Remember when you would go paintball fighting in High School? It was fun to throw yourself into that chaos for 45 minutes. Less fun when it’s your constant adult schedule and each week in your freelance life can often feel like one giant paintball fight.
Whether it’s creative opportunities, the three jobs you’re juggling or life’s ups and downs, no two weeks seem to be the same. Dodging new responsibilities, upcoming bills and constant back dated to-do lists makes planning and subsequent stabilizing a near impossibility. But still…just a near impossibility. It doesn’t need to be an excuse to let go of your work altogether.
Avoiding this all too often used excuse is made possible in two parts:
Acknowledge all that is thrown at you! I think it’s healthy to know that there isn’t something wrong with you but instead to own that you are in an absurd structureless industry that requires more than most other businesses. A good percentage of all that’s thrown at you is certainly the unexpected but what about the ever shifting elements of your week that you may only get info on last minute? Restaurant shifts / rehearsals / networking or social events. Listing out these amoeba-like elements will at least help you begin to manage your expectations of what’s to come.
Plan your week out! Please. PLEASE. And I’m not just talking about a general sense of the week ahead. I’m talking about finding the time to lay out what the next 7 or so days are for you and inserting the time for your work based on all you have to accomplish. Whether it’s your phone, google calendar, a post it note or a journal, list out the days to come and what they’ll be made up of. Even if you won’t know about those ever moving pieces per the above until the start of the week, find the best day based on when you’ll have the majority of your upcoming week’s responsibilities. From there, you’ll be able to figure out when you can make time for the work that needs to get done.
This post isn’t so much about stating the somewhat obvious that our lives are hectic and full but instead to validate your very real feelings and situation and encourage you to reject the notion that that must be the status quo. The status quo is exactly that and isn’t representative of your unique talent that deserves for the work to be done so that you can share it and make a living off of it.
Paintball fights are fun for 45 minutes, maybe even an hour if you’re going hard but a lifetime of constantly shirking the paintballs flying your way in the form of debts, rejections and backlogged work can tear anyone down.