Things can get pretty hectic when you’re making your own schedule. If you’re anything like me there’s a tendency to keep over booking until just a glance at your upcoming projects and deadlines seems pretty overwhelming. And of course that means cutting out your TV binge watch date, or skipping out on your morning Yoga class.
While it’s great (and profitable) to be busy overbooking yourself can be super bad for your long term creative stamina. Not only will you become physically tired (…and irritable) you will feel stifled creatively, perhaps even become blocked which creates this vicious cycle of feeling overwhelmed and wanting to write or create but not really being able to find that special spark of inspiration to help you progress. The time ticks away, you struggle to get projects done, and then once you’re rushing you can’t devote the same amount of creative energy to each project. That means you’re less satisfied with your end product and that’s not something you want to make habitual because it undermines the unique quality of your work.
People often forget that creative endeavors are a lot like fitness goals. To really be able to continually grow and improve you must learn to pace yourself and set healthy standards for yourself. As you achieve them you can increase your output and before you know it you can sustain you creative focus and get those creative juices flowing with less effort.
Also I don’t know about anyone else, but I find that sometimes when I take that step back, and have the time to back burner a project and kinda let it simmer in the back of my mind while I go relax, do my yoga, meet up with friends, listen to music or whatever I usually come up with something either while I’m relaxing or soon after returning to my desk to work. I can’t tell you how many times a phrase in a song or a line in a TV show has sparked something interesting.
But..but…time is money right? Well lemme ask you this. How long can you sustain good quality work when you are burnt out? Not long. See freelancing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. The most successful freelancers know that there are times to work hard, and times to relax. They are true to their talents and they guard their creativity and nurture it. The better work you do the more attention you’ll receive the more proud and confident you will be with presenting your work to bigger more picky potential clients.
So take some time this weekend to decompress and reconnect.
How do you decompress after a really busy stretch of freelancing? Comment below!