How has your year started are you sprinting ahead full of energy and bursting with ideas, or does it feel a bit like coming out of hibernation and wading through treacle? Mine has been a bit of a mix hence the delay on writing this blog.
The end of last year for me was a proper mix, hell the whole of last year was a mix there were times when I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough work and times when I had way too much work. Getting balance with work is always a struggle for me which I think it is with lots of self-employed people, it can sometimes feel difficult to turn down work especially if it is a company or organisation that you like or connect with because of that feast or famine that can happen in business.
At the end of last year during the 2022 planning process I made some promises to myself for the coming year and I’m sharing them with you as a way of having some accountability.
1. Do more freelance writing. I’ve always wanted to write for magazines and did a journalism degree followed by working as an editorial assistant in a news agency. I had had some work published when I was younger but have always wanted to write more first person and opinion pieces (I have a lot of opinions). Last year I decided to try and write more and had my first piece published on a site called Lacuna Voices. I got a bit slack on the pitching, mainly through fear of rejection but this year I’ve decided there are 1000’s of publications out there and I’m going to look that fear in the eye and just pitch and pitch and pitch.
2. To cut ties with projects that I no longer feel a connection with. I’m really results driven so when I work with a business or organisation, I like to work with ones that I am really passionate about and believe in as that always makes work a whole lot less like work, but there are times when what the clients wants and what can be achieved don’t marry. I always find this difficult to manage and often stay working on a project for longer than I probably should, offering a number of options, solutions and plans which can sometimes take me away from pitching for other work that I am more aligned with. I’ve realised in the past year that sometimes it is just best to let go.
3. To plan my day meticulously. At the end of 2021 I was overwhelmed and starting to feel a bit burnt out. I felt that my brain was really chaotic and that I would jump from one project to another on a daily basis. It was massively frustrating, and it was something that a recognised as a reoccurring theme when I became busy. During quitter periods I would be massively organised but during busy times even though I knew how many hours I had available to work each work I couldn’t focus. I put a call out on doing it for the kids looking for an app or person who could take all the hours I had in a work for work, the projects I had to do each week and schedule in when I should do them. Some genius suggested a website called Reclaim and it has changed the way I work. It knows what hours I work, each week I tell it what I have to do, by what day and how many hours I think it will take and it tells me when I should do it. It also syncs with my calendar so considers any meetings I have already planned it. It even schedules in my lunch, exercise, and dog walks.
I’m hoping that by keeping these three promises to myself 2022 will be a successful, fulfilling, stress free and meticulously organised year. What work promises have you made for the next 12 months?
Rebecca Slater is a PR Consultant with more than 20 years public relations experience. She is based in Staffordshire but provides support to businesses all over the country.