Awhile back I read Bill O’Hanlon’s book Do One Thing Different. I tried the technique a few times and wrote about it here.

It’s a nice technique, and an easy way to shake up your world in a tiny way that can get you surprisingly big results.

But sometimes I do too much of a good thing.

Now, lately my friends and associates have heard me frantically planning for my upcoming retail craft show in Westport Connecticut, the prestigious Westport Creative Arts Festival.

It’s going to be the first time I do an out-of-state retail craft show I have to drive to; the first time I can take only one carload’s worth of my work and booth; and (the scariest thing) the first time I have only a few hours of set-up time.

It’s that last one that’s the worst. Every single show I’ve done for the past 8 years, I’ve had a full two days of set-up.

This time I will have three hours.

It’s really thrown me for a loop. Man, to hear me fuss and whine about it, you’d think I was dealing with some life-or-death situation.

It’s not, of course, and I know that. But my brain does not seem to know that.

I wake up at 3 a.m., thinking, “I can’t get all my Propanels in the car! What will I do for walls?!” The next night I wake up at 4 a.m., thinking, “How will I get set up in only THREE HOURS?!” The third night, I wake up at 5 a.m. and can’t get back to sleep. I worry about how to improve the layout of my booth, and how to update my jewelry display.

The next night I can’t sleep at all, worrying that no one will buy my work.

I agonize about how to simplify my set-up. I run new booth configurations through my head. I make mental lists of new things I could try display-wise. I worry about getting lost in Connecticut. (It looks so much bigger than New Hampshire on the map….) I worry about falling asleep while driving down (I do that a lot.)

What fun!

Anyway, for some reason, the mental clouds parted and the sun broke through yesterday. I had a brainstorm. An inspiration.

It’s just another show.

Another huge revelation: I’m trying to change too many things at once.

I only have to do ONE thing different: Simplify the booth.

This is not the time for working out a new booth configuration. This is not the time for working out new displays (except the simplest kind.)

As difficult as it seems at 3 a.m., I’m sure I can find Connecticut. Just head south! Mapquest will help me find Westport. Other people have found it. I can, too.

My daughter is going with me. Although she is still an exciting and entertaining driver to ride with (she’s only had her license about six months), she does not get drowsy while driving. As long as I can stay awake long enough to navigate for her, she will do fine.

So if you find yourself in a frenzy about something in your art or your biz this season, learn from my mistake.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t reinvent your booth, your business, your life in one fell swoop.

Work on ONE THING.

And put a good map in the car.