Passion Projects

Side Hustle Adventures: How I Made My First $1,000 With Sip and Sew Workshops

My pal Crystal Hammond of Sophisticated Spender. Crystal is really amazing. She excels at pretty much anything she sets her sights on doing. In the past few years she has made extra cash on the side doing everything from teaching fitness classes to blogging. And she is an amazing seamstress. She has created some gorgeous dresses, skirts—whatever she envisions. I’m not really sure how she pulls it off.

Earlier this year Crystal raked in her first $1,000 from her side business, Sip and Sew Old Town in the Washington, D.C., area. She teaches workshops for groups to sew a purse, pillow, bow ties and what have you while sipping on libations.

Making money off of what you love to do really hits home with me because what I now do full-time started off as a side hustle. And I’m a firm believer that if you can make your first $100 doing something, you can make $500, then $1,000, and so forth. Crystal shares with Cheapsters her journey in side hustling and just exactly how she made her first thousand bucks:


Cheapsters: You are so talented when it comes to making your own skirts, dresses, pillows. How did you get into sewing?

Crystal Hammond: My mom used to sew and I used to hand sew clothes for my barbies.  My interest increased in high school. That’s when I learned to sew, but we didn’t have machines or anything like that.  We read about sewing in books and had to figure it out on our own if we wanted to learn.  

Well I went out and made myself a three-piece suit and got laughed right back outta school.  I quickly quit sewing after that debacle. Then around 5 or 6 years ago, I saw a really nice Nicole Miller dress in a magazine.  I fell in love with it, but couldn’t afford it. Then a friend told me that JoAnn’s was selling the very same Nicole Miller fabric.  So I bought the fabric and made my own version of that dress.  

Cheapsters: That’s awesome. So tell us a little bit about Sip and Sew Old Town? What is it exactly?

Crystal: We basically turn piles of fabric into something cool.  From newbies to experts, all sewing levels will enjoy this sewing class in beautiful Old Town Alexandria! We provide everything: sewing machines, supplies, materials and fabric.  We’ve had private birthday parties where a group of 10-year-olds made pillows. We’ve had couples parties where the women made a clutch and the men made a matching tie–or bowtie. We’ve made pencil skirts and zippered pouches.  All while sipping wine—and other crazy cool non-alcoholic beverages.  

I also have other classes in the pipeline: Bourbon and Blankets, Mommy and Me, Girls Night Out, Tutus for Races and a host of others.

Cheapsters: How did you get the idea for Sip and Sew Old Town?

Crystal: I attended a Sip and Sew class around four years ago.  We made a skirt that didn’t fit too well and I’ve never even worn it since then.  And I thought, if I ever had a class like that, we’d make items that the students would love.

Enter the $1K Side Hustle Income Challenge. I partnered with another blogger to challenge our readers—and ourselves—to make an extra $1,000 with a side hustle.  My initial idea was to have an online sewing webinar or something along those lines. So I created a sewing website.  It flopped big time.  Only two people signed up, and I was not gaining any followers or getting any interest.  However, I did an in-home-sewing lesson for one of the people who had signed up for my online sewing class.  We made pencil skirts, and that’s when I figured I can teach others that exact same thing.  I reached out to a local business and asked if I could teach my sewing class in her Paint and Sip studio on her least busy day.

 

Cheapsters: So how exactly did you make your first $1,000?

Crystal: I made my first $1,000 by being flexible.  I didn’t make a lot with the online webinar, and figured out what went wrong and quickly made changes. Even though 0 people signed up for my first Sip and Sew, I knew there was a demand for the service. That 0 meant that my message was not getting in front of the people who were looking for me.  So I started networking.  I introduced myself to people, got a mentor,  spent money on training, and on Facebook ads. I created a sewing meetup, posted more and more pictures on Instagram, and communicated more clearly with what I offered and what the students would learn.  I am also a part of some amazing Facebook groups.

I made $65 in November, $455 in December (thanks to an Eventbrite ad, Facebook ads, and an Instagram account created, $$1,059 in January (thanks to: Meetup Group created, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, networking with other local business owners).  Not sure what my totals were for February, but I’ve created a new Meetup group, and joined the gain more clients challenge and that’s helped tremendously!

 

Cheapsters: You’ve had other side hustles before. For instance, teaching Zumba, doing meal prep, and blogging. How did those other side hustles help Sip and Sew Old Town be successful?

Crystal: I still blog and teach the fitness side hustles and I’ve carried over all of the skills over to Sip and Sew Old Town.  

From blogging I’ve learned how to:
+Keep a consistent schedule
+Create websites
+Create a weekly newsletter
+Create cute pictures and ads
+Negotiate and barter

From teaching Zumba (and INSANITY) I’ve learned:
+Paying attention during class
+ a large group of people
+how to treat every individual like i want to be treated
+how to be myself in front of others (hello introvert!)

Cheapsters: What did you learn from your other side hustles that helped?

Crystal:

Learn to fail. I had a lot of failures on this journey.  Like I said earlier, I would never have made $1,000 in 1 month if I’d given up after the first class had 0 signups.  I wasn’t married to any single idea or single way of doing things.  I paid $95 for an Eventbrite ad that produced 0 signups.  I was really shy about asking the owner of the Paint And Sip studio if I could teach my sewing class there.  When I originally met her back in the spring of 2016, I didn’t ask.  It wasn’t until I volunteered to teach a Zumba class at her studio, I mustered up the courage to ask her if I could teach my sewing class there.  She was delighted and even more excited that I was.  Can you imagine if I had asked her earlier?

Work through bouts of discouragement. I also got discouraged because a very fancy sewing shop had opened doors two blocks away from where I’d be hosting my class.  I thought, ‘why would they pick my class over that fancy place?” I also doubted myself.  I don’t have any formal sewing training. I don’t have any special training or certificates or degrees. All that I’ve learned, I’ve learned from my mom and YouTube.

Practice makes perfect. When I taught the first class you’d have thought I was moving into the studio. I packed in so much stuff. I had so many things that I didn’t need.  Now I can pack an entire class into just three suitcases.  

Reflect. I also take about an hour after each class and write in my journal.  I write three things:  1) What went well; 2) what didn’t go well, and 3) how to improve for next time.

 

Cheapsters: How do you balance your day job with your side hustles?

Crystal: I keep a very tight schedule.  I work my eight hours on weekdays, then the real work begins. I have a notebook and calendar and I plan every single task.  

I also do the same things over and over.  For instance, on Mondays, I post a “Sewing Tip of the Day”, the day before a class I send a “Here’s what to expect at tomorrow’s class” email, and  three days after each class I send a “thank you” email to class attendees. Every day I have a task and I make sure that task is done.

It takes out all the guesswork on how to run my business. It’s just like teaching Zumba: I know that every Friday at 11:00, I’m at the gym teaching my class.  If you apply that to all of your tasks, it will go very smooth!

 

Cheapsters: What advice do you have for those who want to do their own side hustle?

Crystal:

Get started now. Like today!  Get a mentor, get a counselor, get involved in your side hustle industry.  

Get to know all you can about your side hustle. Learn from others!  Learn from me!  I am available for any and all questions and assistance. I actually help people start their own websites.  

Build your tribe. But I didn’t no do all of this on my own. I have so many advisors, mentors, coaches, friends, and so forth. I rely on my tribe to help me be great. Just don’t doubt yourself.  

Be authentic. People always hesitate because they think something has already been done but this is where you need to let your personality shine through.  People are looking for you. They are looking for someone who they can relate to and connect with. What if you’re a fitness instructor who wears glasses? You can teach a future fitness instructor who wears glasses all you can about how you make it work. A short person who loves basketball? A non-engineer who loves computers?  So be your authentic self when going after your dreams.  

Cheapsters: What’s next for Sip and Sew Old Town?

Crystal: We’re going on location. I’ve created Sip and Sew Woodbridge!  I am now traveling all over Virginia, and working on getting licensed in Maryland, D.C., Illinois, and a few other states.  Who knows, we may go international! I also want to focus on private parties, too.

Treat Your Creative Projects Like They’re Clients

Last month when I was in Chicago I attended a Creative Mornings talk with Charles Adler, one of the co-founders of KickStarter. He talked about this illustrator who created a crowdfunding campaign to fund an art project and asked for very little money.

The reason why he wanted to do this was not necessarily because he needed, say, three bucks from his friends to draw a couple of illos, but that it created a social obligation to sit his butt down and draw! From the mouth of Charles:

“Financing, or capital, provides social pressure to complete a project.”

I makes perfect sense. Why do we finish side gigs and cast our personal projects aside? Why is it so hard to keep commitments we make with ourselves to finish that book, or comic strip, or song? Because there’s very little social pressure to complete these things.

In a perfect world, we’d be passionate and wholly focused to our craft. But in real life, we’re pulled by a messy jumble of obligations and distractions, at at times, a lack of internal motivation. So what if we tried treating our creative projects as clients? Here are a few ways to go about it:


Create a Production Schedule
I’ve just recently started using Trello to keep track of my tasks for my fiction writing and my blog. Trello is an easy way is free project management software that helps you stay organized and on task. Similar sites are Asana. You can create different to-do lists and then move them over to different stages of the production. It’s pretty rad and best of all, it’s free!

While I haven’t been able to stick to it 100 percent, it’s a start. Creating deadlines for the little things, such as finishing a scene in a story, or drafting a list of literary journals to submit to. Start small and level up.

Set Firm Deadlines
If you don’t set firm deadlines for yourself, it’ll be harder to make progress. Linking these to events or contests helps a ton. Is there a reading you need to prepare for? Are you in a writer’s workshop and need to submit pages? Or is there a fiction contest coming up you’d like to be in the running for? Maybe you can post snippets of your work on Tumblr and commit to posting on the regular.

Pay Yourself

And in the most literal sense, the difference between a “professional” and an “amateur” is that a professional gets paid for their work. So why not pay yourself?  A few months ago I committed to spending 15 minutes every morning. I kept it up for a good three months; it was awesome! But then I soon fell off the bandwagon. So I recently started paying myself five bucks (yup) for every 15 minutes I work on my short stories. I use this app called Digit, and I just transfer money into my Digit account, which I’m a huge fan of.

I know I’m not the most generous boss on the planet, but hey it’s enough to get me working. And how much you pay yourself can be tricky. You want to pay yourself so little that you’d prefer to forgo the cash and take a nap instead, but you don’t want to pay yourself so much that you can’t afford it. I did the math and if I wrote for a minimum of 15 minutes 20 days a month, that would be $100. And if I wrote for an hour 20 days a month? That’s $400.

Give Yourself a Bonus
If that seems like more cash than you can afford, you can set up a reward system instead. Like treat yourself to a video game or some fun gadget once you put in X number of hours. You can also treat yourself to a bonus on top of any money you are paying yourself.  To be honest, the $100-$400 I pay myself to write fiction may be too hefty at the moment, so I may switch to a “bonus plan” instead.

Give Yourself a Performance Evaluation
I know, it’s starting to get super nerdy. But why not check in with yourself every few months to see what progress you’ve made, how you can improve, and what you can check? There’s really no need to beat yourself over the head what you have yet to accomplish, and the mountain of work that lies ahead of you. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins, too!

While it may seem like a pain in the rear, treating your creative project like a client could help you make serious headway. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Making the Most of a Lull

So after working like crazy for a good long while, about a month ago I hit a bit of a lull. One of my clients was occupied with another project, my part-time onsite job with my old employer was tapering off, and another outlet stopped their paid content. You know, that is just the way of Freelance Lyfe, and a lot of the time you have zero control over that kind of thing.

While I had been working hard to keep my head well above water since last fall, it as my first lull and found myself with more free time than I had ever imagined.

And you know what? I started to get super anxious. All that spare time allowed my neurotic thoughts to creep up. What a waste of mental energy, amirite?

But whatever you do, DONT PANIC.

You could squander time quibbling over whether you did something wrong, or if your days as a if you should look into getting a part-time gig, or back into the 9-5. But you know what, unless you absolutely have to, all those negative thoughts are just wasted energy. Focus instead on what you can be doing with all that free time. You can even think of it as a gift.

Get Mo’ Work
If you need to get your hustle on, tap into your network to see what kinds of job opportunities are out there. I’ll go in greater detail about creating a CRM, or Customer Relations Management System, that will help you keep track current clients and potential leads, in a later post, but you’ll want to tap into connections you’ve already linked up with, which you’ll most likely have an easier time securing work.

Even if you have a lull, when it comes to consistent, ongoing work, if you can, you’ll want to keep your same pay scale as when you were busy. But what if you really need the money? I still say stick to your guns as much as possible, because when the work does ramp up again, you’ll be quick to drop the lower-paying clients. Plus you might not be as motivated to do your best work. That being said, you’re ultimately doing a disservice to both you and your clients.

For instance, I have a price range I would ideally like to charge per article, which can vary according to the type of outlet (i.e., a corporate client versus a consumer blog), word count, and the amount of research and interviewing is involved. I’m been tracking the time it takes me to write an article since I began freelancing full-time last fall, and I have an idea of how many articles I can take on in a given week. Of course, this isn’t a perfect science.

It’s also a good opportunity to go for the clients and type of work you really want to do. Who are your dream clients? What was lacking in the work you had been doing?  Having a lull is kind of like clearing half of your slate, and having half a clean slate to work with. Kind of exciting, right?

Work on Yo’ Passion Projects
Okay, you know that project you’ve let fallen by the wayside, the one that you treat like an ugly stepchild? Well, don’t lollygag. Now’s your time to get crackin’ on what you really care about. Now when I sensed a lull coming on, I reached out to some outlets that were hiring to secure more work. But I soon stopped myself.

When I first started freelancing, I had thought about doing the minimal amount of work to get by so I could focus on finishing the first draft of my short story collection and working on this blog, but work ramped up quickly and I was reluctant to decline work, especially as I was used to having a day job.

Well guess what? I’m in a really situation to focus on my passion projects. And the best part is that I didn’t really have to let go of anything. I’ll be doing the whole digital nomad thing for the month of June, and am in Chicago. I’ve got a lot I want to explore while I’m here, including biking through the neighborhoods, eating delicious grub, and working on my collection of short stories.

If you want some time to focus on personal projects or to just enjoy yourself, I find it helpful to create a bit of structure. For instance, maybe you can spend a morning block of time to do your freelance work, and then spend the afternoon focusing on your personal stuff. And set a specific time. I have lied to myself by creating a loose structure. You just gotta stay accountable!

Enjoy Yo’ Self!
Give yourself permission to chill. You earned it. And even if you didn’t, so what? Do it anyway. Go check out a museum in the middle of a day, or go out for a leisurely lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time. It’s okay not to be focused on making the dollars 24/7. In fact, you’ll probably gain some perspective on the role work, having a career identity, and making money plays in your life.

Now for work-oriented people such as myself, this may be easier said than done. I tend to turn anything and everything into a project. I will eventually learn to chill out and have less on my plate, but to be honest not sure how to go about it. Does that sound strange? Oh well.

So yea, make the most of your lull. No need to fret or despair. I guess it’s important to remember that no one client is responsible for your financial well-being, professional development, or sanity. You are. 

Illustration by Viet Vu 

Stop Treating Your Creative Projects Like Ugly Stepchildren

About a year ago I launched a 40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project challenge. It was a way to inspire others (myself included) to sit their butts down and focus on the creative pursuits that matter the most to them. Like many, I struggle with giving love to my projects. Instead, I treat them like ugly stepchildren.

The funny thing is that there’s nothing major stopping me from working on my stuff. In many ways I’m in an ideal situation to devote quite a bit of time to what I love to do. I’m single, I don’t have any kids or aging parents to take care of. I don’t even have any pets.  And most important, I don’t have a career that requires putting in 80-hour weeks. In fact, a lot of my life choices are geared toward carving out time to work on my personal projects.  (more…)

Five Artistic Challenges to Boost Your Creativity

//Special guest post by Steven Ray Morris//

Getting motivated is tough, but the only way to motivate yourself is to just do it. Since working full-time often allows us to shirk off our personal creative goals, I got in the habit of signing up for various artistic challenges to help give me the motivation I needed to get started. Notably NaNoWriMo helped me write my first novel in a month, and during the RPM Challenge I wrote and recorded an entire album in a month. These challenges are tough, but they make you feel good too encouraging me to continue creating even after they were over. So here are five artistic challenges I want to share with you that will boost your creativity! (more…)

How to Make Storyboards that Don’t Suck

By Dax Schaffer
All artwork courtesy of Dax Schaffer

Have an idea for a movie or music video? Even a script maybe? Here are some tips from artist extraordinaire Dax Schaffer on storyboarding for beginners:

1. Every project is different.
You can always break the rules when it makes sense to. Make sure to adjust yourself to the team and style around you. When working for a client, you are trying to accomplish something in their head as well as your own. Boarding helps visualize this for people who may sometimes not be as visually versed as yourself.

Be patient and remember that what you do is a specialized skill. Your goal is to communicate a vision so that other people can understand it before you or a team arrive at a finished product. Film—and especially animation—is expensive; that’s why we create a blueprint that can be easily changed.

2. Don’t just do talking heads.
And by talking heads I mean “medium wide” shots. Always think about camera placement and how it affects the emotion of the scene. Storyboredom is a great place to learn the basics of storyboarding.

3. Don’t get too attached to a board.
No need to overwork it. It’s a sketch, a blueprint to help you find your way to the finished product. So be okay with throwing out a scene if it isn’t working and starting anew. That’s the point of storyboarding.

4. Remember all the elements you are juggling as a board artist.
You are planning cinematography, acting, and sometimes designing characters/environments for the first time. You have to do it all well, so make sure you keep it all in the back of your mind. If you’re working in animation, this is especially true, and on some shows board artists are also used as writers (i.e., Fish Hooks, Steven Universe, Phineas & Ferb.)
Being Late to Class Storyboard 01 (ver3)

5. Keep in mind depth.
You need to sell the fact that characters are existing in a believable space. In other words, know perspective (there is no way around this, you need to understand it). Changing placement of the different components of a composition can help create a stronger image too. Make sure there are foreground and background elements to enforce this. Place characters and the “camera” in a way that cutting back and forth makes sense (180 degree rule).

6. Have fun. Make sure you enjoy your work. If you don’t enjoy it, other people sure aren’t going to.

About Dax: Dax is a storyboard artist, animator, and illustrator living in Los Angeles. He is pretty tall and likes Dr. Who, maybe a little too much.

Other articles in the “Don’t Suck” series:
How to Make a Music Video That Doesn’t Suck
How to Make a YouTube Series That Doesn’t Suck

How to Level Up on your Creative Projects without Burning a Hole in Your Pocket

If you’re like me, you get tons of ideas for creative projects you want to work on. I oftentimes feel momentarily possessed, jotting down ideas and business plans without much restraint. Right now what consumes my free time (besides idling on my couch, eating potato chips and thinking about working on things) are blogging, writing fiction, and exercising. If I had an infinite amount of time, which nobody on this planet is privileged of having, I would venture into making music and joining a roller derby team. First world problems, am I right?

I don’t think of myself as a very ambitious person. I certainly don’t aspire to cure cancer to to solve world hunger, but I love getting knee-deep making stuff and making sure I have enough time for what I love to do. So how do you level up on projects that could potentially take up a lot of time and resources? Here are a few ways to help you get started:

Example: Learn to record music.
Well, 20 years ago you essentially needed to have access to top-notch audio recording equipment that only professional engineers in the industry could afford. These days, all you really need is a computer, home audio recording software, and a few basic items.

Step 1. Start Small.
Schedule some time each week to work on your project. I had started a 40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project series, which offers some parameters on how to approach working on your project. Find free or very inexpensive ways. For instance, if I want to learn about home audio recording, I can watch videos on YouTube the Pensado’s Place or fiddle around with Garage Band on your computer.

Step 2. Give Yourself a Time Limit.
After X amount of time, access how your progress and your interest. Is the momentum still there? Do you still want to keep doing it, to invest more, and to keep learning? It’s totally okay if you don’t feel like doing it. You can either drop it, take a break, or try to figure out what’s working and what’s not. If you want to keep working on it, proceed to the next step.

Step 3. Level Up.
Alright, so you are getting more into recording music. What to do now? Allocate a little more funds and time to the project. If you were spending 30 minutes each week before and zero money, maybe you can spend an hour each week and invest in a USB audio interface for a few hundred bucks.

Step 4. Borrow Stuff.

If you have pals who are into the same things as you, ask them if you can borrow equipment or buy their used wares. Or you can join a meetup to meet fellow hobbyists. You can also hunt for used equipment on Craigslist, Freecycle, or at one of those rock ‘n’ roll flea markets (yes, they exist). When I started getting into roller derby last year, I was able to loan gear during practice until I felt committed enough to spend $300 on my own gear. I waited close to a year before doing so. I would’ve felt bad throwing money away if I bought all that gear and didn’t end up using really.

So the idea is that you eventually “level up,” gradually spending more time and resources into the project. Ideally there should be a natural momentum.

Hope this helps get you started. Have fun! 🙂

What project are you working on, and what are some challenges you have for starting out?

40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project: Making the Most Out of Your Weekend Getaway

As some of you may know, me and a few of my pals are knee-deep in Round 2 of the 40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project. I’m been really getting into my fiction writing  that I haven’t been updating this blog as much (apologies, dear Cheapsters)! For those new to the challenge, here’s a checklist to get you up to speed.

One part of the challenge is to go on a weekend getaway with your project, meaning an entire weekend dedicated solely to what you love to do:

Create a Schedule and Structure:
A few questions to ask yourself:

-When are you going on your weekend getaway?
-Where are you taking it? Are you going to mix it up and get your work done at a few different sites?
-What will you be working on?

Plan out when you are taking your weekend getaway well ahead of time. You can either do a 4 + 4 + 8 break down like my gal pal Crystal of SophisticatedSpender.com did (i.e., 4 hours on Friday, 4 hours on Saturday, and 8 hours on Sunday) or an 8 + 8 break down (Saturday and Sunday). During the last challenge, I attempted to do 8 hours on Saturday and 8 on Sunday, which was super challenging for me. I think I may do a 4 + 4+ 8 for Round 2. These are merely suggestions and a starting point, of course. Figure out what works best with your schedule. You can work in your Creation Cave or at a coffee shop or chill out spot. The last go-round I scheduled it while catsitting for my friend.

Treat it Like a Vacation:
Would you double-book if you were going out of town? This is probably the hardest part of the getaway, but you’ve got one of your friends was throwing a rager and you were out of town, you wouldn’t commit to attending, would you?

Take Breaks: The weekend getaway can feel like a marathon if you’re working on mentally or physically rigorous projects such as writing a book or getting into a new team sport, so be sure to take breaks or reward yourself. You can use a productivity timer such as Focus Booster or Internet blocker such as Freedom, or you can jot down what you’ll get to do when you complete X or make Y amount of progress. Reward yourself every so often, too. 🙂

Explore: Take time to try something new, go in a different direction, or spend a little extra time working on something you’ve been stuck on. It’s an opportunity to dig a little deeper on an aspect of your project.

Sticking to it is the most important thing. Just remember: process over progress. Have fun!

photo credit: fantasy via photopin (license)

Join the 40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project Wrap Party

Thursday is the final day of the first round of the 40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project Challenge. Congrats! You’re almost done completing the challenge! To celebrate, we’ll be convening over Google Hangout for a virtual wrap party. We can talk about our projects, the process, challenges, and how to plan for the next one if we plan on doing another challenge in the near future. It’ll be happening this Friday, March 13 from 5 pm – 6 pm PST (8 pm – 9 pm EST).

Here’s a link to our Facebook Group and to the event page for the party.
See you there!

Getting the Most Out of Journaling

For those who are participating in the 40 Days of Dating Your Passion Project, journaling  is probably the most open-ended part of the challenge, so here are some parameters to help guide you in creating the list of questions. I myself feel as if I’ve wading through the muck in figuring how to get the most out of journaling:

 

You can design the questionnaire portion of the challenge to do any of the following:

-help you structure your dates
-figure out what is blocking you/getting in the way of your creativity
-hone in on what you want to learn
-journal about your one-hour learning sessions (i.e., reading a book, taking an online tutorial)

You can also add a few questions at the end of each week to help you gain focus for the week ahead.

 

My questionnaire is pretty basic. As my project is writing fiction, I wanted to keep it short and sweet so I could dedicated more of my time toward working on my project. My questions are:

  1. What did I work on today?
    2. What do I plan on working on tomorrow?
    3. What did I learn (any discoveries or pointers?)

 

Here are some example questionnaires from fellow participants in this first round of the challenge:


Carletta S. Hurt
Projects: Writing a book and an Examiner.com project

  1. What did I do today?
  2. Rate my productivity.
  3. What am I doing tomorrow?
  4. Open – thoughts, ideas, whatever as it relates to the project


Crystal Hammond
Project: Redesigning her blog
Sophisticated Spender

  1. What did I work on?
  2. What did you learn?
  3. What do you hope to change?
  4. What’s tomorrow’s plan?

Other possible questions:
-What was today’s greatest challenge?
-How I can improve tomorrow?
-What did I have the most fun doing?

Here are a few pointers:

Embrace distractions. Achieving focus is such hard work. When I am feeling distracted and it’s tempting to compulsively sign on to Facebook or check my Insta feed, I’ll take a deep breath. If you really need to take a break from your work, you can do some journaling so you’ll be productive in the interim. I like journaling in my creation cave since I’m already in the flow. If it’s getting difficult, I’ll try to take a deep breath at the top of each minute. This helps me stay on course. I’ve learned that it’s okay to literally twiddle my thumbs or stare off into space. I don’t always have to have my fingers on the keyboard, typing furiously.

Set a limit. This isn’t something I do, but it might help you if you need a little more structure.  You can write just one page a day or set a time limit. The important thing during this challenge is not so much the results or end product, but the process and what you learned about the way you work and ultimately about yourself.

We’re almost nearing the end of the challenge. Just four more days!

Photo: <<<<<<<<<<<< turn the page via photopin (license)