Life on the Run: Is Doing "More" Really Worth it?
Updated: Mar 2
As I gaze out my living room window at the gloomy winter day, a thought pops into my head, "Man, I could just curl up on the couch and read a book today!" But, that peaceful thought is quickly interrupted with another judgment telling you, "You can't do that! You have so much to do today!!" This leads me to the question - Do we need to "do more" to be more productive? Some may say this concept is counter-productive, but one worth exploring!
I can tell you, as a newer entrepreneur, there's a silent shame that comes with days off in the middle of the week or downtime between clients/projects. For a long, long time, societal norms have been to work 60-80+ hours a week, only to spend the weekend on the couch trying to catch up on "life" by sleeping in for as long as you can and binging on Netflix. It's as if society is saying being busy is like a medal of honour we wear to prove our success, but at what cost? Time with friends and family? Hobbies? Health and wellness? In my personal opinion, the cost is just too high.
When I decided to trade the corporate world for self-employment, it was a difficult transition. I started by taking 2 weeks off. In all honesty, it felt like I was on vacation. It hadn't really hit me yet that I left behind a sense of security to explore my passion full time, but it was about to. After my "stay-cation" and some much-needed R&R, I felt refreshed and ready to tackle this new adventure. During my time off, I had several discussions with my husband about what this new life should look like, and I realized quickly that I didn't want to relive the corporate life. So, I decided to limit my working hours, allowing me to incorporate more space for play, creativity (which is vital for my business), time in nature, time with friends and family, and most importantly, time to rest.
The concept was so foreign. At first, it was terribly uncomfortable. I felt so much shame and guilt that I wasn't doing enough. I wasn't providing enough to the household. I wasn't "doing enough." All of those societal expectations came flooding back, plus sprinkle in some imposter syndrome, and I knew I was on a disastrous path. So, I decided to do some digging to see if I was the only one with all of these inadequacy feelings. Surprisingly, I didn't find much about the idea of entrepreneurs working less to achieve more, but I did come across an article from medium.com, which says, "the status quo is killing everyone." A bold yet accurate headliner for sure! But the article goes much further. It talks about building the life you really want, which is precisely what I'm working towards. It concerns that this topic isn't discussed more, which leads to the question, why?
My intuition is telling me, the further down this path I go, more questions will reveal themself, which I'm unable to answer (or find answers to). So, for now, I'm going to "be" with what I've learned so far. This doesn't mean my quest has ended; it means there's more to come, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you're an entrepreneur, employee, or freelancer, who is facing the same internal challenge while embracing the philosophy of doing less equals doing more, I'd love to hear from you.