When people find out I’m self-employed, they usually respond one of three ways:
- “Don’t you get bored?”
- “Don’t you get lonely?”
- “I could never do that.”
These responses don’t really bother me, mostly because I’m usually too busy not being bored, not being lonely, and doing things I love, to notice. I know that my lifestyle is probably not right for everyone, but it’s just right for me.
The walls of my home office. Lettering by Laura Fraser!
While yes, of course, I have boring days, and lonely ones (doesn’t everyone?), for me the freedom of structuring my days and the giddy joy of getting to work on projects I find interesting makes it 100% worth it for me. Most of the time, I remember this and feel incredibly grateful for the quirky career I’m building for myself.
Sometimes though, I forget this and feel sluggish, or stir-crazy, or even – yes! – bored. The afternoons are usually the worst for this, especially if I haven’t been careful with shielding myself from notifications and getting focused work done.
Today I feel amazing (a book I’ve been helping to launch is officially published tomorrow!) so I thought I’d take advantage of my great mood and write my work manifesto, to read whenever I forget, that will help me embrace my work-life:
Go play hooky
Resist the expectation of an immediate response
The work always gets done
If overwhelmed, dim the noise
Don’t work with your email (or Slack or phone) open
Hold firm on your boundaries
Not for every day, but for some days
Throw your problems in a pile
What helps you reframe your work? What mantras help you stay focused and grateful?