The Six Habits of a Recovering Work-a-holic

“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.”
― Dr. Seuss

I’m motivated, I get loads done and am focused, most of the time. Being super busy is always seen as a good thing. But is it? Especially when you realise that you don’t know how to stop.

Covid-19 has changed so many things in our lives, some are good and some bad. One good thing this crisis has done for me is that it’s forced me to stop and has given me space to think.

Back in March, we had a lovely weekend away in St Albans meeting up with family. After such a lovely weekend I came down to earth with a bump the following week when the true scale of the situation hit me. My workload reduced, forcing me to question why I was sitting at my desk as I didn’t have any work to do. For the next 3-4 weeks I got up every morning and sat at my desk. It took me a while to realise that I didn’t know how to stop working or switch off. I had planned a week off in early May but the idea of a week at home scared me. I didn’t know how to stop work things going around my head.

Eleven weeks on, although we are not out of the woods with the virus, I have settled into a new pattern of sorts. Having established that I didn’t know how to stop, I have now learned that taking time off improves my work. However, it feels ridiculous that now that I have stopped, I am struggling to start again!

As I start to think about the future. I’m interested to think about how I can take forward some of the things that I’ve learned. What would it look like if I left space in my week for rest, art, getting outdoors or doing nothing? I don’t want to go back to where I was at the start of the year.

I’m trying all sorts of things to find my new normal. I want to have as much time for play as for work. If any of this sounds familiar, try some of the ideas below which have helped me to prioritise life over work:

  1. Listen to and trust yourself. If you wake up and you’re not feeling like it, try and have a down day and do easy stuff.  
  2. Don’t be busy for the sake of it. Each morning focus on one thing that you can do that day that will have the greatest impact on your life.
  3. Don’t try and fit too much into each week. The thing to watch is that you are moving in the right direction, you’ll get there bit by bit.
  4. Work with what you’ve got. Trust that you know your stuff, write about what you know about. If you are feeling creative, work with what you already have around you.
  5. Work out what’s important and make space for those things. Don’t let anyone stop them happening (this is something I am rubbish at, but improving).
    Read my blog: Focus and Prioritising Your Creative Goals  
  6. Work out what your boundaries are. It might be between work and life, or home, friends and family. Work out your rules and make it your top priority to stick to them and almost ensure others give you the space you need.


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Posted in Art and creative thinking, Creative Practice, Focus and tagged , , , .

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