First off – three things about me.
I am queen of the side hustle.
For as long as I can remember, I have been the first to snatch up odd jobs, temporary gigs, and random opportunities to make some extra cheddar. Always legal endeavors, I promise. And spending most of my 20’s broke as a joke didn’t help when it came to making me a habitual worker bee, worrying about how I was going to get by if I wasn’t working 24/7. There’s a little demon inside of me that is always telling me to get to work.
I am a proud worker bee.
I actually like to work. It’s fulfilling to me, it’s exciting, and I have always been better at work than I was at school. Standardized tests, ugh. Enjoying my work means that I spend a lot of time on it… generally speaking, I work every day, even if it’s just for an hour. You might be thinking “oof, that sounds unhealthy.” You’re right. But as they say, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.
I’m a freelancer.
My fellow freelancers can tell you – there’s no such thing as a day off. Flexible schedules and working from anywhere you like are awesome perks, to be sure, but having an often erratic workload and a variety of contracts can sometimes mean that you’re just going to need to do the work when it comes in, and that can stick you with an 8 – day workweek.
The combination of enjoying work, and lots of it, has put me in a position where sometimes it’s difficult to come up for air and take a break. But it’s really important to do that, and so today I’d like to share what works for me, so that you, my fellow crazy workhorse person, can also start building a more balanced, enjoyable work/life dynamic.
It’ll be great, I promise.
What does a break look like to you?
Someone asked me this once, my jaw practically hit the floor, and I was really upset to discover that I had no answer for that question. I’d been so busy grinding that I had lost sight of what relaxation even meant to me. The beauty of this question is that you get to answer it yourself. Do you like hiking? Appreciating the artful stylings of Keyboard Cat? It doesn’t really matter. Now you have a place to start.
Use your powers for good.
If you’re hyper-organized and great with time management, you’re 75% of the way to success when it comes to sticking some me-time into your day. Schedule a break for yourself! “11:00 a.m. Hula Hoop Session” or “Lunchtime Nap”. Try it. Then hold yourself to it. You’re a disciplined person, you can do it.
Just say NO.
It took me a little too long to learn the power of a well-placed “no”, but boy howdy did it make a big impact when I finally did. As it turns out, declining offers for gigs that aren’t going to lead to more and better work down the line, social engagements that are more of a hassle than a good time, and requests for help from people that can probably take care of themselves, are all great ways to lighten your load and help you focus more on you.
Bottom line – You are your biggest, most important asset.
I know this is not the first time you have heard this, and it won’t be the last. Don’t allow yourself to burn out. Make time for things you love, say no to things you don’t (when possible), and thank your heart, mind, and body for making it possible to work in the first place. Take good care of yourself, my friend.
Want to talk more about treating yourself better? Hit me up on Twitter.