Well I finally managed to find a day to give our house some TLC last week & there’s actually nothing that brings me more ‘peace’ - other than being on holiday! I have always been organised & very tidy, I’ve never really known any different as my Mum is the same & I can’t bear leaving things out or clothes on the floor - it just isn’t me. A lot of my friends laugh, one has even commented “how do you live like this” when coming to our new house for the first time as everything was in its place, nothing on the bedside tables, but I just throw it right back at her as she’s probably the messiest person I know (love you if you’re reading). But being tidy, cleaning & organising things actually has a mental affect on me & helps me work more efficiently. I know this makes me sound mad, but I’m sure there’s some people who are the same!? If I haven’t cleaned the house for ages (trust me I don’t have time when I’m busy, I’ve learnt that it can wait sometimes), I get very stressed & little things bug me. Sometimes it’s a case of me having emails to answer or edits to start but I feel like I need to organsise my surroundings, which organises my mind which equals better work. It means I don’t have in the back of my mind "I really need to clean the bathrooms - I should vacuume - wash the sheets - should I do emails first - shall I edit - should probably work out - AHHHH!" Mind overload. How boring & old fashioned do I sound?! But don’t you feel great after sorting your wardrobe out & getting rid of things you don’t wear, or getting into a bed with clean sheets? Basically I am a happier soul in clean surroundings & I really believe your surroundings have a huge impact on your mind, & as I do work a lot from home, I have come to learn this more about myself. It also helps that Rob is the same, which I am thankful for as it’s great that I don’t have to pick up his pants or put the toilet seat down. Yes! He puts the seat down every time! He will go mad reading this..... whoops.
Not only this, I adore anything interior & feel in another life or time I would’ve loved to be an interior designer. I would actually say it’s my hobby. I get so excited over home decor & do spend a lot of my free time in Homesense examining things I don’t need but that make me feel happy or to take pride in our house. Sometimes I buy things & Rob says “where’s that going” & I say “don’t know yet” then I have lots of fun finding the perfect place.
I also think the organised part of my brain has an affect on how I work & sometimes this can be a bad thing for me but wonderful for my clients! The feeling I get if I haven’t cleaned the house is exactly the same if I have a backlog of edits or if I had set aside a day to edit but loads of emails come through. I go into overdrive & try to get everything done all at once, even though the edits still have plenty of time, as I do give myself time in my contract with clients, but I still get the “got to get this done” panic as there’s nothing worse than the “when will we see our photos” email (which I’ve only ever had TWICE and this wasn’t cause they were late, it was just down to excitement). I have met others in the industry who still haven’t finished the edit of a wedding from a couple of months before cause they have others, & quite frankly that makes me feel sick. This is not a negative on them, if they have this time frame set out in their contacts & the clients are aware, it’s fine. I used to give myself 3 weeks but clients would have them within 2, then I changed to 4 weeks and clients would have them within 3 - maybe before, & now I have changed to 5 but mainly to try & ease some stress on myself. You can see why I don’t have a life in the summer! So yes, you must manage client expectations but sometimes I need to not overwork myself too much & realise “Jess you still have time, so go & clean, or buy a pineapple object for the coffee table, or go out & have a G&T love!”. Being super organised is mainly a positive for me but can have it’s downfalls!
I do think I am learning that it's okay to just take a step back, people are a lot more patient than I think. But I need to get better with breaking away from work to actually relax. If I am in the house & not doing anything on the computer or that would be benefitting my business, I feel guilty. Which is why I probably clean as this is still doing something productive, but still to help me focus more, rather than just lying on the settee & watching a film. I think I need to set a time where I just STOP & walk away from the computer, but it's SO hard, especially with how busy I am.
So I guess you may have learnt something new about me. What helps you work better? What stresses you out running your own business? Do you do too much? Have you set working hours? I would love to know! You can leave a comment below if you wish. Hope you have enjoyed a TINY peek at our house.