What I’m listening to: One Thing Leads to Another by The Fixx
Know those weeks when you’re trying to get a lot done so the next week won’t be so bad?
Forget it. Nothing is getting done and next week looks like more of the same. I have four deadlines, three of which are indeed next Friday. I’m getting little-to-no cooperation on a few interviews. And I have houseguests, an ailing father, and ongoing personal junk.
Did I mention I forgot to have a vacation this year? And no, four days doesn’t really count.
Truth is, I’m just in the mood to complain. I have enough work (not too much), enough personal space, and enough downtime. I’m tired, but emotional stress plays hell on the nerves.
We all get days (or weeks) like this. Too much work, too many stimuli coming from too many directions… Yet we have control.
We just don’t exercise it.
It’s about working more purposefully, with more intention and less worry.
It’s about sensible boundaries.
Think about it. You are working and have enough to handle, but that next request comes. And the next. And pretty soon you’ve said yes to seven people, most of whom want their projects done at the same time.
It’s also about taking care of you.
You cannot be great at what you do if you’re stretched too thin. I know when I’m running on empty. Right now, I am. I need a break, so I’m scheduling one. October may be my month of doing zero. Well, once I clear up the two projects I’d already agreed to…
And so it snowballs.
It’s about setting a date.
My personal deadline will be the second week of October. After that, my month of rest begins. I’ll complete those ongoing things that I know I can do without stress. I will blog if I want to. I will reconnect with the things that make me happy, not that pay my bills.
It’s about honoring yourself first.
As they say in the flight instructions, secure your own air mask before assisting others. Today, I’m making a personal commitment to get my business shit together. I have wonderful clients, but even they go on vacation. Even they take time off. Today, I will send out the early warning that in October, I’m off for some overdue R&R.
It’s about fulfilling all of you.
Massage time. New experience time. Creative writing time. Time with family. Time with friends. Time to make new friends. Time to do all those things that are on that wish list for your rainy day. Consider this your monsoon.
Writers, how do you put sensible boundaries around your work and life?
Where is it hardest for you to let go of your work life?