Being a creative for a living can be hard, especially If you’re a freelancer. It feels like good practice to be a yes person but although productive, it can be detrimental to your own wellbeing.
Working as a freelancer or an artist, we find ourselves chasing every opportunity, making sure we are not wasting ‘precious time’. We never switch off, we find ourselves sending emails from when we wake up to when we go to bed, and if you are anything like me you will be dreaming about all the work and new ideas that you intend to start. We find ourselves in a whirlwind of meetings… in 5 different places all at the same time, or at least, it feels that way. I’m starting to realise that living like this is not healthy or sustainable, it will just lead to a burn out, and in order to remain a functional human being, we need to find balance and take time for ourselves, so I thought I’d share 3 thoughts I have on taking time for yourself!
1. Procrastination is a scheduled event
We always find ourselves filling every spare minute of every spare day with something to do, something to achieve or something to propel us in our careers. Yes this can be a good thing, but we need to realise we have to schedule in time to chill! I have (attempted) to schedule in days where I don’t look at emails or think about work and it’s hard because I love what I do but I won’t be able to if I burn out.
2. Find your zen
Everyone has their own form of escapism, the thing that allows you to be fully engrossed in something such as TV, reading, theatre and sports. I have a few, the first being football, a physical outlet of any tension or stress that I hold it’s like I can physically run off the negative energy. Computer games also give me a good escapism, it’s like a role play where you control someone else and delve into a different life. The third thing is my motorbike, taking a long ride literally blows the cobwebs from my eyes and refreshes me and allows my mind to be free, no matter how cliché that sounds.
3. Understanding the guilt
I often feel like I can’t take time off as I have so much to do everyday and feel guilty when i’m not being as productive. I’m only just coming to terms with this one myself, allowing myself to let go and constantly taking time off is productive and will be productive in the long run.
All in all we need to start having a shift in our minds to recognise when we need to slow down, and understanding what we need ourselves. Sometimes it’s OK to be selfish and do what you need to do, for you. So now I’m going to close my laptop and binge watch something on Netflix because it’s OK… and I hope you do the same too, right after I send these last few emails…
Written by Jay Crutchley.