Friday, January 11, 2013

Balancing Freelancing and Relationships

The first thing that I hear upon telling someone that I'm a freelance writer is usually "OMG! I am so jealous!". To the outside world, I sit around in my pajamas all day, watching Maury and browsing Facebook. The truth? I only do that once or twice a week (yeah...right. I wish!).

The rest of the time, I am blogging, writing articles for the various clients that I have, keeping up with social media, learning new methods to keep up with the ever-changing freelance world and attempting to find new leads just in case I need them. I literally don't know when to quit. If I'm too tired or my brain is too fried to write an article or blog, I'm catching up on Google Reader, checking my wall on the Brainstorming Broad Facebook Page or searching job ads. On the rare occasions that I do take the time to do nothing related to work, I'm thinking about work. I'm guilty of feeling that, if I have the laptop open, I need to be doing something that pertains to freelancing. I'll be the first to admit that my way of thinking is not only unhealthy for me (I can't remember the last time I had a good night's sleep or a real meal), it's not good for my relationships. More than a few of my friendships and past romances have suffered due to my inability to just...breathe.

That recently changed, though. At least to a point. I'm still almost constantly in work mode, but around Thanksgiving, I met a man that I believe to be The One. I'm so sure that he's The One that I actually routinely put down my work for him. For the last week, we have both been pretty busy, and when we're not busy, we're exhausted. We haven't spent much time together at all, even though we live in the same house (yes, already). Tonight, we took some time for each other. We laid in the floor, laughed at stupid pictures on his phone, cuddled and just talked. And it was really, really nice. I try to make it a point to spend a half an hour to an hour with him every evening, talking about our days or just generally acting silly together. I'm finally learning that work is not everything and the freelance world can rotate without my presence. After all, I have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, RSS feeds and the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows what else. It's not like I'm going to miss something.

What about you, readers (I know you're out there somewhere...or you will be!)? How do you handle your relationships? What do you do to keep yourself and your relationships balanced? Am I the only one that feels guilty when I take time to myself? When is the last time that you spend time with your partner (or another important person in your life) and what did you do?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Confessions of a List-a-holic

I have a confession to make. I'm one of those people. I make lists. Groceries. To-Dos. Songs I've heard and want to look up on YouTube. Movies I want to see. Things I want to Google. Once, I even made a list of the lists that I needed to make. And not a damn one of the helped.

Lists give me a false sense of security. I will get to the grocery store. I will rent that movie. I will check iTunes for that album. I will email that client. I will bake two dozen cookies and cook dinner and remember my boyfriend's grandma's best friend's birthday. At least, that's what I hope. But then, I do forget the milk. I do forget the name of the movie and the name of the band and which client I was going to email. And my boyfriend's grandma's best friend...what was her name again?

Recently (as in, like, ten minutes ago), I decided I needed to figure out how to make my organization skills work in real time and not just on a piece of paper. Naturally, I decided to put my Google-fu skills to good use. The first link that popped up told me that I could make my to-do lists work for me with just 12 little tweaks. I think I will definitely try some of them out in the next few days. Writing down stuff that I've already done and crossing them off right away so that I feel more accomplished? Hell yeah! I'm definitely going to prioritize. Starting this blog is important, as it's intended to help get my name out there and bring in more clients (and hopefully some new friends!). Renting that movie that I've been meaning to rent for the last two years? Probably not so important.

What about you? Do you keep lists? How do you stay motivated to actually complete them? Or do you have another system altogether?