Tori posted last week with 5 Tips for Procrastinators. It’s a great post if you’re guilty, as many of us are, of putting things off until the very last second. Like many students, I’ve unintentionally put tremendous pressure on myself by procrastinating.
Sometimes I have the opposite problem–I’m not procrastinating, I’m working non-stop instead and my work-life balance is shot to hell. Running a business is hard. Founding Wordsmith and growing over the last nine months has been one of the most challenging tasks I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve put more time and effort into Wordsmith Essays and editing for other people than I ever did into my own work in college. I find myself at my computer from 8 AM until midnight, some days. I’m tweaking this paragraph and training this editor, writing a blog post, or trying to find a better or more efficient way to do something we’re already doing.
I’m three weeks behind on “The Newsroom.” I haven’t even started my thesis. I’ve just finished moving across the country, but still have boxes to unpack. I haven’t exercised in weeks.
I am, in short, driving myself crazy trying to forge something out of nothing. I’m heavily invested in my business–not just financially, but also emotionally. I feel significant responsibility to you, my clients, to ensure that you receive quality editing at reasonable rates. I also feel a responsibility to my staff, who prove how amazing and dedicated they are every single day. Everyone deserves the very best that I can give, and of late, that has meant that I don’t take a lot of breaks.
However, too much work can be just as bad as not enough. Last night, after a day of frustration, I took the night off. My fiancé and I sat down with a bunch of crayons and a blow-dryer, and we made that crayon art you see at the top of this post. It was silly, sure, and maybe crayon art is a bit juvenile for two adults. But we enjoy such activities, and more importantly, we both were able to reset and recharge at the end of a trying day.
It’s important to keep a work-life balance. Any one of us can become too attached to a project, a term paper, or a job. But it is important to remember that, at the end of the day, what you spend your time doing is less important than who you spend your time with. Twenty years from now I may not be running an editing company–but I hope that I can look at all the crayon art on my walls, give my family a hug, and tell myself that my time was well spent.
(Oh yeah, and 20 minutes after I stopped working, we had an essay submission after several slow days. Figures.)