Like-minded people flock together; it’s why we’ve managed to establish a cosy community that can always relate to each other, learn from one another and share chatter about anything from books to Barre, anime and K-dramas to the best new vegan food joint in town. It’s also how lots of us who work for ourselves – or aspire to – come together to lament the pitfalls of self-employment and share the elating joys too.
One such lamentation is the fear of not doing enough.
I met my friend – and fellow blogger – Bolly for dinner a few weeks ago, and we caught up about all of the projects we were each working on. From a masters (her!) to expanding small business collections (both of us!), the list began to sound unbelievable. And, we deduced, it sort of is unbelievable. Being constantly exposed to everybody’s hustles, whether we chose to or not, can quickly leave you feeling as though you’re not doing enough. You’re not putting in enough hours to your day job. (You are; you’re paid for the hours you work, nothing more or less!) You’re not running enough side hustles. You’re not seeing your friends enough. You’re not decorating your house for the seasons enough.
I’ve had enough of feeling like I’m not doing enough.
Because it’s already enough simply to exist.
Understand your capabilities and what is ‘enough’
One of the key things to begin with is truly understanding what your capabilities are. Not your boundaries, but your best-effort capabilities. What can you manage before your brain starts to feel overwhelmed?
One of my good friends spent the best part of an evening explaining their relaxed (ahem, normal) schedule to me, and that’s when I knew in my heart of hearts that I had been and was spreading myself too thinly. Instagram might make me appear like some sort of superhuman but, in truth, I do a lot of things and most of them are not to my best ability. Right now, I’m choosing to focus on & Chai, my personal life and my freelance business, which means that Daisybutter, social media, my gaming time, fitness routine, etc. etc. have fallen by the wayside.
‘Enough’ to me, right now, is earning a living (to my own personal needs), feeling like I’m achieving something, and nurturing personal relationships and growth.
Note down your strengths and one win from each day
My friend Franky regularly shares her ‘hurrah’ list on Instagram Stories, and it’s a real mood-booster as well as a good reminder that success manifests in many ways.
Whether you’re self-employed or not, take some time to note down one ‘win’ from your day. It could be something like prepared a fresh lunch because I worked from home or some lovely news from a friend. What I try to do is reroute it away from work-related things wherever possible, in a bid to detach work from my idea of success.
Moreover, make a note of your personal strengths and revel in how amazing you are outside of all the things you juggle. You’re patient, kind, funny, great with a hammer, brilliant at making cake… You are so much more than the list of activities you managed to check off in a day.
Slow down and re-set your schedule
Since reframing success and enough-ness for myself, I’ve really enjoyed my more relaxed and slow schedule. I’m the sort of person that really struggles to balance my time; I’m a very all-or-nothing human.
No matter how you plan or don’t plan your weeks, it’s time to bring back the pace a little. First, note down your week’s non-negotiables. Things like work shifts, deadlines, pre-booked appointments and one rest day and/or evening. Yes, rest is a non-negotiable and I won’t hear otherwise!
Then, pencil in one or two hobbies or extras. These could include an evening of reading, a workout class, working on a side hustle or even cleaning. This is one of the hardest parts because, if you’re already feeling like you don’t do enough, this is where the real re-framing must happen. At this point, your week probably looks pretty full, right?
Welcome to your slower schedule. There’s always time for your other hobbies on another day or week.
Do you often feel like you’re not doing enough? What’s one thing you can remove from your everyday schedule to give more time and purpose to your other activities?