. . . and light a candle . . .
Nah, this post has nothing to do with the Teddy Pendergrass song of the same name. Although, it is one of my favorites.
Turn ’em off!
I’ve been in Charlottesville, Virginia for a little over a week now. (Much more about my new “home” later!) Half the time I’ve spent enjoying the Virginia Festival of the Book. The other half I’ve spent working on revamping both of my main websites. I wanted them both to be mobile-responsive, so people could see my content better on their iPhones, iPads, etc. I wanted my nonprofit-focused site to highlight me more prominently as a speaker. I wanted happyblackwoman.com to look like a cleaner, more personal Tumblr-style site – without having to actually use Tumblr. (You can see the new layout here, if you’re reading this post by email.)
Many nights, I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, trying to figure out special WordPress CSS or tweaking the colors and fonts to get the sites just right. I’ve still got a bit of work to do on rosettathurman.com, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s coming along. As I was staying up for hours, drinking coke to (artificially) keep my energy up, I realized just how tough it was for me to call it a night and settle down for bed. When I have a creative project I’m working on (especially an online one), I feel compelled to just keep working on it until it’s done. I somehow forget about the law of diminishing returns, and the fact that my being up at 3:00 in the morning for too many nights in a row leads to disaster. Namely, headaches and bags under my eyes, not to mention typos on my websites and in my writing!
The other night, I actually had to scold myself out loud. “Turn off the lights. It’s time. To go. To bed.” And I did.
When you’re self-employed, it can feel like the work never stops. It doesn’t. There are always more opportunities out there than you have the capacity to take advantage of. There are always emails piling up that you have no chance of ever fully keeping up with. And there are always those pesky DIY marketing projects to work on when you have a tight budget, like websites and business cards. Don’t let that stop you from taking care of yourself, though. When YOU are the business, you have to invest even more in your own well-being.
Turn off the lights. Tomorrow, you get another chance to do the work.