The world seems to think it’s best to be an optimist when you work for yourself as a freelance writer.
That’s the impression I get, at least.
It seems like most of us are striving to see the glass half full — all the B2B clients we can work for, the work we can do, and the money we can make.
But what if I told you that, more often than not… optimism is sabotaging you?
For a long time as a freelance writer, I found myself overworked, running around like a chicken being chased by someone who wanted to cut off its you-know-what.
I felt always behind, even after I’d whaled on my to-do list really hard. When I looked at the list the next day, it still seemed like it spiraled out into the ether.
After a while, I felt like I could never rest. Like, anytime I did rest, I was stealing from this future I was trying to build.
Needless to say, I was stressed out.
What I’ve come to realize is that my optimism was sabotaging me.
I was very optimistic about certain things to do with my workload and freelance writing time management….
How much time I had.
How fast I could get things done.
The positive results I’d see from what I did.
You see where this is going?
I was literally too optimistic about how much I could work — and it left me constantly disappointed.
Now, I’m all for optimism.
In fact, I think the world could use more of it. Especially when it comes to creating a vision for the big picture and being resilient in the face of what we’re all going through.
But when it comes to time planning and mapping out what I can get done and doing my work…
I actually needed to be a little more pessimistic
How much time do I actually have?
How much time will that project actually take me?
What if I need to rest more than I think you do?
What if my children need me for an extra half hour that I didn’t anticipate?
Over the last few weeks, I’ve found that when I am more pessimistic about what I can get done…
I actually get more done and feel better about what I do.
It’s been a difficult adjustment.
This goes against literally everything I’ve believed about work for almost 20 years.
It feels really weird to plan less for a day and try to be satisfied with it.
But I’m a couple of weeks in, and I can really tell the difference in my stress levels and the quality of my work.
(Both are better.)
So tell me… What are you being too optimistic about right now?
Try to be a little more pessimistic and see how it goes.