Working for Myself: One Month Later

About a month after I started working for myself, I learned a few things. Mainly, that I’m working 12-hour days. My first obstacle was learning that working all the time doesn’t mean that I’m making more money (even though that’s what I told myself). There are so many writing projects I want to work on and so many craft projects, that I found myself working all the time. And that led to me being sick for an entire week with a sore throat and a high fever.

A chapter of My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman encapsulated my recent dilemma, “Fun with Time Management.” The chapter description, “Stop wasting time, start asking for help, and get a life outside work,” was like she was writing to me.

So I put together a workable schedule for myself with a built-in lunch break and actual office hours. I’m trying to wean myself off working all the time. For a workaholic like me, this is my own 12-step program. But slowly, I’m teaching myself that I’ll get everything done — just not in one day.

The big lesson learned: Turn off the computer and stop working. Enjoy life.

5 Comments on “Working for Myself: One Month Later

  1. Good advice! Sorry you had to get sick to learn it, though.

    Now if only I could listen to your advice…

  2. Hey Jenn,

    Very early on when we started GhostRighters, Skip warned me of this very same thing. He, after working for himself for the last year, had experienced the same thing. He told me not to let myself get burned out. Don’t work on the weekends and don’t work through the night. Start work at the same time every day and stop at the same time. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you aren’t working. We have a tendancy to feel guilty when we’re at home, not working, because it’s the same place as where we are working. Don’t do this!

    If something comes up during the week that I want to do, I’ll do it. That’s the luxury of working from home. But I will make up for it when I need to whether it’s by working later that night or working some on Saturday or Sunday.

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know ‘I feel ya!’ Happy writing Jenn! Keep it up!

    Shauna

  3. True dat! I’m in Boulder right now trying to de-stress after 3 years of writing like crazy. I realized toward the end that I needed to find balance in my life, so that’s what I’m working on. I’m working on fitting in writing, exercise and something for myself each day. Without balance the writing suffers. So far, so good.

    • I hope you’re balancing everything well. And you’re right that there needs to be a balance. You can’t write well if you’re stressed out constantly.

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