The Importance of Craft Time at Work

Posted on Posted in Career, Communication, Nonprofit, Planning

I love crafting and DIY projects. I have a whole board on Pinterest devoted to projects I want to try.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people that is amazing at crafting. Honestly, I suck at it. Normally, I get bored and stop the project halfway through, only to have my boyfriend take over. Which is totally okay, because it ends up looking better than if I had finished the project myself. But I still love crafting and making things with my hands.

Seth and I made this to celebrate 1 year together instead of buying presents for each other. And by Seth and I, I mean Seth did most of it because I was apparently “doing it the wrong way.”
Seth and I made this to celebrate 1 year together instead of buying presents for each other. And by “Seth and I,” I mean Seth did most of it because I apparently was “doing it the wrong way.”

So, imagine my joy when I realized I could do my pseudo-hobby at work.

The first crafting challenge: make 15 bracelets for teenage girls. My team was going to Girls Inc. to implement our Say It Straight evidence-based practice, which builds assertiveness and communication skills using principles of mindfulness, and one of the activities in the training is called “the necklace of resources.” The premise behind it is to identify what resources you have available to you in the event you need help or need to talk to someone.

We decided to tweak it ever so slightly and changed it to a bracelet of resources. We took a piece of yarn and the girls identified a strength within themselves that would help them be able to Say It Straight. They then had one of the other girls in the group hand them a bead and put it on their bracelet. The whole activity was really fun and the girls seemed to love it, even if I did mess up tying off a few bracelets.

The girls at Girls Inc. making their bracelets.
The girls at Girls Inc. making their bracelets.

But before we got to that point, I had to prepare all of these bracelets. I’m not going to lie, it took a lot longer than it should have, mainly because I cut the strings too short the first time and had to remake the majority of them all.

Not only did I have to make all of the bracelets, I had to sort 500 beads by color.
Not only did I have to make all of the bracelets, I had to sort 500 beads by color.

No. 4
But as I was making these bracelets, I realized how important craft days at work are to me and how I’ve been having a weekly craft day since my first day on the job.

I’m not just talking about a day to build things like bracelets or a Plinko board.

 

My coworker Kira and me building a Plinko board for an event CCPE is attending in August.
My coworker Kira and I are building a Plinko board for an event CCPE is attending in August.
I needed to cover my face with a bandana to avoid a contact high from the spray paint. I’m also pretty sure I freaked some people out in our office building by walking around like that.
I needed to cover my face with a bandana to avoid a contact high from the spray paint. I’m also pretty sure I freaked some people out in our office building by walking around like that.

As an outreach coordinator, I need an entire block of time set aside every week to craft the things I’ll need for the entire week — my social media messages, flyers, posters, blog posts, etc. Knowing I have a set time every week or day to work on these tasks helps me stay focused, calm and organized. Plus, it allows me to be creative and build a stronger team environment with my coworkers because I ask for their feedback. Or in the instance of the Plinko board, they help me with the project.

My coworkers April and Kira diligently painting the Plinko board
My coworkers April and Kira diligently painting the Plinko board.

Here’s a quick overview of how I craft every week and every month. At the beginning of each month I create a social media calendar for the following month, so I’m always one month ahead. So this month I will create one for August. I find a day I can block off a solid two hours to do this, because it actually takes a considerable amount of time to research what is going on in the community, what special days occur in the month, and what my own team has going on.

At the beginning of each week, I look at my social media calendar and identify what blog posts I will need to write for the following week. Again, I like to work about one week in advance for my blog posts so I have enough time to write a few drafts.

At the end of the week, I look at my social media calendar to see what Facebook messages I will need to schedule for the following week. I like to work a few days out for Facebook, the only social media platform CCPE has, in order to adjust to unforeseen events that occur in the world.

Every day, I monitor our social media and blog posts and also check Yik Yak to see if people have any questions about sex or drugs I can address (I’ll talk about my experiences using Yik Yak as a social media marketing tool in another post).

If you find yourself stressed out at work often, I encourage you to devote a day or a block of time each week to craft. Even if you don’t have a job that is remotely similar to mine, take some time to craft an agenda for yourself and prioritize your projects. Or take some time to make something with your hands your office may need, like a Plinko board.

 

 

It still has a long way to go, but it gives us an excuse to have another team craft day down the road.
It still has a long way to go, but it gives us an excuse to have another team craft day down the road.

by Olivia Humphreys | email | LinkedIn | Twitter

Olivia

 

 

 

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