I was having dinner with my friends recently. I hadn’t seen them for ages. Work was extremely busy and the weeks had flown by.
I realised during dinner that I wasn’t really listening to what my friends were saying.
My brain was scrambled and filled with white noise. I wasn’t working but I wasn’t enjoying my time off either.
The life of a freelancer is one of feast and famine. Even when you’re busy the fear of the famine is never far away and that creates a reluctance to say “no” to work. As demand for my copywriting services has grown, I have adjusted my capacity to deliver accordingly.
But what about work-life balance? I have been working harder, not smarter, and I knew the risk was creative burnout, not to mention becoming “the boring friend”…
And so begins The Friday Experiment.
I believe you should always look for ways to grow, personally and professionally, but always with a sense of perspective. In my excitement to take advantage of the demand for my copywriting services, I looked for ways to get everything done. My weeks were packed with client work, sometimes spilling over onto the weekends, which were already spent keeping my regular marketing activity flowing.
In all the excitement, something changed. Writing wasn’t as fun as it once was. I was feeling the pressure of meeting deadlines without compromising on the quality of my service delivery, which is extremely important to me.
When I took Copywrite Matters on my holiday overseas, it triggered something within. I knew it was time to think hard about how I wanted Copywrite Matters and my life to fit together.
My motivation for change is pretty simple.
I want to spend more time on my strategic direction rather than furiously working to meet the next project deadline.
I want available brain space to put together creative, evocative marketing for Copywrite Matters, because marketing is what I love.
I want more quality free time to enjoy life.
But time doesn’t magic itself up. I needed to make that time for myself. So that is just what I’ve done.
Copywrite Matters now closes on Fridays. I’m still working but Friday is my day to work behind the scenes in a focused and deliberate manner.
I’ll be looking at strategic goal setting, designing new marketing initiatives, creating content, strategic blog work including writing blogs, researching and writing guest blog posts, and catching up on any leftover administration in order to start the week afresh.
In order to make it work I need to do a couple of things:
- Make sure I’m tracking against specific, measurable goals.
- Deal with my biggest distractions.
- Set the right expectations for people trying to get in touch with Copywrite Matters.
One of my biggest (self-inflicted) distractions is email so I am creating an email responder to tell people that I’m off the radar but only for the day. The automated response will let them know that I’ll check my emails at 10am and 3pm (only) and respond to anything urgent. Anything else will have to wait until Monday when normal service will resume.
Another potential distracter is social media but, to be honest, I love social media and everyone gets a bit loose when the weekend looms, so I’ll continue to mooch around to enjoy the Friday fun.
What will people think?
I have thought seriously about how this will look to potential clients and industry peers. Does it look like I’m just taking a long weekend every week? If it does, is that a bad thing? What will new clients think?
I personally think it shows that I am serious about running a successful business. That kind of professional approach shines across my copywriting services so I don’t think I’m compromising my brand values.
I’d love to get your thoughts on the matter. Would you consider this for your business? Or perhaps you do it already?