Kathleen here and today I want to admit that work, life, the blend, and the balance has managed to kick my ass this week. Back-to-back client meetings, planning for the future of Braid Creative, creating content, coming down from a big talk and already prepping for the next – it's the good kind of stress that I typically thrive on. But then add to the mix 1.) a nocturnal baby with a stubborn fever, 2.) my own symptoms of unrequited wanderlust, and 3.) a serious case of “never-enough-time-itis” – and I'm melting down. So even though a big part of my work is coaching other creatives through the work / life hullabaloo I'm still susceptible getting stuck, scattered, and spread thin.
But here's the deal... I'm comfortable admitting that I don't feel like I have it all together all the time because most of us don't. Think of the most successful person you know. Even she suffers from insecurities from time-to-time. I mean, I bet even Beyonce has her days! As I get vulnerable with my creative confidants and tell them that I'm burning out they almost seem relieved because "ME TOO!" – from homework battles with their kids to the general pressure of running your own thing and chasing the dream. It can be overwhelming.
So what do you do when you feel like you've taken a work / life beating? Follow the energy. Let me explain.
IDENTIFY THE ENERGY LEAKS
First, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Get centered. Now, take stock of what's going on in your work and life. Mentally walk through your day from beginning to end. Where are there energy leaks? For example, how does your email inbox make you feel? Is it draining? How are your client meetings? Do you feel fried after working on a project? How is your sleep? What about your relationships? Do some of them leave you feeling toxic? How do you feel after spending time on social media? Do you feel connected or like you've been caught in a comparison trap? Energy leaks can be big and little – from abusive clients to a broken pen you keep picking up. Try to be honest about the big ones and mindful of the small ones.
DO MORE OF WHAT GIVES YOU ENERGY
Alright, now that you've identified the energy leaks it's time to pinpoint the things that give you energy. If you're an extrovert you might get energy from coffee with a new friend, a fun networking opportunity, taking a new class, or having a dinner party with pals. If you're an introvert you might gather energy from a good book, a long walk, or meditation. (If you're like most creatives I know you have a good mix of intro and extro-vertedness – so a mix of both may do you good). Now take stock of the work you do – which projects make you feel really good? What kinds of clients do you seem to have the most chemistry with? When it comes to exercise do you feel more restored and energized after a sweaty yoga session, a long run, or some intense crossfit? What creatively energizes you? Do you love writing, taking photos, sketching, gardening, cooking?
Once you pinpoint what gives you energy start doing more of that. Make it a part of your job description. Do the things that give you the most creative energy first thing in the morning and right after lunch. Develop a new offering or product that utilizes more of what energizes you. Or maybe just keep it for yourself (as a passion project or hobby) but schedule time for it into your day or week. Oh, and the stuff that drains you? Do less of that. Try delegating it to someone else or just don't do it at all. Or at least take a closer look at it and ask yourself "why" you're doing it and how it could be less draining.
What are your energy leaks? Let us know on Facebook!
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The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.