Trust Your Instincts – Do you trust your instincts? I may not always listen to them but I do trust mine. So… I don’t know if you noticed, but my instincts led me to be MIA for a couple of weeks. Not because I was soooo overwhelmed with work (as much as I wish that were the case) and not because I live in Brooklyn and my gas tank was empty (after all, I do work from home therefore I have no excuse, although the gas shortage situation here really blows!). I’ve actually been a little quiet because of my work shortage (ha ha… get it?). I was at a point where I was overworking myself in order to get work and that just wasn’t working. So I actually listened for once and did what my instincts told me to do – I made the conscious (although difficult) decision to just take a deliberate… pause.
During my “pause”, I read an article on Graphic Design Blender about why most most freelancers are workaholics. The main reason says Preston D Lee is that freelancers tend to make their business a job and thus eventually become a slave to it. Isn’t that the reason we became freelance designers in the first place? To not be a slave to the job we hate? This same article offered some sage words of advice on how to avoid it. So did this one from Graphic Design Blog. My instincts had been telling me that I’m running way too hard and way too fast (so did my husband as a matter of fact – Look at #4 on the Graphic Design Blog article. I’m just glad my husband doesn’t own a gun!). And so I did what any other logical worker in any part of the country does – I took a “mental health” day, or weeks in my case.
It turns out that my instincts were right in telling me to take a break. And while the time off doesn’t stop my creative juices from flowing (actually quite the opposite) and it doesn’t stop me from worrying (again, quite the opposite), it does give me the time to relax, spend some much needed time with loved ones and be inspired by the mere act of living. That’s right folks… living=design and design = living. But, while you can live without design, you can’t design without living. Where would you get all your inspiration if it weren’t for awesome cookie-baking time with a funny 8-year-old? Just some food for thought.