How I Still Manage to Craft and Work Full Time.

By Amy Simpson

One thing that people often ask me is how I manage to do so many crafts and work full time. Literally, crafting (especially knitting) is my therapy, it’s the thing that I do to stay calm and take my mind off the stresses of every day life. I also find knitting really helps if I am cross or frustrated about something – I amaze myself that I can knit so fast when I’m really annoyed about something. My boyfriend says that my needles have steam coming off them when I am fuming!!

How do I balance my time? Well, it depends on the day, some are more productive than others. I tend to get carried away with ideas and I have 1678287089 ideas for new projects before I even finish the one I have! Some days I’ll be really productive after work and some days I won’t do much at all apart from browse for new projects.

I like to plan my crafting week though, I set myself little goals that I want to achieve and deadlines for when I want to finish projects by, this keeps me motivated. I also do a variety of projects so I don’t get bored, I might sew one evening, knit the next and crochet the next.

I have recently started a new job and I have found that knitting in my lunch break really helps me feel more refreshed rather than spending half an hour browsing aimlessly on my phone (lets face it, I’m usually looking through more projects to make!!), so I’ve been making a special effort to knit on my lunch break – something easy though with short rows so I can feel I’ve made some progress.

I like to make lists in my notebook of projects and find it really satisfying to tick things off. I also love small projects that grow quickly, as I feel so much more accomplished when I make smaller things. Sometimes I’ll have a bigger project on going on the side which I’ll pick up in between smaller projects.

These are my top tips that help me get a good work-life balance. I am no expert, these are just tips that have helped me.

1 – Don’t be harsh on yourself – I used to be really harsh on myself if I got home from work and didn’t feel like doing any crafting or didn’t make decent progress. I’ve realised that it is a hobby and something I do for my own mental health, therefore I should craft when I WANT to, not because I have it. I think that’s really important to remember.

2 – Work on things that make you happy – life is too short to work on projects that stress you out or that you don’t enjoy. I’ve learnt that projects that I am passionate about turn out a lot nicer than things I feel like I have to make or that people want me to make but I’m not excited about (this is a rare occurrence).

3 – It’s ok to say NO. I need to practice this more, but it’s so important. You do not have to crochet/knit/sew things that people ask you to make for them. I have a big tendency to get over excited and promise 643461728 things to people and then realise I work full time and have no time to make them all. I need to learn that it is ok to say no if I don’t have time.

4 – Find time during the day – make the most of little moments, such as lunch breaks, during a commute (if you use the bus/train), it really helps my mental health and makes me feel more productive (and I work long hours so means I still have time for plenty of craft). I knit a few rows most nights when I get into bed and sometimes a few rows in the morning (I’m not a morning person though!!). I often knit/crochet while watching TV shows too.

5 – Talk to people who also do your craft, I think this is important to find someone to share your craft with, maybe you could do a project together. I share my crafting with my Mum as she knits too and I’ve recently got my good friend and her mum into knitting too – which I’m so chuffed about. One of my other close friends sews so we have a great time sharing sewing tips/makes. I also send lots of pictures to my Mamma, my Nan and my cousin and they love to hear about what I’ve been making. My most favourite people to make for are people I love as it makes me so happy to craft for people that are special to me. I am starting a project for my cousin to make curtains for her horse box – I’m so excited for this one, as she is very special to me and I know how much she loves her horse box!

Happy crafting guys. I’d love if you would leave me a comment below – let me know what you want me to write about next time. πŸ™‚

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