So, I *just* had a great exchange on Twitter and I wanted to share the information generated from it in the hopes that it will help other people in the same situation.
As creatives (and often independents) in an ever-changing field, we end up doing a lot of work and having to wear quite a few hats. Whitney Hess, super-fabulous User Experience Consultant and all-around kick-butt woman in general, sent out this lament on Twitter today:
I have just gone through this process in the last couple of weeks myself. At the time, a dear friend gave me the verbal equivalent of a (helpful) slap in the face, and suggested that if I didn’t enjoy what I was doing and this was adversely affecting everything else, then I should offload it and outsource the task(s).
This is the advice I gave her. It just came off the cuff from my head, but I am thinking of it as “Offload and Outsource: How to be Awesome in 4 Easy Steps”:
- Know that you can’t do as much work and help as many people when you are gritting your teeth through a task
- Remember that the thing you hate is the thing that someone else loves, and you are helping them by offloading
- Ask for help/support/leads to good people. everyone is looking to be recognized and approached for the work they do
- Believe that you deserve to only do what you love to do and are brilliant at, and you’re worth the effort
My final quip to her on the matter was “how does all of that sound? that kind of work is a log-jam and prevents us from shining our brilliance.“, which is so, so true.
Have I mastered it myself? Heck no — but I am working on it. But that talk my friend gave me last week pushed me to outsource 2 major defacto time and energy logjams which have, in turn, unleashed an avalanche of productivity and creativity for me (including giving me the idea for a presentation on the subject, which I am really excited about putting together and doing soon). So I know that does it really work.
To further this process and change in mindframe along, I’ve finally started reading the book “Work Less, Make More” (it’s been on my shelf for over five years!) in efforts break myself of many ingrained habits of working like crazy and wearing it as a badge of honor but then losing out on the richness of life and relationships with people around me. So far, it has been a great read and exactly what I need right now to move forward so that I can go out do and be more out in the world — and achieve my goals of just being more awesome in general.
If anyone else has tips or anecdotes on offloading, outsourcing, or working less and making more, I would love to hear them.