“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
This month has sucked. My Amazon accounts all had their reviews pulled and I was flooded with hundreds of angry emails, I had an ear infection, I drove my car into a ditch, lost my debit card, got hammered with almost $500 in unexpected bills during a 24 hour period, a client tried to get his work for free, and one of my larger oDesk customers ran out of things for me to do. I ended up getting really disheartened and ended up trying to avoid doing any actual work. My inbox got flooded with emails, I didn’t answer my phone, and I flaked on a date so that I could hide inside and watch reruns of Cops.
Typically I don’t get stressed out about much, but this month nearly killed me.
When I went to school I really didn’t have any concerns. When I had a job my only problem was making sure that no one caught me napping in the bathroom. Now I have to find clients, deliver pitches to them, complete work, and still balance all my other activities. There’s a big difference between the plight of boredom and survival.
Rather than boring you with my existential crisis, I’ll explain what I did to get back on the ball.
Make work fun
I love writing. However, I hate writing most of the dull content that I get paid to make. A 2,000 word article on insurance is just as fun to write as it is to read. Because of this I ended up looking for something that I thought I’d enjoy writing. I ended up getting paid to write a short piece of goofy erotica. Having to write a campy D grade sex story is a thousand times more fun than any insurence company profile ever could be.
As Nas once said, “He who has begun is half done.” I quit procrastinating on the work that was already in front of me, instead of running from it, I sat down and worked until 2 am. I ended up finishing up enough stuff that I was several days ahead of schedule. I went from barley meeting deadlines to being all caught up by simply putting my mind to it.
By getting busy I ended up being unable to sit around and feel bad for myself. I was also able to build up enough momentum to tackle all of my more difficult and unpleasant tasks.