I admit it: I forget things. Not just the "what was I saying?" or "Why did I walk into this room?" sort of forgetfulness, but the sometimes scary, "Where am I?" or "Did I already take this medication?" kind of forgetfulness. It is mostly just annoying, but can be dangerous also. I stopped driving when I started getting these serious spells of forgetfulness mixed with severe dizziness and disorientation spells. Fibromyalgia does more than just make your body hurt, it affects your brain too. In fact, in recent studies, it was found that people with fibromyalgia actually experience grey matter decreases in their brains (So NO more blond jokes, okay?? It is the fibro, NOT my hair color, lol!).
More annoying than not having a driver's license (I hated driving anyway), is the fact that I am trying to run an online business while dealing with this forgetfulness. I never forget orders, as I pack and ship them as soon as I receive payment (thank you email notification!), but online businesses require online marketing, social networking, etc. Here are the items that require my daily attention, in addition to emails (of which I get about 200 daily):
1. I am a part of 5 online groups to support other businesses and promote my own through Etsy, my main selling site: Etsy for Animals, Creative Animal Relief, Christian Artists Street Team, Etsy Ontario and Capital Crafters. I am leader of one of these groups, the Capital Crafters, for artists in the Ottawa area.
2. I am the owner of 3 blogs, and contributor to a fourth.
3. I am a part of 10 (yes 10!) different social networking sites: The Capital Crafters Forum, Flickr, Twitter, Plurk, Squidoo, Facebook (where I have my personal page, and then a fan page and a group page for my business), MySpace, Beader's Showcase, Stylehive, and UsTrendy.com.
4. I am a member of 2 online Fibromyalgia support groups
5. I design and run my own website and prayer list
6. I am a part of 2 other online selling venues aside from Etsy. They are: iCraft.ca and Artfire.com
7. I am a part of Entrecard, which means I visit many different blogs each day to collect "cards" which I use to advertise on other blogs.
8. 100 or so blogs I follow daily (I love all of you and hate to miss a day in your lives!!)
9. I am trying to make new jewelry for my collections
10. The fact that as I work from home, I see the mess that my house becomes and HAVE to clean it.
11. I help my fiancee with his business by remotely monitoring servers and doing his bookkeeping.
12. I am disabled and need to frequently rest, sit, lie down or nap to stay semi-mobile.
13. The gardens! Oh my gosh the gardens! Yeah, the weather has been either too rainy to go out, or so hot and buggy that it is borderline dangerous to do any kind of heavy yard work (heatstroke is baaaad).
14. Plus I have a fiancee who needs attention, and a dog that demands attention. At least I think I did....they were around here somewhere.....
So how the heck do I remember to do all of this??? I tried to write things down, but inevitably I forgot to write some of the things down and those things just didn't get done. I tried typing a one page general list of things that need to be done, but I am the kind of person that needs a daily list that I can write on and cross things off as they are done (I love that sense of accomplishment!).
Enter Microsoft Publisher! I managed to get my business items and chores divided into fairly easy to do daily lists, with space to add more if I need to. It took about 2 hours, but only because I wanted to make it pretty - hey, if I have to wash windows, it must at least look pretty on paper! I then spent about 1/2 an hour fighting with my printer as it does not automatically print double sided - it just prints 1 copy on two separate pages, so you have to rearrange the pages and then reprint to get a double sided booklet. That and, my printer is in the basement (it is big and loud, so it stays there, and I run up and down the stairs to get things printed), which, on the bright side, gives me a good workout going up and down 16 stairs every time I need to print something!
So all of this to say that I now have 2 months worth of daily to-do lists, with all of my household chores, yard chores and business items clearly stated out in nicely timed intervals. I'll let you know how well they work out!
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