Pausing Shouldn't Be Scary
It's just that we're not used to it.
As a freelancer, pausing shouldn't be scary. There are days when I wake up and have nothing to do. People in my field will argue that this is the time to aggressively and relentlessly market ourselves, leaving no stone unturned and making lasting impressions on potential clients. But is it really? I know other voice over artists who are probably sending out mass mailings to thousands of production companies because they can't afford to feel inactive - can't afford to pause for a single moment and reflect, or develop a new strategy during this "down time".
Market, Market, Market, Hustle, Hustle, Hustle
Treat your business like it's an online shoe store. Baloney. This is where I disagree wholeheartedly. When do we ever get a moment to reflect on what we're doing if we're constantly requiring ourselves to be "on"? We're forcing ourselves to believe we have to be busy, active marketers, or that merely getting in front of as many people as possible is the key to building long-lasting relationships. Persistence persistence persistence. Sure, but at what cost? There's nothing scary about pausing and should never be. For a moment. For a few days. Or a few weeks (Well, hopefully not that long) but an ample amount of time to really let it all sink in. That time can be the most overlooked part of our busy lives, no matter what field we find ourselves in.
Pausing on a daily basis is perfectly fine. Every once in a while, it's a reminder that breaking from our everyday activities serves us well. The problem is that we don't often focus on taking a break unless it's a planned vacation - to an exotic location or romantic weekend getaway. The usual excuse vacation. We hear it all the time, don't we? "Oh, I've been working so hard, I need a vacation!" or "I just need to get away for a few days," or the sadly all-too-common daily escape of, "I really need a drink." We say these things because we know too well the challenges of truly releasing our everyday connected selves and taking a break from our overactive minds. In this recent article from "Science of Us" Tanya Basu writes:
So go ahead. Put on those noise-cancelling headphones, close your eyes for three minutes, and say or do exactly nothing. Those three minutes might be the key to a more productive and happier subsequent 23 hours and 57 minutes.
I remember when I first started charging my iPhone in the kitchen last year. I'll admit it was different not having something to stare at before drifting off to sleep, but one thing I've come to know: that phone isn't going anywhere. It will be there tomorrow morning when I wake up and, plus, it's been for my eyes and overall sleep patterns. I've been able to focus on getting some quality sleep without having to expect anything from anyone or from the phone in general. Now I wake up looking forward to checking my email on my iPhone, having shut everything down the previous night.
So, when you cleanse your mind of any digital activity, whether that's scrolling through everyone's Facebook status, baby and puppy photos, or new engagement ring, or your favorite viral video on YouTube, you rid yourself of some trivial expectations.
In the long run you do more good than harm. Stop driving yourself nuts.
Basu, Tanya. "Shut Up and Bask in Silence For A Better Life" Science of Us. Web. 19 Nov 2015. 1 Dec 2015