I’ve worked for myself for many years. Working from home, it’s very easy to completely blur the lines between work time and off time.
And by “blur,” I mean: consciousness becomes the equivalent of work time. Sleeping, eating and basic self-care may become the totality of off-time. Because there’s always something that could use doing! Knowing income relies on your efforts, there is a tendency to just offer more and more and more effort. It wears a person down.
If you read business advice, life advice, sometimes you’ll see people recommending you work harder than everyone else. Put in the hours! Put in the effort! Go above, beyond and do it again tomorrow, day after day, as a path to success. I just move on, when I see that sort of advice. It doesn’t ring true for me.
When I felt like I was struggling, I used to just chastise myself to work harder. It didn’t help and felt pretty crummy in the process. That sort of approach burns a person out. It sucks the spark right out of everything you’re doing.
Eventually I got more serious about investing in time off–and make no mistake. It is an investment. Once I became more generous with fun time, the work time became suddenly (and exponentially) more effective. The difference was night and day.
But you have to accept the idea that you deserve the happiness. If you feel you have to earn joy? You’ll never be able to work hard enough or long enough to feel worthy of that. If you’re working to quell your fears over lack? Those drives cannot be satiated long from external effort because they are not externally generated. They are a function of your perspective and faith–in yourself and the bigger Universe.
Counter-intuitive as it may sound, my most successful stretches by far have never coincided with when I’ve been working the hardest. They’ve always been when I’ve felt the happiest. That doesn’t mean I don’t work. But if I’m working most diligently when I’m feeling inspired and excited, and playing other times? That is what pays the highest dividends, every single time. It’s so much more effective, I decided that time for play is a vital investment in my work life.
[bctt tweet=”Effort doesn’t beget success. Joy does. #OnMyRadar” via=”no”]
Notice how repetitive Tarot is repetitive? I’ve you missed the King of Swords here or here, this is your chance to catch up. Hello, Mercury retrograde! Yes, this week features the King of Air (aka King of Swords) from The Good Tarot and Hyacinth–Playfulness–from the Botanical Inspirations deck.
So we’ve got clarity, vision, rationality, even-handedness, bright ideas, and fairness from our king. Couple that with playfulness, fun and joy from the Hyacinth. I really like this combination!
Sometimes, we’ve a tendency to minimize the importance of play. Time away from responsibility, to just enjoy ourselves and replenish, is vital. It clears out and helps quiet the mind, allowing the empty space necessary for inspiration to come a-calling. Without play, your work is much less effective. Play fosters brilliance!
Make time for fun, and protect it. It’s more valuable than most people know. And even when it’s not fun-time? Undertake work tasks with a lighthearted air. Focusing on problems and hammering away a those problems is not going to yield solutions. For solutions, we need inspiration. Looking for the fun, the joy, the lightness? This will clear your head and allow that inspiration to light. Advice that’s fun to take!
Do you find ways to play every day?
Give me a holler for a 1-on-1.