Last week I talked about the struggles I was having balancing home, work and family life. This is part 2 of my journey to have a more balanced life and fit painting in more regularly.
Last week we left off with David Allen's, Get stuff done methods. I had just finish the mind dump. I then went on to break up my list into the sections he recommends. I was doing okay with this and had my projects written up and moving the next task on to the, what he calls the next actionable task list when things started to not be quite jelling in my mind. I could see what he was getting at, but My passed to do list (which by the way he says are useless and to throw them out as there is never enough detail on them to be useful.) still felt like it would be useful to me. A lot of my to do list is actually more a routines list for each day of the week so I don't forget to do something for the whole week. Such as post a painting on redbubble, fill up my buffer feed for twitter, put out the rubbish on Friday so I don't miss the collection. Also I had broken up the housework into different days of the week so I could spread it out. For instance bathroom Monday, living room Tuesday. You get the idea. David Allen's system it seemed to me didn't allow for those tasks you did on a regular bases that you want as reminders on certain days of the week.
Also the project list was kind of repetitive as well. After all if I need to post a painting on the website the process is the same each time but for different paintings. Having to write the very next step down all the time wasn't that helpful. I would sooner have a list with all the steps for each project and just tick then off for each painting. Not write each step on a separate list each time I had finished one step. To much writing! But I did like the project lists and could see they would be useful for me and also the mind dump I think is a great idea and will carry on with those. The Actionable task list would be useful as a running list of what I wanted to do that week but working it in tandem with my weekly routines list Seemed the best way for me to go. Still to many things on it though for each day.
So I am dressing better and sleeping better so far in this journey but still not getting painting done. And my Things to do list just seems even longer now as instead of some of it being in my head it is all written down. I'm still not selling anymore art so not helping financially. So what's the next step.
If I can't make anymore money maybe I can save some!
This would take the pressure off me feeling guilty about not earning enough. YouTube was already suggesting video's like The Secrets of the Millionaire mind by T. Harv Eker and Dave Ramsy's Money matters and The Total Money makeover. So I was learning how rich people have been proven to think differently from poor people and how to take baby steps towards building wealth. Which was all very interesting but a lot of it didn't seem very relevant to me. A lot of the way to save that was talked about is based on using the america tax system which, not living in america would have to be adjusted for where I live.
But I did pick up a couple of good tips that I have started to do. One was "What's your Latte factor" What is the thing you spend just a little on regularly that you hardly notice at the time but if you saved that money instead, it is surprising how fast it will grow.
Dave Ramsy says you should take baby steps in your saving program. First being, saving up an emergence fund. I decided I would work through his baby steps. If you are interested I would recommend reading his book. I listened to his audio book which has him narrating which I thought was great. I am on baby step three, Not needing to do baby step Two . So He says to save 3 months worth of expenses and building up to six months for when "life happens" which it will. ( Which it did this week when our cars boot got smashed in , So that needs fixing.) So my first step was to figure out where I could save some money and not really even notice the difference. I decided I could take money from our household budget which covers food, clothes, entertainment and other incidentals. I'm the one that spends this as I do all the shopping. We have a separate account for this and each week we pay money into it. I decided to take a little out and put it into a savings account before I had done any shopping that week. Then at the end of the week if I had any left over I would also put that into saving and start fresh for the next week. So even if I didn't manage to save anything at the end of the week I was still saving a little from the money I had put in at the beginning. It's been working well so far. I don't really notice that money missing from the beginning of the week. But I am also being quite mindful of what I am spending. In the past when I haven't used all the housekeeping money instead of saving it, It would just get spent in some mysteries way. Often on the garden or clothes. Embarrassed face here! I'm not going to go into anymore details here. Just go read the the book! It's very motivational and makes a lot of sense. It has made me rethink some of our spending decisions. Such as when our second car was written off recently and there was an issue with the insurance. Instead of getting a loan or making car payments we decided to make do with only one car. It has been an adjustment but it's working and we are saving more money because we only need to maintain one car.
Why do we want more money in our lives, money is not everything, after all you can't take it with you as they say. Well the number one reason it's said that people want more money is Freedom. Freedom from stress of worrying about paying the bills, freedom to do what you want when you want. Freedom to spend time on the things we want and the freedom to do it with those we love. Which leads me nicely into my next thing I wanted to work on.
Spending time with the people I love.My eldest is off to university next year. I feel I am running out of time to spend with her. My youngest is growing up fast. For my birthday and mothers day this year. I wanted a fun day out with the family. We went bowling and mini golfing and out to lunch. But on an everyday basis we hardly seem to see each other. And I'm always "working" from morning till evening when I go to bed of late.
Dinner time has been rushed. I look around half an hour before dinner time and think "What can I cook in Half an Hour". We have have been eating in front of the TV with the news on lately. Not really good eating watching most of the time. If the kids wanted to talk I couldn't hear them and Dad would get annoyed that he couldn't hear the news.
So I am reinstating family dinners around the dinner table. I am taking the time to plan our meals, then I know what to shop for and I know what to prepare for dinner. Saving money and stress.
I get to talk to the kids at dinner time and more importantly listen to them. I'm really liking it. The kids have even admitted they are enjoying it to. The other day my youngest said to me "Mum we have all these candles but we never use them!" so out they came. We now have dinner with candle light and I even have taken to finding some nice quiet relaxing music to put while we eat. It fits in with the whole appreciating and enjoying what we have As well as appreciating and enjoying each other.
So I'm counting this as a huge step in the right direction.
So far so good, but still a ways to go. I am still not getting the house in order or getting more painting done. But I am feeling a little less stressed. The systems I have in place are helping me so I don't forget to do things. Those same systems help to keep my mind quieter so I can sleep better. I have taken positive steps to help us save money and am spending some quality time with the family.
Next week I will tell you how I finally get my house in order and make some surprising revelations about why I'm not getting more painting done. I know this blog hasn't had much to do with painting but it's all about my journey into having a balanced life and so I can sustain a consistent art journey.