“What does time off have to do with freelance work?” you’re probably asking.
You’re thinking, “I NEED WORK I CANNOT TAKE TIME OFF.”
You can actually die from overwork. Read more here.
“But I am not a Japanese office worker.”
Ah, but you are a human being.
I’m always interested in what other self-employed people have to say about time off. Why they take it. When they know they need it. How they manage it. How they make sure their businesses don’t collapse while they’re off, whether for a day or an hour or a week.
One of my business gurus introduced me to Zach from Heart, Soul & Hustle. He has a podcast. (She also turned me on to podcasts and now I’m HOOKED on listening to them while I ride my bike. One earphone only.)
During his recent episode he discussed a massive launch where everything went a bit sideways, his total exhaustion and interest in quitting even though his life wasn’t, objectively, terrible, how he took a break, what he did to make sure he had income while he was on a break or after the break, and how he set up his re-entry so he did not immediately negate all positive effects of his break.
It. Is. Awesome. I learned some things about, particularly making sure that I don’t want to immediately jump off a cliff right after I come back from a break.
I also really thought his line about, “When work started to be THE reward, that’s when things started to go off the rails,” or something to that effect. That most of us absolutely LOVE our work, but when work is our ONLY reward, we’re gonna have problems.
(Let me write an aside here to say that, as an observer of my own life, if my work is the ONLY thing I feel like I’m good at or that makes me feel good about myself, if something happens with my work it will bring my whole life crashing down. It will ruin my day. It will ruin my time with my loved ones. I know this because I have let that happen.
When you do what Zach says are “restorative” things for yourself, you make sure that you have some balance. Your entire identity isn’t tied up in your work. You are not letting SOMEONE ELSE control your moods or your feelings of well-being. When you do things for yourself that aren’t work, you take back some agency. You won’t feel so out of control.)
Once you listen, if you need some help on how to actually be off during your time off, nab my handy 8 Tips for Ensuring Quality Time Off. And if you enjoy Zach’s podcast, please share the link to this blog or to his podcast page!