I've been having a hard time for the past few months.
I am a tried and true project oriented person rather than one who is process-oriented. What this means is that if I have a project, all is good. Horizon, for instance, great, sure it was overwhelming, my work load tripled but it was a concentrated project. So once that project was complete - as we have no more Horizon yarn to dye, I've been finding myself wandering around the dye studio from one task to the next. My heart not really in it. So I wander out to the sales floor, tidying, seeing many things that need to get done, everything taking a bit longer than it should. A phone call here, an email there, work that I don't really want to deal with piles up.
One of the big things I have to face is that even though I love re-arranging the shelves, putting yarn away, even tagging yarn with price tags as it is mundane and in some respects meditative, there are things that I must get done that my staff can't do and I must do those things - like financial projects, production schedules, and the creation of new products and projects. And really those things aren't so bad, if I have enough space and time to do them.
For me, spending time alone gives my creative energy, and this certainly has not been anywhere near a primary focus on my daily to-do list. Sure enough, I found myself not really wanting to come to work and being frustrated because in my right mind, I love my job and I love the shop. And there are so many projects that I want to work on all of which continue to live in my head instead of me pulling them forth into reality. What I desired is to be fully present at work when at work, and carve out creative time at home, where I am fully present.
Something I have been needing to do, though dreading to do, is create job descriptions and daily to-do lists for myself and the staff. With the notice this week, that my beloved co-worker and co-blogger, Huelo is leaving Verb, I hit rock bottom and decided I finally needed to dive in, give more attention to management, and more structure to the shop and dye studio. What this meant is that I didn't get to do any dyeing this week which is my creative output and the shop's immediate financial input. In the long run though, the shop and my creative well being will suffer, as it has been, without this structure.
Sarah, Adrienne, and I sat down and wrote out every single thing we do as a shop. Through looking at the shop calendar, the staff schedule, and each individual staff member's job description, we began to delegate tasks with the help of a google docs spreadsheet and our google calendar. Luckily, the shop's daily to-do list is fairly predictable. On the other hand, the dye studio and my schedule, due to sporadic special events such as visiting teachers, can be erratic and the fact that our work flow is heavier towards the end of the month. To accommodate this, as a dye studio, our schedule is based upon a monthly schedule rather than a daily or weekly schedule. One of my favorite aspects of our new system, is that it is all online. So I can work from home and access the staff's to-do list, my to-do list, and the dye studio's to-do list in one fell swoop. We've only been using this new system for 3 days but I already feel better.
Management of myself and my staff (as it stands there 8 of us, and will most likely grow) has definitely been the hardest part of my job since opening the shop and new dyeing studio. Though without my staff's help, there would be no Verb. I think and hope that these new developments mean more time for all of us to create happily. Right now, I am typing this entry from home, uninterrupted. I can't begin to describe how thrilling that is for me! It's the small things in life, right?
P.S. We are hiring. Please get in touch if you are interested in working in the shop part-time. Thanks!