Take time off and don’t feel Guilty About it

Combining blogging with a full time job is the most super hero thing to do. It’s okay if your blog is just a hobby blog. You can cheat here, be lazy there and have zero expectations from your blog. Inasmuch as I like to share blogging tips from a place of authority, I would like to be vulnerable and delicate in this one post.

Last week, on my way home, I felt unloved. I had not looked at myself in a while. I felt unloved by me. I had been so rigid, so strict, sometimes, unkind to myself. I didn’t allow myself rest. During the week, (people who read my whatsapp status can testify to this), I had complained about needing a massage. I felt so stiff and out of touch. I was touching burnout base on all fronts.

This weekend, I tried to do some self diagnoses. What was going on? I seemed to be living a robotic life and this stemmed from too much of expectations. I needed to write, I needed to thoroughly satisfy my boss(es), I wanted to make more money, I wanted to still be connected to God in the midst of this chaos.

After self diagnosing, I was able to point out three prominent problems and make clear resolutions to solve them.

1. I will worry less about tasks and actually do them

When seemingly impossible tasks creep into my work life, I spend a lot of time worrying about accomplishing them so much that I lose the joy of enjoying the process and actually doing the task.

I needed to do something at work the other day. This is one of such tasks I have never done before. It also is, realistically speaking, a seemingly impossible target to meet. So, I spent all of my work and off work hours worrying about how I was ever going to pull it off.

I was worried about coming off as incompetent, I was angry that I had to do something that would stretch me so thin and I was unsure of where to start from. I finished a portion of the task, which is no where 20% and began my weekend (Friday evening) worrying about how to complete it on Monday.

I knew that the whole of the weekend was going to be worry weekend and that made me feel very frustrated. In a flash, I had a brain twist on the issue and I virtually took the uncompleted task off my head and let it rest on my work desk, where it really should be.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matt 6:34 (NIV) 

2. I will say no, more frequently, maybe everytime

I have been known to take up volunteer projects, barely paid jobs and free, unproductive tasks. This weekend I resolved to say no to them more frequently. When I assess these projects and see that they have little or no impact in getting me to where I really want to be in life, I will say no to them, very boldly.

Amidst the much work I had on my plate was a volunteer project I took up. I really thought I needed to do very little until demands began to fill my head. Here I was worrying about work and delivering clients’ jobs. I also had to worry about this volunteer job?

As I write this, I have resolved to pull out of it so that I can have more space in my head to think about other important or paid projects I have to deliver. I have also resolved that henceforth, I will never jump into any project or task anyhow. I will also be careful about taking up blogging clients. If I see that a client is going to be a waste of my time and resources, they won’t happen.

3. I will take time off everything and not feel guilty about it

Last night, at the brink of making these resolutions, my friend chatted and asked if I wanted to hang out. Now, let me break this down for you. I rarely hang out. I rarely do anything that doesn’t involve me reading up on Search Engine Optimization, managing and maintaining my blog or a client’s, social ‘mediaing’, name other work related kinda stuff.

I said that I rarely which means that I do sometimes. But when I do, I worry about tasks I left behind, I worry about things I left undone, I worry about how much time I have wasted by enjoying myself and being kind to myself.

Last night was different. I was working on that tech volunteer project but as soon as I saw that chat, I shut down my system, dressed up in under 15 minutes and zoomed out. I was at my friend’s place in 30 minutes.

We're all going to have fun

On my way to his place I began to work on myself. I first of all shut every feeling of guilt, positioned myself to enjoy his and his friend’s company and switch off my phone. We’re all gon have fun man.  Truth is, I didn’t end up switching off the phone. I guess this is all a process. I will learn to enjoy without guilt gradually.

I am happy that I am going to watch a movie by the end of today and start on a very interesting book I got from a friend. I am also going to cook something light for myself and do myself the honor of being kind to her. Today, I am taking time off worry, work stuff and stressful volunteer projects.

Let me know if this resonates with you and how it does?