritis. If I don't move enough - I'll hurt more! If I'm hurting really bad, I probably haven't been moving enough. Well, unless I recently did something to put extra stress on my knees, like dancing last week, in which case moving is still necessary because I'll hurt even more if I don't move than if I do! 

Now, this isn't a pity me post. I'm just sharing so you can understand my thought process. In fact, learning the "why" behind my pain means that I'm managing it much better, doing more than I have in a long time (like dancing!), and feeling better! 

The only downside is that I need to limit my time online. The first step to that was realizing that I need to get up and move, (clean, take a short walk, dance in living room, something!) every 45mins to an hour. If I don't my joints will just lock up and I'll hurt. 

The next step is figuring out how I'm going to get done the things I want to at my computer! This biggest challenge is managing my time with my teams on Etsy and Artfire. For now I'm not going to be dropping out from any of my teams, and I'm going to start interacting more with them, but I'm going to have to be careful how I do that. Here's the steps I'm going to take:

1. Move my Etsy Beadweavers from receiving every e-mail to receiving a daily digest. (already done!)
2. Follow the bloggers in their Etsy thread (cuz their my original peeps) but don't try to keep up with other threads.
3. Make a list of the commitments I have on-line. Etsy teams, Artfire guilds, writing forum mod duties.
4. Contact the leader of the team I'm not sure I'll be able to stay on. 
5. Put posting items and blogging before networking/chatting/visiting blogs!

Is there anything you should be doing to streamline your time?


Kathleen said...

So sorry that you have arthritis =( Great that you are being proactive about it and setting a schedule that will benefit you. I too am limiting my time online - it's just better to get up and move than sit all the time - for all of us! Hoping it all works well for you!

storybeader said...

everybody's thinking of changing things around! I like your new blog look! {:-D

MelJoy Creations said...

I know what you're going through with the arthritis. So true how you have to keep moving to stay away from pain. I can tell you that w/ short but frequent stretches/walking/moving, it will improve. You get the synovial fluid going and it lubricates the joint areas. I also recommend yoga and/or pilates, as you get all the benefits, they helps build proper body alignment, but they're not harsh on the joints.
Keep us posted on your progress. Great story and I'm sure there are tons of people just like us going through the same thing. Nice to know we're not alone!

TiLT said...

Streamline time? You mean I can't just create more? Darn :P
I'll try to limit my online time and only a couple threads...the bloggers being the main one of course :)
I am supposed to head up a guild, but it's not working...I may have to hand it over....possibly f=drop AF all together or at least go non-pro :(

tamdoll said...

I like your #5 - I have to create more and talk less about it. It's so hard to keep up with everything - but a general overview sometimes is good - like the daily digests. I try to read everyone's blog posts if they mention them in forum threads, but I don't always go back to the forum and talk about those posts, too.
So many things! And I understand what you're talking about as far as moving. Whenever I start to ache, I know I haven't been moving as much as I should have - so putting that in the schedule has been important for me lately.

Good luck with your organizing!

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

Sounds like a great group of priorities Ruthie! Some thing we all MUST do. Now if only I were finishing my quarterly taxes instead of reading your blog.... I'd be equally prioritized!

BeadedTail said...

Great list of goals and priorities Ruthie! I like the new look of your blog and wish you better health and much success in 2011!