Welcome to the world of self-employment.
This is a place that can offer you many beautiful things.
The joy of being your own boss, the ability to not have to answer to anyone else, perhaps the chance to plan your own work schedule and to inject creativity into your working day.
However, there is another side to this shiny, detailed coin. This other side includes a constant struggle to self-motivate, sometimes overwhelming self-doubt and procrastination. Note to self- staying in bed/ watching Gilmore Girls or reruns of Rick Stein eating around the globe is not a productive use of your time. (Well Perhaps watching Rick Stein is, at least its food related!)
So how does the self-employed individual keep focused on all the fantastic things working for oneself can entail and not fall down the rabbit-hole of these latter- mentioned demons?
In a nutshell, it can be very, very hard. It seems to be a dilemma I personally encounter on a regular basis, with positivity flowing through many peaks and troughs.
Today I was thinking of a few things that definitely help me and thought it a good idea to share here.
Some of these tips may seem glaringly obvious, but the key is to truly stick to them and they may actually just help. If it isn’t obvious, this is really just an affirmation to myself in the hope that I may actually head the advice I give, but if it helps anyone else in the meantime? Then all the better. Its perhaps also a good challenge for me to try and stick to my tips below.
If you’re the type that already does all these things then get in touch and share your secret for commitment!
Good luck my self-employed friends!
Tip 1- Wake up, get up!
When you wake up and you don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time, it's quite hard to be proactive. So get out of bed, make it, get dressed and go make the coffee, green juice or whatever else you like to start your day with. Baby steps here but it makes a difference.
Tip 2- run, walk, fresh air, yoga- get blood flowing- when I go for a run it gives me that natural high and feeling I can do anything. If I don’t fit it in, my day is all the worse for it.
Tip 3- have a designated work space- the difference getting away from your 'bed' office is unreal. I have stuck to this all week for the first time ever. And the effect on my productivity and mindset holds no bounds. Complete revelation, no more work in Cosyville for me.
Tip 4- stick to a few goals at a time- if I was to show you my lists of goals and 'things to do' you would laugh out loud/ be horrified all at the same time. Stick to a few feasible goals each week and try to get them done. I guess also don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed. But having a million and one tasks at once can seem overwhelming and means you end up doing sweet fanny adams.
Tip 5- ask for help, socialize. Self- employment can be lonely. Call your Mum, speak to a friend. Get involved with community- based events. Here in Berlin there is Vostel which helps connect you with local based volunteering activities.
Tip 6- mix it up- one goal to another. Struggling with something? Then move onto the next goal for a bit, have variety to your day.
Tip 7- Get creative- drawing for me. Writing a blog or guitar for you- something you enjoy- its good for the soul.
Tip 8- keep work and play separate- my biggest downfall. I wake up checking my phone and go to sleep doing the same thing. My partner is forever telling me to stop this and he’s right. Put your phone on flight mode when it hits 8:30. And don’t start again until you’ve woken up, washed/ had coffee etc
Will I be able to do this? Answers on a postcard…
Tip 9- Don’t compare yourself to others. This will never bring you joy. Focus on yourself and what makes you tick, nobody else.
Tip 10- take a break. Sometimes getting away from it all, the area you live in- having a change of scenery helps to get the creative juices flowing. Hopefully this is part of one of the joys of being self- employed, the ability to schedule some time apart from what you do.
Anyway, I’m going to take a break now to watch a bit of Ricky Gervais’ Humanity- I mean it's just become available on Netflix…ok?
Green Juice recipe in order to feel most self- righteous
3 celery sticks
1 green apple
1 peeled lemon
big bunch of parsley
even bigger bunch of spinach/ kale etc
thumbsize piece of ginger
pinkie size of turmeric
Put it all through the juicer, (cucumber last to flush all the excess through) and enjoy. Drinking juice this green= immediate sense of self-righteousness and smugness.