The Frustrations of Working at Your Own Pace and Getting Things Done (Plus, 4 Things You Should Remember While Working)
This is another personal blog post where I vent. BUT, I hope I can also give insight and advice for those who experience the same issue as well.
So what is this issue?
Well, these past couple of weeks I’ve thought about time, and working at your own pace.
And I’ve been frustrated.
My to-do list feels never-ending.
There’s not enough time in a day.
My silly fingers and brain can’t move fast enough.
So what did I do about it?
I kept working at my own pace.
Here’s the thing, it’s really frustrating to realize that the work you wanted to finish in a week is gonna take a month.
But, sometimes, you can’t really do much about it.
And I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s okay.
For example, I have a RedBubble shop!
Currently, it’s under construction because I needed to update and adjust all my designs.
As it turns out, you can’t just readjust 218 images in a week by yourself.
Plus, I’m doing a blog post every other week.
Plus, plus, I haven’t even started doing social media things to promote my blog and business.
Plus, plus, plus, I wanna start emailing businesses about work, but I don’t wanna start a new workload until I finish the RedBubble workload. I don’t think that’d be fair to any future clients.
Okay, you get the point.
Basically, I feel like I’m drowning, and there’s no land or boat in sight.
And even after I finish updating my Redbubble shop, a whole new set of responsibilities will be waiting.
Sound like hell?
But when I realize that the workload never ends, I can be a little easier on myself.
I can allow myself to have breaks and take care of myself, and to know that things will be done when they’re done.
There are, of course, deadlines, but I can hold off on non-time-sensitive tasks until I can finish the time-sensitive ones.
It doesn’t always work out that way, and that’s definitely something I can work on myself, but I think you get my point.
And to be fair, I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck, kids to take care of, or go to school. So I can work at whatever pace I need.
I’m privileged to be in that kind of position. So to all my 9-5 people with kids and school (yours and theirs), I hope you can have even the tiniest moments to yourself.
Even if it’s just to stretch and drink some water, you deserve every second.
When I got to the end of writing this blog post, I remembered that my blog is about creative writing.
And I realized didn’t talk much about actual writing in this post.
Then I double realized that what I have talked about can relate to writing!
Do you write for a living? A hobby? Are you 13? 30? 300?
Everything I’ve talked about here applies.
Take breaks, manage your schedule, realize that it’s okay to work at your own pace.
Challenging yourself can be good, but not at the expense of your health (mentally or physically).
So here’s a short list of things to remind yourself of while working (that I also need reminded of):
1. Stretch occasionally, take a sip of water, and eat a vegetable.
Try to stand up ever once in awhile and stretch your arms and legs.
After you stretch, take a big ol’ swig of water (also, keep your water close and handy at all times). Your body likes water, and it’ll appreciate the hydration.
Then, when it’s your lunch break, try to have at least one thing that grew out of the ground. Extra points if it’s green.
2. Have a cut-off time for work and at least one day off to yourself.
This is, again, from my flexible, working-at-home position, but I’ve found it really, (and I cannot emphasize enough) REALLY important to cut myself off at some point in the day.
Working for 12 hours straight isn’t great for the body or mind, and it’s how I quickly burnt myself out. I needed time before bed to relax my brain on something fun (like video games!).
Same with working 7 days straight. I’ve burnt myself out by not having at least one day to reset.
3. Manage your social media time during work!
I will start this one by saying, I’ve gotten caught up in social media, too. I’ve been so distracted that I forgot I was working, or really where I was.
Shove your phone in a cupboard, cabinet, or closet. Just keep it outta sight!
Or, if you need your phone for work, get one of those timed apps that’ll lock you out other apps after the time’s up.
And this isn’t to say you shouldn’t look at social media at all, you absolutely should (especially if that’s your work break!). Just make sure it doesn’t take up half your day.
4. Manage your workload, and schedule work around due dates.
Like I said in the beginning, you’re always gonna have another responsibility waiting after another. And it’s important to understand what you can and can’t put off, and how long it takes you to finish a task.
For example, when I’m creating a post (depending on length and complexity), it can take a minimum of 1-3 days to outline, research, write, edit, format, and create a featured image.
Which means that I need to start a blog post at least half way through the second week of my posting schedule.
Currently, the rest of my time is taken up by the aforementioned RedBubble work, ’cause I know it doesn’t have a due date.
Apply this to your own work, and see where you can manage your time better.
Whatever you may be working on, allow yourself the courtesy to work at a pace that works best for you.
Thanks for reading, and happy writing!