Philippa is a successful alumni of both of my 30 Days or Less courses. She started with writing, added virtual assistant services and still somehow finds the time to work a day job. No wonder she used to feel overwhelmed by all the “shoulds.”
In today’s guest post, Philippa shares how she was able to accept her freelancing limitations and why this makes her a happier and more productive freelancer. Yup, definitely advice we all should read!
Do you always look Instagram-ready while attending a yoga class, feeding your triplets and taking pictures of your spotless, stylized home? No? Me neither!
I am constantly being held back by my limitations. I have a day job. I have a house. I have a long list of reasons that limit the amount of time I can give to my freelance business.
Or so I thought.
It wasn’t until I stopped trying to do everything, that I finally started to feel successful. And this realization was liberating.
Here are three lessons that I learned from letting go of my high expectations and finding my natural rhythm.
1. Trying to ‘do It All,’ Meant Nothing Was Getting Done
When I began freelancing, my heroes were those women who could ‘do it all.’
They would find the time to achieve great things. They would stay up all night, work through weekends and still have a have the energy to portray a perfect life.
Side Note: Read about Gina’s experiments with working hours in her early freelancing days here.
When I tried to work long days, it didn’t work. I got tired. I got grouchy. I got sick. I had to-do lists longer than the hours I was working.
I wanted it all and I wanted it yesterday.
I was overwhelmed and getting nowhere. Freelancing was supposed to bring balance to my life.
I was supposed to be able to work the hours I wanted, while still having time to do everything else life threw at me. Instead, I was now adding frustration to my list of limitations.
2. Responsibilities Aren’t Limitations
I’m not sure what led to my light bulb moment.
I remember it was a Tuesday and, for reasons unknown, my head was clear. I could finally see things clearly.
What I had been viewing as limitations were actually essentials for well-being and happiness.
- Keeping house – These responsibilities aren’t limiting your ability to hustle; they are liberating you from squalor!
- Keeping healthy – Ordering a takeaway may free up time, but it isn’t helping you in the long run. Speaking of running, remember to go outside once in awhile too. I love to plan out my articles while enjoying a nice stroll. (I won’t lie and pretend I go running.)
- Keeping everyone* happy – Relationships and support networks are important to your well-being. These people also need thanking and appreciation.
*Everyone that matters, anyway.
You have a responsibility to yourself, your loved ones and your clients to look after yourself, your loved ones and your clients.
3. Keep It Real(istic)
It is important to make realistic goals and working habits.
Coming to the realisation that I could ‘only’ work between 5-8 hours a week on my freelance business was liberating. It freed me up to keep everything as balanced as life will allow.
While eight hours a week may not sound like much, it brings in enough income to meet my current goals. I am now working less and being more successful. In short, I’m living the dream!
Read Gina’s time management tips here. My favorites are numbers 7, 8 and 9.
I’m curious, are you viewing aspects of your life as limitations unfairly? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself?
Philippa Briscoe is a writer and virtual assistant for hire. Still recovering from her time as a high school English teacher, she now spends her time tapping happily away at her computer. Philippa is on a mission to make sure that words are used for good. She is also moderately humorous, a fan of the oxford comma and actively trying to reduce her biscuit consumption. You can follow Philippa on Twitter @philibwriting.