Today I wanna chat about something we ALL experience as busy Etsy sellers...
Decisions are HARD. And you have to make LOTS of them everyday.
EVERYONE here is well versed in making decisions: between kids, family, running a business, keeping your life from exploding in your face...
But somehow it seems like the MORE decisions you have to make, the HARDER it gets.
WTF is THAT about???!?
If you're feeling a little *more than tired* and you catch yourself *rolling your eyes* 🙄🙄🙄 when someone asks you a simple question ("paper or plastic?"..."soup or sandwich?" -- that kind of thing)...
Then you are experiencing something called DECISION FATIGUE.
What the Hell is Decision Fatigue??
I bet you can guess by the name, but let's go through it just for shits and giggles:
Basically there's this phenomenon that happens to people make MORE decisions in a day.
And as a business owner, let's be honest...You DEFINITELY make more decisions than you bargained for!
When you're faced with a non-stop WALL of decisions -- coming at you and demanding your attention at ALL hours -- your brain gets WORN OUT.
The brain gets really SICK of repeating decision-making task over and over.
And because your brain feels like it's overheating, you might notice some really funky side effects:
- You can make decisions in your business, but you might struggle making decisions in your daily life, because you're just TOO tired to make a choice.
- You sit on a task for WEEKS or MONTHS because you can't commit to some small decision that's holding up your progress.
- You spend TONS of your time planning things and "getting ready"...But when it comes to taking action, you're really struggling to make things happen (or even start in the first place!)
If you ever used my favorite catchphrase, "I'm not making any decisions today!"...then you def know what I'm talking about.
Because decision fatigue is so COMMON and DEBILITATING, I want to use this article to help you BEAT IT, once and for all! ⇣ ⇣
HOW Do I Make Decision Fatigue GO AWAY?
If you're ready to STOP stalling and become the WILDLY productive human you dream of being...then I have one thing to say to you:
It will NEVER be perfect. ⇣ ⇣
LET GO of that perfect version of yourself NOW.
Your "better version" of yourself already exists. YOU ARE that person. You just need to adjust the way you think about things to bring it out.
And REMEMBER: Even perfect, highly productive people REQUIRE days off, slow days, weeks to recoup, and opportunities to just WASTE TIME.
In MANY cultures, wasting time is basically a BAD WORD...But we NEED it to survive.
So quit beating yourself up for days off, and stop looking at highly productive people and WISHING you could be like them.
I spend YEARS forcing myself to work harder and get things done faster. And after all those years of 14-hour days and 7 day-workweeks, I realized something:
At THAT ⇡ rate, I'm LITERALLY going to drive myself to a permanent state of depression, or the nearest asylum.
Because I'd prefer NOT to completely ruin my own future, I chose to EASE the F*CK UP on myself.
STEP ONE: Start with a Schedule You Can ACTUALLY Stick To! ⇣
Here's how a REAL work week looks for me, and I think it's a great RULER for you to measure your own workday.
I work in defined BLOCKS. During those blocks, my job is to just shut up and work. I'm technically doing one right now!
My blocks look like this:
I work from 9:30am - 12:30pm (3 hours) Monday thru Thursday.
On Friday, I do live broadcasts, finances, and ALL MY meetings. Because nothing tends to get done on Friday, I just embraced that and kept the day for simple tasks that don't require much effort from me.
My blocks are SMALL but INTENSE. If I don't finish my task during a block, then I have to move it to TOMORROW and try to finish it then.
⇡ This "tomorrow" thing usually forces me to finish something on time NO MATTER WHAT -- I always WANT to finish something more than I want to keep working on it.
I am DEAD SERIOUS about my "stop working" time. At 12:30pm every day my alarm goes off, and I STOP...even if I'm MID SENTENCE.
This level of commitment keeps me sane and REDUCES the day to day PRESSURE massively...Because working 3 hours doesn't feel like a BURDEN.
But That Won't WORK for ME!
Most people *IMMEDIATELY* say to me: "I can't get enough done in 3 hours, this won't work for me!!" -- And they GIVE UP before they even try.
Trust me, I thought 3 hours a day wasn't enough either. It took me a few months to actually get myself down to 3 hours a day.
And when I did, two things happened:
- I realized that I was filling empty space with tasks. Meaning if I sat down at the computer, without KNOWING what I need to do that day, I would just sit there for 8 hours and do POINTLESS SHIT (like email, following the thread of whatever people asked me to do, etc).
- The PRESSURE of just 3 hours meant I got tasks done like a BADASS -- suddenly I wasn't missing deadlines anymore! And I felt WAY CALMER because it only took me a little time each day to maintain my work easily!
STEP TWO: Let Your Mental State Dictate YOUR SCHEDULE, Not the Other Way Around!!
You may find that you need to EASE up on yourself for a while if you're currently having a hard time. ⇣ ⇣
I am currently in a VERY HEALTHY mental state, which matters when it comes to how much I get done in a week ⇣
EVEN THOUGH I am the BEST I've EVER felt, I still find that my brain REQUIRES 3 work days per month that are basically mush.
I just want to repeat that because it's important:
I am a human who exercises 3-5x per week, eats only clean food, and has not had any mental health problems for 2 years.
BUT I STILL NEED "WORK" DAYS THAT INVOLVE ME DOING NOTHING.
If you need pointless days now and then, you are NORMAL and HEALTHY.
And there's ZERO reason to beat yourself up for that, because you will ALWAYS need it...Even if you are the BEST version of you!!
I create a schedule that I can ADJUST if I need to...So that way I can have a "mush" day whenever I need it.
Meaning that if I don't feel like working today, I can just move today's work task to another week and deal with it then.
If there's a task I KEEP moving, week after week, then that means I DON'T WANT to do that task...and it's very likely that nothing on this earth will get me to do it.
NOTE THAT when there is some task I can't get myself to do, instead of berating myself and getting upset about it, I just ACCEPT that I don't want to do it.
It's totally 100% OK if you don't want to do something, even if it's important!
My friend's daughter refuses to eat the brown M&Ms...She DOESN'T want to do something, so she just plain doesn't do it. ⇣ ⇣
And we don't berate kids (or ourselves) for things like food preferences...We just avoid the foods we don't like.
WORK SHOULD BE THE SAME.
There's no reason to get upset if you have something on your list that you don't want to do.
In fact, if this happens, you have TWO OPTIONS ⇣
- You can outsource it (aka get someone else to do it -- this is less expensive than you'd think. Etsy assistants on Tribe Hire start at $26 an hour)
- OR ask yourself "is this task BUSINESS CRITICAL?" meaning, would the business literally GO UNDER next month if you don't do this task?
I can tell you from experience that even if something FEELS like it's life or death, I've literally NEVER come across a SINGLE task that, left undone, would actually destroy my entire business.
So...I just cross it off my to-do list, and I don't do it!! Task done -- time to move on!
STEP THREE: Schedule Fixed, Now it's Time to Make Decisions EASIER!
By fixing your schedule, we're creating an ENVIRONMENT that's designed to help you *deal with decisions easily*.
So don't skip this step, because it's THE THING that constantly prevents burnout.
When you're doing ONE thing per day, and you have specific working hours (I encourage you to try THREE hours per day like me, but you can start with five if you want!)...
Anyway, once you've set up your schedule, we're ready to do the next bit:
How to TAKE ACTION on decisions you can't seem to make...The CHEAT SHEET ⇣ ⇣
The best way to make any decision is to flip a coin. (SERIOUSLY!)
Let's be honest: while HOLLYWOOD certainly makes it seem like every decision we make is life or death, in reality, NO DECISION is that big a deal.
99.9% of the time, we can CHANGE our decision.
Which means decisions aren't DANGEROUS, so we can make them however we want, without freaking out about the result!
So if you're PARALYZED and you can't move forward because you have a decision to make, GET RID OF THE FEAR and just flip a coin!
Remember that even when decisions SEEM really permanent (aka, "let's move to Canada!") -- you MADE that decision, and you can make another one the exact same way ("I'm cold now, let's move to California!")
I see most Etsy sellers getting stuck with stuff like BRANDING. (Just pick a logo, NO ONE will look at your shop and say "I'm not buying because I hate this logo!")
So STOP torturing yourself if you can't make a decision! Just flip a coin and get it over with!
Start with the thing you like the most. It can be that simple.
Let's say I have a bag of skittles (aw man, do I want some skittles!!)
Purple skittles are my favorite, so I eat them first.
Then red, so I eat those second...
Look at that, I made TWO decisions without even thinking about it. If you hand me a bag of skittles, ⇡ THAT ⇡ is exactly what happens, every time.
And that decision is EASY because I'm doing the things I like BEST, first.
So, if you're stuck, just DO THE PARTS you're excited about!!
Get those bits done NOW! They're fun, so why not?? We'll worry about the rest another day! 😉
Planning and "Getting Ready" is a stalling technique - you're making an excuse for something!
Hey guess what? If you're planning everything about your Etsy shop so that it will all be PERFECT when you launch...
THEN YOU ARE LYING TO YOURSELF.
"Getting Ready" is a STALLING TECHNIQUE.
Because let's be REAL for a second:
There is NO SUCH THING as perfection. On Etsy, or ANYWHERE.
I could give you all of 5 minutes, and you could find a LIST of things that are wrong with ANY shop on Etsy.
That's because HUMANS aren't perfect, we never will be, and if you're trying to make ANYTHING in your life "planned to perfection", then it's because you're SCARED of something.
So when YOU try to create the "perfect" Etsy shop, and it's taking MONTHS or YEARS...
That's because you're terrified no one will buy from you. Or people will give you a bad review. Or that you'll fail publicly.
And hey, guess what??
When you're a new Etsy seller, no one even notices your shop. You're lucky if 100 people see your Etsy shop in it's first week.
Here's the reality kids: Everyone on the internet is TOO BUSY thinking about themselves (and what THEY WANT) to even care what you're doing.
None of us are celebrities. The rest of the world doesn't give two shits about what we're doing.
And remember, if people don't like your shop, they'll just keep scrolling and move on! It's NOT a big deal! Other people scrolling doesn't affect you at all!
When you WAIT to launch your shop or roll out a new product, you're TOO BUSY worrying about yourself.
If you catch yourself PLANNING and "GETTING READY", then here's your challenge:
Mark a DAY on your calendar EVERY WEEK. (The whole day -- this is ALL you're doing for the entire day!)
And call it "DO WHAT I PLANNED DAY".
So if you want to open an Etsy shop, that day you WILL ACTUALLY open the shop.
Even if you do NOTHING else.
Even if you add ZERO listings and just pick a name. That COUNTS as making progress!
So if you're constantly PLANNING and "GETTING READY", but you're never actually DOING ANYTHING...
Then you ADD a "GET IT DONE!!" day on your calendar every week! ⇣
I hope this article helps you make decisions with less of the PAIN IN THE ASS factor!