Weekly Update: Progress, time management follow up, and cats. (04/25/19)

Hey there folks!

Just giving you that sweet sweet weekly update, which is about two weeks late, but I’m still calling it a weekly update because time is an illusion. Shh.

The Main Biz

-The pillowcase project is officially 100% done! That means that the instructions for the two 2 Spirit designs, the Intersex design, and the Demisexual/romantic design are all up and available! I had a lot of fun making up the samples, so I hope that y’all who use these patterns do too!

Six half-sized pillowcase design samples, pinned up on a grey wall with an ironing board in front of it. The ironing board has an industrial iron on its left, and a pair of scissors on its right. The descriptions of the samples are below.

Six half-sized pillowcase design samples, pinned up on a grey wall with an ironing board in front of it. The ironing board has an industrial iron on its left, and a pair of scissors on its right. The descriptions of the samples are below.

Like I said on Instagram, these babies are looking for some folks to give them a happy home. If you’d like to take one up, send me a DM on Insta @makeitparlour, or an email at jasonway@makeitparlour.com, and we’ll arrange for stuff to happen. :)

-The binder pattern has been digitized, and I’m in the process of grading them. So yep! That’s coming along.

I’m a little bit worried about hitting the June deadline, to be honest-  I’m moving to a city four hours away from me at the end of May, so I’m suspecting that’s going to interfere. I have a mostly full-time job right now too, so it’s difficult to find the hours in the day to accomplish everything I want to do. I really hope I can make the June deadline, but thank you in advance for your patience if it doesn’t happen right then.

-The embellishment pattern is sitting on the back burner for the time being, because I’m making the binder my first priority. I’m unsure as to when it will come out, but I’m aiming for mid-May, ideally.

Time Management Follow Up

So ADHD isn’t anything new to me; I was diagnosed with it when I was in early elementary school. But like with any illness, some days are better than others. I’ve been trying out a lot of stuff these past few weeks in regard to time management. If you also suffer from ADHD (or any general executive dysfunction), some of this might be helpful to you, too.

The logo for Jessica McCabe’s “How To ADHD”. It’s a simple drawing of a pink brain inside a cyan circle, with “How to” on the left side of the brain and “ADHD” on the right. All of this is on a lemon yellow background.

The logo for Jessica McCabe’s “How To ADHD”. It’s a simple drawing of a pink brain inside a cyan circle, with “How to” on the left side of the brain and “ADHD” on the right. All of this is on a lemon yellow background.

In my research, I found the youtube channel How To ADHD. The host, Jessica McCabe, is peppy and fun without being hard to watch, and she has some really practical solutions to dilemmas that I haven’t heard a lot of other people talk about. These videos are for the ADHD community, but I think that a lot of this advice has great application to those who deal with executive dysfunction or other mental illnesses that inhibit the capacity to be productive.

My favourite videos related to time management are these two:

Why we procrastinate

How to fight your procrastination and win

Something that really resonates with me is that, because she also has ADHD, sometimes her expectations for herself as a content creator don’t line up with what ends up happening. And she doesn’t hide it! I still feel a lot of shame around that particular facet of my business; I don’t want to come off as unreliable or flakey.

But watching other people talk about what’s slipped through their cracks spurs me forward past failure and grounds me. I have to remind myself that a lot of what doing Parlour entails is stuff I’ve never done before, like having a social media presence or building and maintaining a website. But I’m privileged to be able to make these kinds of mistakes with y’all along the way.

I’m also taking a stab at bullet journaling.

A bullet journal laid open in front of a black keyboard. The bullet journal has a couple task lists, and the writing uses black, red, kiwi green, and cyan pens.

A bullet journal laid open in front of a black keyboard. The bullet journal has a couple task lists, and the writing uses black, red, kiwi green, and cyan pens.

Do you wanna hear something funny? I used to snub my nose at bullet journals specifically because I felt like it would be too much for my ADHD to keep track of. And certainly, I can’t participate in the level of stationary craft that some bujos (bullet journal people) can do because I’ll just spend all my time decorating the damn thing.

But the creator of the bullet journal system, Ryder Carroll, developed it around his ADHD. I didn’t even know he had ADHD.

While I’m having difficulties holding myself to engaging with the journal daily, I have noticed that it helps. The greatest successes I’ve had are from scheduling my entire day and setting alarms that tell me when to do things. The challenge has been that the mental labour it takes to check in with this system can hold me for 15-20 minutes, and I need to be giving myself space for that to happen.

Even if I don’t continue to use this for time management, the index system is enough for me to keep going back to this. Success! Here’s an intro to the bullet journal system.

Some other things I’ve discovered:

-Hyperfocusing can be a great tool in a crisis, but it comes at a cost: I’ve found I need more time to recoup after working longer than an hour and a half. So I can commit to those hyperfocused sessions, but I also need to build that recoup time into my day so I don’t disappoint myself.

-I start to resent and avoid my work if I don’t block in enough time for self care (duh). So, it benefits me to book in that time so I’m guaranteed to have it. Left to my own devices, I will squander a chunk of my time trying to plan what work I wanna do, get overwhelmed trying to figure out what’s the first priority, and then have a 3-5 hour hyperfocusing session while mentally battling negative self-talk. While planning my day takes mental labour, the payoff is worth it for my health and my long-term productivity.

-It’s important for me to remember that when I’m working, that it’s fun. It’s stuff I like to do, not a punishment. It’s only the expectations I saddle myself with that make it feel otherwise.

So the TL;DR:

-Plan your time. Literally, plan your time, set timers, write a little plan for the day and try to follow along it. It’s probably going to end differently than you wanted it to, but I think just practicing mindfulness around how you’re spending your time can be beneficial. You might be surprised.

-Make sure you’re dedicating adequate time for your self care, which includes having fun!

-Work in chunks of time that make you feel accomplished, not drained (I do 30 mins to 1h 30mins, but your mileage may vary)

-Enjoy the process! Be present in it.

-curb negative self talk. If you’re self-flagellating when you work, that’s what you’ll associate it with. Make your work something you want to return to.

-Returning to a habit is more important than perfoming it consistently. Hold yourself to it, and the rest will follow, even if you drop the ball.

Closing thoughts

I meant for this post to go up on the 20th, not the 25th. So while it’s been a bit since the Alberta provinciaal election happened, I can’t let that go unacknowledged. (Context for non-Canadians: Alberta had a few conservative parties vying for government this election, and Alberta voted in the one with countless scandals, homophobic MPs, and a leader who’s being investigated for essentially rigging his nomination for party leader).

It’s simultaneously a really great time in history to be queer, and also deeply terrifying. I understand that not all conservative voters who voted in the United Conservative Party are anti LGBTQIA2S+, but knowing that 52% of 70% of Alberta’s population voted in a leader who has been homophobic and actively working against us for his whole career is disturbing. I wish I could say this hasn’t changed how I interact with the public world- I want to be fearless and unapologetic about my queerness.

But it has. I am afraid, as I’m sure so many of you are, in a tangible way that I haven’t been in over a decade.

I’m not gonna get super into it because we hear enough of that already, I think. But it means that you’re not experiencing this alone, and that when governments fail to take care of their vulnerable populations, our greatest strength is revealed in our ability to take care of one another. In spite of hate, we persevere.

Seymour, my terrible assistant, laying on a pattern drafting project on my table. There’s rulers and pencils scattered around. Seymour is a himalayan siamese with a dark face and paws, long fur, big blue eyes, and whiskers for days. His toe beans are nubbins. His stomach is fluffy. And he’s just daring you to touch it.  (Don’t touch it, he’s a liar.)

Seymour, my terrible assistant, laying on a pattern drafting project on my table. There’s rulers and pencils scattered around. Seymour is a himalayan siamese with a dark face and paws, long fur, big blue eyes, and whiskers for days. His toe beans are nubbins. His stomach is fluffy. And he’s just daring you to touch it.
(Don’t touch it, he’s a liar.)

And while it feels like the world is crashing around us, the wind still blows. Leaves still grow on trees. Cats lay on stuff you’re working on. Llife goes on, and so will we.

Take care, stay safe, and know that you are loved.

Jason