Today I will be talking about the book What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything* by Barbara Sher.
I was first introduced to Barbara Sher by Meg over at that That Hummingbird Life. She recommended the book Refuse to Choose (Kindle edition)* which I still haven’t actually got around to reading but my library had her other book so I decided to read that first.
The main theme of the book is kind of to tell you what sort of job or career you can have or do if you’re multi-passionate, but I got so much more from this book. It is absolutely full of practical tips for living a multi-passionate life.
First of all, she gives another name for people who are multi-passionate. Scanners! I love learning more about myself and I am definitely a scanner.
She also gives you permission to do all the things. Not just permission, but encourages it. So here are 5 practical things you can implement into your multi-passionate life.
1. Realise you have more time than you think you do
She starts the practical lessons with saying to create a huge 2-year wall calendar to show you just how long you really have to do all the things.
You can put up a physical calendar, or do what I do and just
visualise it when I get those “I have no time to do anything” moments.
She knows that many of us use time as an excuse for not being able to do all the things, but says to just work when you can and all the little things add up which is pretty much how I run my life.
But of course, you could also dedicate a chunk of time to work on side projects such as a Saturday afternoon or after work on Wednesdays.
And it doesn’t always have to be something you’re doing for a job such as a side business, it can just be something you’re interested in or a hobby or maybe a bit of both.
You could also sign up for a class or course on the subject you’re interested in. There’s an online course for just about everything now, and it’s easier than ever to get the information we want and need. And by paying for a course we are more likely to make the time to complete it.
2. Set up your day on your terms
She then goes on to divide scanners into people who like to work on lots of projects at once, to people who go all in on something until they’ve got what they need then move on. And everything in between.
She names them too, but I don’t have the book in front of me and can’t remember the name for all of them.
But I am definitely someone who like to have multiple things on the go at once, but I also have 1 or 2 core things that I’m always working on. Can you guess what one is?
She gives you examples of how you can set up your day depending on how you like to do your projects. The one that appealed to me most is to set your day up like a school day so every hour or 2 you change your focus to a new subject or project.
When I have no more kids at home this is totally how I’m setting up my day. I might even get myself a bell. But honestly, for me right now this part wasn’t all that practical, but definitely gave me something to aspire to in the future and really think about what sort of set up would make me my most productive self.
And then, of course, there will be some of you who are happy to work on the same thing all day and get totally engrossed in it.
Just remember to set your day up around your own preferences (if you can). Even if it’s just for 1 or 2 days a week when you’re off work. Or, like me, just something you’re dreaming about. It’s good to know how we will work best.
3. create a scanner day book
Some other things she encourages you to create is a scanner day book. She goes into a lot of detail on how to set this up but I kind of used it as a daydreaming journal.
I just write my random daydreams in about what I might do one day and see where it goes. This is actually something I got from the book, she just words it a bit different. It’s really nice to do some daydreaming sometimes. This is a great way to get creativity flowing.
Just literally write any idea that comes into your self of something you want to do or create. So I title and date the starting entry and then leave a couple of pages blank before I start writing about the next idea in case I come back to the first one. You will definitely go back to it.
I actually have pages for day dreams in the Cross Stitch Project Planner I created last year.
4. organise your projects
She also highly recommends the use of ring binders to keep all your research in from all your projects.
I don’t use ring binders, but I do have a lot of notebooks all for different parts of the business and of course, many WIP bags to keep all my cross stitch projects safe and separated, ready to grab when I get 5 minutes.
And our best tool? Pinterest!! Setting up boards of all the things and start saving those tutorial pins. You can check out my Pinterest to see all the crafty tutorials I have been saving.
5. create a space for projects
She recommends having a cart on wheels with all your projects on so when you do get time to do something it’s just ready for you. I am thinking that someone at IKEA read this book.
I do actually have a cart on wheels (like this Rackaphile 3-Tier Utility Cart*) that I used to keep all my projects on, but it has been taken over by kids art supplies. But I don’t mind because I only need a few bags, notebooks and my phone to work on my stuff.
Something else she recommends is when you’re finished with your project/research, or even just taking a break, put everything in a box and on a shelf or display it on a shelf/wall. It will show you that working on these projects is not a waste of time.
I honestly cannot recommend this book highly enough. I had so many ah-ha moments and so much to take away from it.
If you’re struggling with wanting to do all the things I think this is definitely worth picking up. It works for both hobbies and how to have a career as a multi-passionate.
Another book that I’m currently reading that will help with a multi-passionate career is the Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon*. Just in case you’re looking for a little extra reading about this subject.
While we’re on the subject of reading, I have set up a Goodreads group for Hannah Hand Makes! I know so many of you love to read as well as stitch, so thought that would be a fun place for us to connect!
Pattern of the month
This months pattern is Valentine’s Day related and is I Love You a Latte from Ringcat on Etsy. This is a cute and easy stitch for Valentine’s Day measuring just 2 inches x 2 inches.
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- How to Make a Cross Stitch Lampshade