I don't even remember if I showered or properly brushed my teeth that weekend | The Franker Message
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I don't even remember if I showered or properly brushed my teeth that weekend

Me, sewing a dress | Mariella Franker, PhD

I used to design and make clothes for myself. One time, I was in my student apartment drawing out the design for a dress. Having been a bit of a tree-climbing tomboy growing up, college was when I started to explore girly dresses and frilly fabrics. I bought fabric and buttons at a local market and I came home on Friday evening. Cutting the pattern then sewing it together. I hand-stitched everything because I didn't have a sewing machine at the time. I made the buttonholes by hand too and stitched on all 60 buttons on the - slightly needlessly complicated - design. I ate and I slept when I couldn't bear it any longer balled up right next to the fabric and half-stitched items, not bothering to clear off the bed in my studio apartment to lie down properly. I don't even remember if I showered or properly brushed my teeth that weekend. By the early hours of Monday morning, the dress was done. It was perfect. But my back ached, my eyes were bloodshot, and my place was a mess. In a few hours, my Monday class would start and I had no idea what was on the roster or if I was supposed to hand in homework. I wanted to just sleep but now I had to quickly shift to pick up the things I'd forgotten about while making the dress...

I used to take on too much like this all the time. I would work obsessively and not get enough rest. It felt good in the moment because I could let my creativity run free. But afterward, I was wrecked and all the other stuff was still waiting for me.

Do you ever take on too much at the expense of resting? Maybe at one point in your life, you've felt like taking a break was a luxury you couldn't afford. Maybe you wish that sleep was optional: You'd get so much more done! Or maybe you absolutely love to get your 8+ hours a night and have accepted that you'll achieve less than other people because you have less energy.

We sometimes forget the role that resting plays when it comes to energy. Working and resting aren't at odds with one another, they're two sides of the same coin. At the risk of abusing physics here, we could say that it follows Newton's third law of motion: For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. Working is simply not possible when we don't rest. For introverts, it's even more important to realize this because you lose energy by interacting with your environment. So, it's not uncommon for an introvert to start out all jazzed up in the morning and end up exhausted simply by moving through your day.

These days I'm much more aware of my energy levels during the day. Taking on too much on a regular basis is a thing of the past. Of course, life still happens: A dishwasher breaks and the kitchen floods or our toddler gets sick, things suddenly come up and I need to switch gears. But I spread out my work now and take plenty of time to rest so that it almost never all gets crammed into an all-or-nothing weekend like before.

What this looks like today? The past few weeks, I've been preparing for the mini-course. I've broken up my to-do's, so that I still make good progress but I also have plenty of space to explore. I started by asking myself this question: How could I help people who have issues with energy management? From that, I wrote a simple 1-page summary to get an idea of how I might help them. The page didn't need to be publish ready because it was just a first draft. Getting it on paper, rather than making it perfect, was most important. I talked with a few people about the summary: People who I trusted and who I knew would give me the feedback I needed to get to a second draft. I asked myself the next question: What do I need to make and sell this course? I needed a way to tell people about it, so a sales page and social media content and I, of course, needed the content of the course itself.

Little by little these details are filling in now. I can still let my creativity flow and, in fact, I actually get more done over the whole when I look at it a couple of weeks at a time. Yes, in this way it takes a few weeks rather than a few days to see bigger changes but it also means that I don't have to sacrifice time with my family or time to rest to get the same results. Unlike making the dress in a way that left me exhausted and panicking about all the other things still on my plate, I'm not depleting my energy while making this course and I'm actually enjoying the process 😊

Wishing you a lovely flow today,


PS. The votes are in! As you probably guessed from the text above, the most voted topic for the mini-course is Energy management

It was super close but this topic came out on top with a single vote more! The mini-course is going to be a guide on how to keep your energy up so you can do focused work and achieve the things you want to achieve. The pre-sale opens next week and the course will be released on Oct 11th.

I'm going to do something unconventional: I'm going to take you a bit behind the scenes while I create this course; like I did today about how my preparation has changed over the years. I'm going to share different aspects of my planning and creation process with you by email, in the Facebook group, and on my social media status (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram). I've never done anything like this before (or ever imagined that I'd want to 😂) so this is going to be one huge experiment!

If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement (because I may need them 😉), please reach out to me. I'm not always quick to respond, because I do limit the time I spend online but I'll always send you a reply. 

Thank you so much for your continued support 🙏


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