Erase the guilt of not working harder (or smarter, or faster, or whilst riding a unicycle)

How’re you doing with those resolutions for the New Year?

Sensitive question?

Did you know that 92% of people that make resolutions for the New Year fail within the first two weeks?

Did you also know that 73.6% of statistics quoted are fabricated? And some of us (<– totally me) immediately believe anything that has a number in it because it sounds all sorts of official? Especially when a decimal point is involved?

It’s thinking like this that leads one to lose trust in everything and take the audacious panic stricken decision to leave the county by following Carrie Mathison’s carefully constructed escape plan and hang on a sec isn’t that the plot from Homeland?

Moving on.

You know how quotes are fleeting? Like when on a random 2pm on a Tuesday, the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet and then some friend posts a quote on Facebook about life and boxes of chocolate and it’s just what you needed?

It’s fleeting.

Because seconds later, the quote is replaced by another, and another, until you unsubscribe from the ‘daily quotes’ emails you signed up for because it’s time to stop reading quotes and actually start living a life.

One quote that stuck with me is by someone suspiciously named ‘Anonymous’ that says:

You’ve only got three choices in life: Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got.

And it’s one that I both love and hate.

The love comes in when you need some motivation to do something extraordinary; these words make total sense.

But the hate comes in when your plans to target your dream client are shot when you contract some 24hr bug that overstays its welcome by about 6 days. And this quote just stands there, crosses its arms, raises one eyebrow and mocks you with a smug smile whilst twirling its handlebar moustache.

And now it’s time, you guys.

Time to use your 100% energy wisely.

Because giving all you’ve got to everything all the time is exhausting. Because consistent effort does deserve a Sunday off. And because although being a realist sounds kinda boring, it also makes you human.

How many of us will be able to spend 89 hours per days working? Not all of us have a full-time job, a wife, 18 kids and also want to run 3 businesses on the side.

Being a success isn’t about doing the impossible. It’s about managing your choices. And the energy you apply to them.

If you want to spend the day eating Wensleydale cheese and munching on Pringles, do it.

It you want to spend the entire weekend watching the first two seasons of Prison Break – go ahead and go blind.

Because relaxing? It’s ok to do it.

Sit back, loosen the buckle of your vintage belt and breeeeaaaathe.

Doing something extraordinary so you can write about for some big-ass blog, make the post go viral and finally arrive, can be done on another day.

And when that day arrives, you’ll be ready to give it 100%.

Because you’ve been a realist for once, managed your energy and taken some time for yourself.

So now that that’s out there, I’m curious (but not a cat. Because apparently that combination will get me killed (plus cats can’t type)).

 

Do you have a time in the week when you do nothing? No plans, no work, no business? Tell me about it in the comments below!

 

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Louisa January 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Do nothing? God, no! I’m a mum, a freelancer, a blogger and a wannabe writer. When the chuff am I supposed to find the time to do nothing, I ask you?! (I have a plan in place though, dear Razwana. I will tell you all about it when it comes to fruition, hopefully in a month or two! In fact, I’m going to bookmark this post and come right back and tell you when my plan has materialized. How’s about that for accountability?!) Happy New Year to you, lovely! xxx

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Razwana January 7, 2014 at 7:11 am

Louisa! Happy New Year! Talk about busy schedule ….I feel unnerved when I read it – UNNERVED, I tell you !

BUT a plan is in the works – loving this. I’ll tell you what – I’m gonna make a note to come back to you in a few weeks to check in on progress – cool?

PS – Keep this to yourself but I’M PERHAPS THE BIGGEST FAN OF ACCOUNTABILITY EVER TO EXIST

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Louisa January 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Great idea! You’re on, missus! Get back to me in a few weeks and I PROMISE I will have taken the first step. By the way, to illustrate how rubbish I am at doing nothing, I’ve just spent a month on the road – at home in the UK, at my inlaws’ house in northern Spain and then at the beach in southern Spain. Lucky freelancer, hey – who else gets a month “off” at Christmas? Wrong! I got a ton of work a few days before I left, so I’ve worked most of the “holiday”. Booooo. On the bright side – and I’m just saying this to make you jealous – this place caters to the tourists in a big way: I have had Indian food (twice), Thai, fish and chips and even a full English breakfast since I’ve been at the beach. YUM. Anyway, that was a total digression. I WILL do better at doing nothing. And you can check up on me in exactly three weeks time!! :-D

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Razwana January 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I’mnotjealousI’mnotjealousI’mnotjealous 《— I totally am.

Which beach in south Spain? Look out for my email later…..

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Louisa February 11, 2014 at 11:08 am

Hehehe. I didn’t see your reply to this before. Weird. Some email blackhole or something… Anyway, thanks for checking up on me. You are amazing!! So, in answer to your check-up… I did it!! I took that big step in favour of my work-life balance a few weeks ago, and I don’t regret it one little bit. In fact, I wish I’d done it ages ago!! (I dropped a low-paying -but stable- client to concentrate on my other work that pays more and is more rewarding – if a little less stable. Eek!) The upshot is that I (theoretically) have a lot more free time. Unfortunately, we’re having a bit of a family crisis at the mo, cos my father-in-law is in hospital, and I’m just in survival mode trying to keep my head above water. But soon enough I will swinging in a hammock, sipping margaritas and enjoying my four hour week!!! ;-) And in (v. belated) response to your question, the beach we were at was Fuengirola. Fabulous in winter. Totally recommend. Avoid like the plague in summer though, I reckon.

Emma January 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Truly awesome. I do nothing….. never. But I’ll try to make time now.

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Razwana January 7, 2014 at 7:18 am

Emma, you have an order from the Queen herself (that’s a lie – it’s actually for me) to take 30 mins a week to do nothing. And then report back on your experience.

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Vishnu January 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Love it! I’ve lived both lives. One where I was so overwhelmed I was working 14 hours a day and 6 days a week. Vacation didn’t matter, weekends didn’t matter, holidays didn’t matter – all that mattered was getting the job (which never ended).

Since that time, I’ve decided I could live or die. And living the way I was, was death. So, I decided to live by reprioritizing and including lots of relaxation and free time into my life. Now, I’m hooked to this way of living. Anyone who complains to me now about working too much, working a couple extra hours after work at home or working weekends, being stressed out from work or working in a demanding job makes me think they’ve lost their mind.

Why would you do this to yourself? The more we take care of ourselves and rest, the better focused we can be. And more creative. And more sane. I have a job now where I’m off on Fridays and it is the most relaxing day of the week, next to Sundays – both days where I try not to work but relax.

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Razwana January 7, 2014 at 7:20 am

2 days to relax? Luxury! Or necessity?

Perhaps it’s because you’ve lived the busy life, realised it isn’t working, that you appreciate the more ‘sane’ pace of this new life you’ve created for yourself?

Have you sacrificed much to have more time to rest?

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Vishnu January 9, 2014 at 2:08 am

Yes, having worked the past jobs and realizing my values and priorities helped me reach where I am today. I think just being more conscious about it.

I haven’t sacrificed much at all, a slight pay decrease but that additional day off is truly priceless.

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Judy January 9, 2014 at 12:52 am

Problem is when I sit and do nothing I feel unproductive like I could be spending my time doing something more useful. When, come to think of it, the relaxation will probably make me more productive in the long run, because relaxation and rest will help you regain your energy, regain focus etc and you’ll probably be able to do more.

I just have to remind myself that when I am in the working mode.

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Razwana January 9, 2014 at 7:47 am

Judy – this is (un)officialy known as The Curse of the Overachiever.

Looks like you know *exactly* what you need to do.

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Dan Black January 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Hello Razwana,

Yes, taking time to relax and rest is so essential. I try to take one day a week to spend time with my family and relax. It allows me to be renewed and refreshed. It also prepares me for the upcoming weeks tasks and challenges. Great post!

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Razwana January 10, 2014 at 6:39 am

Hey Dan – with your schedule, I’m *impressed* you take an entire day to relax. It definitely is worth the investment.

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Steve January 10, 2014 at 7:33 pm

While I wouldn’t call them do-nothing days, I would say I have down-days. I’m not productive in the sense that I’m working, writing or doing anything business related. But I’m still doing something else even if that means watching a movie. You can’t go 100% on something all the time, you’ll just burned out. Even on those days when I’m just watching a movie I feel are worthwhile – I get to hang out with my wife. That’s incentive enough to do it on a regular basis.

Like most things in life, there should be a good balance. If you have do-nothing days every day, than you’re not really accomplishing much in life. You could be doing so much more and you’re not living up to your potential. On the other hand, if you never stop to smell the roses, you’re missing out on an important part of life. You have to enjoy the ride of life too.

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Razwana January 11, 2014 at 6:33 am

Steve – love what you say about doing it on a regular basis. No point in working hard, burning out, and then taking a massive holiday, right?

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Ragnar January 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Hmmm, learning to ride a unicycle… that’s something that needs to be done! I think preventing burnout by giving yourself some time to relax is arguably some of the most productive time spent. Imagine how much time would go to waste if you actually burnt out. Better to invest your time into taking care of yourself I Imagine.

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Razwana January 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Ragnar – check out video number 3 on this page: https://giveit100.com/ Can you beat 13 days?

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Raz February 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Now THAT part of south Spain seems gorgeous! Too many tourists in the summer?

I’m sorry to read about your father-in-law. Like anything in life, time will change this situation, and you’ll be homock-ing and magarita-ing in no time!

I like that you cut the low-paying clients to focus on the rest. Impressed, Louise1

Keep me posted on updates from your biz, won’t you?

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