There’s an unwritten rule in the world of self employment that if you’re not working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week and telling everyone about it, then you’re not doing it right. WRONG.
Not taking time out is bad for you. It means the work never stops. Therefore you never value your work time. Therefore you never value your ‘me’ time.
Having moved to Manchester 7 (yes SEVEN) months ago and finally moved into my first proper studio, I now have a daily commute. And it’s enabled me to realise there is a thing called work/life separation which is hard to enforce when you work from home or bring work home with you (ie the internet). But it’s only been the last month where I have made a hard and fast rule of no work at weekends (unless I am booked to do a paid shoot) and no work in the evenings when I get home from the studio.
And the difference in my head space has been remarkable. Every day I go to work is now something to look forward to. Every evening becomes time I am allowed to waste on terrible internet and even more terrible tv because I can’t feel guilty that I frittered it away on myself.
This is good for me. It’s been good for my emotional wellbeing. It’s been good for my outlook on life. It’s been good for my attitude towards, and enthusiasm for, my work. If you’re working all day, every day and never breaking then you’re doing it wrong. We can all graze our way through work tasks and spend half of it procrastinating. But by having time out, having cut off time and not continuously working, you actually put more effort into the work hours you have, make them more productive and come home feeling like you’ve done an honest days work.
Enforced downtime even when you are feeling enthusiastic or are a workaholic, just makes you more keen the next morning. And that’s fun! Because there are people who spend their whole working lives dreading that 9am.
I never dread the 9am. And that has to count for something.