WHAT HAS TO BE DONE NEXT? Time Management Tips for You

The Fair is coming! The Fair is coming!
The Fair is coming! The Fair is coming!

I don’t know about you, but right now, I’m running around like a crazed monkey in a giant puzzle box, trying to figure out what to do next.

I’m getting ready for the 80th League of NH Craftsmen’s Annual Craft Fair. It’s where I see most of my collectors and patrons for the year. It’s where I introduce new work. In my booth, I create the most beautiful displays for my jewelry, sculpture and wall hangings. This year, it’s where I’ll introduce my new presentation of my artifacts in restored vintage and antique wood boxes.

Ignore the woodworking shop in the background.  That's my friend Gary's studio where I've been working all summer.
Ignore the woodworking shop in the background. That’s my friend Gary’s studio where I’ve been working all summer.

It’s also where I’ll struggle to put up my booth on a ski slope, stand for nine days in 95 degree weather, and wonder if I’ll make enough money to get me through to next year’s show.

Joy and anguish, laughter and tears, exhilaration and exhaustion, uplifted spirit and aching body. Yes, welcome to the Fair!

I’m getting too old for this.

But I digress. This is about preparing for the Fair: Creating new work (which always seems to happen as the deadlines approach). Creating and mailing a postcard to my customer list (over 1,000, and I’m very picky about who gets on my mailing list nowadays). Rebuilding inventory. Trying to remember where I packed my display stands and signs two years ago. (I took a “sabbatical” last year for knee replacement surgery.)

There are two techniques I use to get everything done. And asking a question is the key to both.

The first is productive procrastination. I’ve written about this before, so briefly… If you procrastinate (come on, ‘fess up! No one can see you while you’re reading this!) then, when faced with a task you don’t want to do, ask yourself:

What else can I do instead?

This technique is powerful, because you can get so much done! Just not the one thing you really need to do.

The second just came to me this morning. (I am the slow learner. That’s why I still write about this stuff.) Today, for example, I have about a bajillion things to do. (Yes, the procrastination technique backfired.) So the last few days I’ve been frantic–absolutely frantic–(hence the monkey metephor) about how much I have to do, and how much has gone wrong, resulting in even less time to finish this. So this morning, I ask myself:

What has to be done next?

And the answer (today–finish my postcard mailing!) gives clarity. And relief. And peace.

It’s not my fault the mailing is running late. I gave the order to the printer in plenty of time to make my deadline. (I have learned the printing lesson the hard way, and almost always allow 3x the time needed for a print job.) But despite my best efforts, the print job is late, my new label making program is overwhelming complicated, and everything that could have gone wrong, did.

The fact remains, however… What I need to do right now is label, stamp and mail these postcards.

That clarity is enough to slow my heart rate and soothe my frazzled brain.

By the way, if you don’t get a postcard from me in the next few days (and you usually do), blame my mailing list/label high-tech woes. In the meantime, here’s all you need to know:

LUANN UDELL http://www.LuannUdell.com
271 Roxbury ST Keene NH 03431
Luann@LuannUdell.com 603-352-8633

I’m all better! I’m back!!! YES, I’ll be at the
80th League of NH Craftsman’s Annual Fair
Mt. Sunapee Resort in Newbury, NH
Saturday Aug. 3 thru Sunday Aug. 11
10-5 daily rain or shine
Tent 2 Booth 203

NEW! My work displayed in restored &
refinished antique shadow boxes. They are
beautiful!! Create your own display!

(You can also scold me for not being here
last August….IF you bring chocolate.)

Photography by Roma Dee Holmes

And here’s the pic for the postcard:

Old new necklace displayed inside new old box.  Is that confusing?
Old new necklace displayed inside new old box. Is that confusing?

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.

13 thoughts on “WHAT HAS TO BE DONE NEXT? Time Management Tips for You”

  1. Hi Luann, I feel your pain… well, similar pain as I am getting ready for company from AZ and my business must be in order enough for me to spend quality time with them. The house is still way too cluttered. I’ll make their space comfortable and then they’ll have to politely walk around my junk. I like the “what’s next” model. It does calm… thanks!


  2. Love reading your posts! And I feel your panic, as I’m going through my own. Scrapped my booth from last year and started over. Still in the construction stage of all pieces. :-/

    But I’ll be there in tent 6, booth 610!


    1. Well, according to my postcards, which I proofed about a dozen times, I will be in Tent 2, Booth 2003.
      I’d freak out about correcting all 1,200, except there are only about 12 booths in Tent 2. So I’m sure everyone will find me.


  3. The photo of the old necklace in a new box made me smile. It’s the very necklace I purchased from you not too long ago. I love it, and it brings compliments every time I wear it. Best wishes on your show. I’m in the Midwest, too far to travel to see it in person.


  4. It all looks wonderful Luann, and if I weren’t a couple thousand miles away, you betcha I’d be there. Breathe deep and enjoy.


  5. I am so glad I saw your work on PCD today! I love your work. It has inspired me to get my fingers dirty again…or sticky or whatever happens after playing with Polymer. I also loved your post today. I look forward to reading more as I have time. Thanks for helping me remain hopeful about making work.

    I hope you have a fantastic show. I wish I could come but I am over in Seattle (and have the flu… 😦 ) Best of luck for a successful show and the energy to make it through.


  6. I really love your new displays and as usual, your post is full of helpful insights and suggestions. I do have a slight issue, however; the comment about setting up on a ski slope– you make it sound as if you are actually on canted terrain– it’s a very nice site that’s flat, as I recall, with interesting large natural-material sculptures scattered around and music and lots of craft demos going on. It’s summer in New England so that means maybe 85 degrees, if we’re lucky. I’m also surprised tto knowt hat you have a booth in the tent; I’ve only ever seen your work there on display inside a class case in the main building where the clothing and furniture are set up. I just wish I lived closer to the NH border and was eligible to exhibit at this wonderful show.


  7. Christine, the ground looks level til you try to set up a booth. :^) And yes, relative to the actual ski areas, I suppose it seems flat….ish. Sometimes the drop can be a foot from one side of the booth to the other–or more! :^)

    I’ve had a booth in a tent for….I think 14 years now. But I move around a lot. Hope you find me next year!


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