I smiled as I snipped the last piece of hemp, now holding 14 strands of this earthy cording. The smile wasn't from the hemp itself, although I do love all the eco-friendly characteristics of this fiber. Rather, it was from the realization that this was double the amount of hemp I needed when I first started meaning Switch Script, my home decor subscription service, had doubled in size. Now numbers are relative and 14 might mean piddle squat to someone else but a 100% increase in subscribers had me on cloud 9!
That cloud quickly started sinking as I started to see just how much time packaging these orders took. I put a lot of importance on the packaging of all my orders and especially those for loyal subscribers but the amount of time this was starting to absorb was more than I ideally wanted. Quite frankly, one of my main goals is to continue doubling the numbers of Switch Script so what was I going to do when 14 turned to 28 and then 56?! As I felt the anxiety slowly start to creep in, I knew that was my cue to take action before letting myself tailspin out of control. I've been a swirling mess too many times before when I let myself forward think too much so I quickly grabbed a pen and note pad and decided to use this as an opportunity.
I continued working through my current cumbersome process of packaging orders but this time when I thought about how much time a specific task was taking up I wrote it down in my notepad. Even just the act of getting the thought out of my head and onto paper eased some anxiety but mostly as I was writing the thought down I'd automatically think of a solution (or at least a semi-solution). Some of those semi-solutions I could implement right then and some I needed to adjust at another time such as on my computer or something.
As I started feeling more relief on finding simple ways to streamline my current packaging process I couldn't help but to think that I might have been training for operating a small sewing brand (or at least streamlining cumbersome systems) as a youngster. Growing up I loved working in the small family businesses I found myself surrounded by. But this current packaging situation took me back to when I was working in my aunt and uncle's flower shop, specifically, stuffing envelopes.
This is where I got hands on experience of a multi-step, fairly mundane, task of labeling envelopes and filling them with marketing material...and the inner office nerd in me loved it. I also experienced how a few super simple adjustments (or semi-solutions) in my system could have a huge impact on the overall process. For example, stacking and positioning the envelopes in a way so they were 'pre-opened' and in laying a way to decrease the time I handle them (face down and close proximity). And maybe most importantly, I was shown the full circle effects of this rather mundane task as I watched people come in with their flyer and leave as paying customers.
Growing this little sewing brand is a major goal for me. This is why I am constantly assessing and refining...just about everything I do for Switch Stitch. If I let them, some tasks can feel mundane, time wasting and have me debating if I should skip it all together...because "who really cares?". Then I tend to go back to what I've learned over the years, that intentional effort, follow through and the awareness to adjust in small ways with semi-solutions can have big impacts on our overall outcomes.