I’ve been reading a lot about burn out, probably because everyone is fucking burnt out. The thing that makes me the most sad is burning out from things that we control.
Like, I talk weekly with a friend that I made from the Akimbo Freelancer Workshop. We bounce stuff off each other constantly, and one of the big focuses is outsourcing. Getting things off our plate. Giving ourselves the permission to be the boss who takes two hour lunches.
Obviously the various stresses and demands of freelance work can make it hard to take that two hour lunch, but… if you don’t design your ideal work situation, others will. It will be ideal for them.
Emails at all hours. Phone calls. Ridiculous deadlines.
The best busy work is no busy work at all.
Sure, that sounds hippy dippy dream talk, but fuuuuuck it – a person has to dream, right?
It’s the whole “saying no,” thing, which I’m sure you’ve seen all over the internet. The act of saying no is basically saying yes to other things – yes to free time, yes to other work, yes to not working at all!
A while back I said “no more transcribing.” I had done 100s of hours of audio transcribing for writers. It was okay money, but the work required absolute focus. If you lose focus, it’s hard to get back on track. Toss in bad audio, and other work on your plate, and it just got to be too much.
So I said no. Could I have used the money? Of course! I could still use that money!
But saying no to that work gives room for the work I want to be doing (and it’s working).
Saying no to clients with ridiculous deadlines, unreasonable availability, low pay, high stress – that’s the shit you say no to.
Stripping away of the stuff that depletes you that makes space for the time to go outside for a walk, or take a two hour lunch.
So don’t manage your thing – your business, your blog, your music – with what everyone else is doing – make it fit how you want to live.