As a recovering Type A personality, I still struggle with finding balance in my life. The thing I find most challenging is that the thought of letting someone down causes me great stress. A lot of times I’ll take forever to commit to something, or I’ll commit, but won’t give a timeline – that’s because I know I’m busy and I’m wondering how I’ll fit something else in. Do you ever feel this way?
Today, I realized how much I have to get done this week, and I gave a bit of time to thinking about why I felt so tense between my shoulder blades and why my throat felt tight. Is it the workload itself? No. It’s because I want to do things for people and I don’t want to let them down. I hate missing deadlines, yet sometimes in a real life that happens. As a writer, my life is nothing but deadlines and I’m still learning how to manage them as a self-employed business owner (hey, I’ve only been at this for 6 years!). Obviously it’s one of those things we learn slowly.
What system works best and how things evolve isn’t an easy process. I laugh when people say, “oh, you’re self employed, you need to set a schedule for your day and you must have office hours.”
No I don’t. If I did that, I may as well go back to working for someone else. Part of the reason I love being self employed is that no one is watching me (except maybe the dogs and the cat).
So, the question is, how best to manage my time? It has been a learning process for me to figure out the small things that work, but slowly, very slowly, I add something here and a thing there and I notice that the balance is getting slightly easier. Sure, tonight I felt that stress in my back because I have a massive project I haven’t made much traction on, but I know I can do it. Mid-week I may find that my motivation tanks and I’m not accomplishing what I want to – I’m learning about balance.
After I finish this post, I’ll go sit on the couch and do a bit more work. It may not be an ideal way to spend Sunday night, but I’ve yet to find a job that lets me walk around the garden for a half hour in the middle of the day when I need it, or jump around and exercise to refresh my brain then make that time up working at night – or simply accepting that tomorrow is a new day and I’ll start again.
Self employment isn’t for everyone, but anyone in it will tell you it’s a learning process – a slow (but joyful) one at that.
A writer since she first held a pen, Ronda Payne – aka: the Girl with a Pen, is passionate about words. In 2007, she kissed ‘real jobs’ goodbye and began her true career as a copywriter, non-fiction freelance writer (magazines and other periodicals) and creative writer.