Who’s feeling a little burnt out after a busy first quarter? My productivity took a hit after an excited (and exhausting) January through March this year, and I desperately needed a break. I bet you can relate.
I simply became too attached to email and imaginary deadlines. To keep the computers in the house off for a week sounded as good as a vacation in Fiji to me … to not have to answer and check and reply and check. In other words, to just be in my quiet home with the day ahead of me sounded as peaceful and inviting as warm white sands and crystal clear waters.
But here’s the thing: I don’t like to admit that I need a break from my amazing work-at-home career doing what I love. It feels silly and selfish, yet so true.
You need time to be gentle with yourself.
A creative career is demanding. Yes, I’m typing to you in my pajamas under a blanket on my couch with a cup of decaf vanilla chai tea beside me. The irony is not lost on me. But, I’ll say it again: a creative career is demanding.
I’m always creating my next move, and my inner-dialogue sometimes feels as frantic and high-pressure as a stock exchange trading floor. My family comes home from work and school, and sometimes I’m present, but other times I’m still mentally lost in the frenzy.
You know they feel that, don’t you? They know when you’re present, and they know when you’re more focused on what’s behind your eyes than what’s in front of them.
Take a digital cleanse.
If you’re feeling burnt out, schedule at least two days in the next two weeks where you vow to turn everything off. You see, a digital cleanse helps clear the frenzy away. It helps you to be present. You will instantly release all of your made-up demands and (hopefully) let gentleness wash over you.
And then, go climbing.
I recently settled down with my children for a showing of Mary Poppins. It’s been a few years since I had seen it last, and I love to revisit a classic. In it, (the character) Bert says,
“What did I tell ya? There’s the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it? But the birds, the stars and the chimney sweeps.”
I love a good dose of perspective. My last home was situated high on a mountain, and right beside me in my own back yard? An even higher peak. I hiked it often, especially on beautiful days, for the view and perspective it offered.
When you work from home, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of your own four walls. Spaciousness is a value in my life, and for me, small spaces = small ideas. There’s something about climbing above the noise, being still, and watching the motion of the world beneath you.
Even if you don’t have your own personal mountain to climb, close your eyes and adopt a bird’s eye view of the day you’re facing. Allow your mind to rise above the noise, and imagine the whole world at your feet.
Here’s wishing you a delicious dose of gentleness + perspective!
Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity
Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.