This has been on my mind during the past couple of weeks. How can I bring balance to my life while pursuing my dream? Working as a freelancer definitely has its advantages, but also requires you to be able to constantly adapt your daily schedule to your clients’ requests. At least if you are a translator working with a handful of clients as a location-independent professional. There are days I have no (paid) work to do, but there are also Friday evenings when I receive an email from a client requesting an urgent translation by Monday morning. Then I have to set everything aside and start working. And, yes, I do constantly check my emails. There’s no such thing as shutting down. Those closer to me have definitely had to put up with this at some point. Late cancellation of dinner plans or whole weekend trips is something I have learned to live with, but it is not always as easy for others to accept. So, for those of you still sticking around, thank you!
Before making any travelling plans, I kinda followed a routine. Wake up, train, work, sleep etc. How will I be able to keep as much a routine as possible while on the road? I’ve only started planning my next steps and I already see I need to adapt, again, to find balance between working, training and travelling.
To give you an idea, I was recently assigned a large project that required a lot of my time and attention. I love those projects. They are not only interesting and adding to my experience, but also help me feel productive, support me financially and enable me to live my dreams. In the same time, however, my heart wants me to keep up my training regime and take part in competitions and see my friends and have fun. I had to find balance, which was hard given my excitement about my plans and workouts, and the long hours I had to put into my work. I wanted to write about my plans in my blog, train twice a day, see my friends AND keep my clients happy! Knock knock. Who’s there? Frustration!!!
For one, I know that when I skip a day of training it has a chained reaction affecting my mood, the rest of my day and consequently my productivity and other aspects of my life. I can be really grumpy.
On the other hand, I need to earn a living so rejecting work is not an option either. The only thing I can do is negotiate to ensure the longest possible delivery deadline to make sure I can fit everything in my schedule.
In this case, time with family & friends is the first to go out the window. My good eating habits and sleeping time follow. No, I won’t starve myself, I love food too much! I just spend less time doing groceries, food prepping and cooking, and eat more ready-meals or dried/canned food I have conveniently stocked in my cupboards for times of need. As for sleep, when I get stressed with work I forget about sleeping. That’s just how I roll.
It goes without saying that lack of sleep and proper food will have an impact on my overall performance at the box, but it’s just the price I have to pay.
I have some mantras at mind too, to help me get through the rough times.
No matter how badly I want to sleep in in the morning after having worked till very very late, I remind myself that I have never ever regretted going to the box and doing the workout of the day. So I gather my pieces and get up and go.
I also remind myself that 5’ after I delivering my project, I will be free to continue doing my favorite things! Positive thinking always helps!
In other words, for me balance is achieved when I keep my focus on my goals, on the dream that will come true once the hard times are over. I can push through if I know that it will help me to get to where I want to be in a month or a year from now. Having a clear view of what is important and what is not may be the first step to finding balance. This is why I promised myself to every now and then reevaluate my priorities and dreams. I hadn’t done that for years and found that I was sort of trapped in chasing outdated dreams without stopping for a while to reconsider whether they will actually make me happy today. Reevaluating my priorities and dreams was liberating to say the least. This process helped me to let go of those outdated dreams and keep my focus on what is important here and now.
At the end of the day, shouldn’t your dreams be fueling our daily life and make you want to go for more? Balance goes hand in hand with a clear mind. Only then can you achieve your goals and make the most out of each moment!