Breaking + Centering: It's On Me to Take Time Off / by Dana Wood

True (sad) story: Right before the holidays last year, I accepted not one but two - deux! - rush assignments.

According to the clients attached to these projects, they simply had to be wrapped-up by year-end so they could hit their respective markets in early January.

So even though I'd been working my fool head off in the last quarter of 2015 (actually make that in every quarter of 2015), and had a super-fun trip with the fam to Key West on the docket, I agreed to the truncated timelines.

Here's how it all played-out: I kept crazy hours in the run-up to our vacation, I worried and fretted the entire time we were away, and then I completely tanked the last few pre-New Year's days - a time of year I typically really cherish - by diving back into work the second we got back home. 

Of course you can guess what happened: The launch of both of these faux-rush projects got pushed way back. One hasn't even happened yet, and it's getting dangerously close to April.

As an Independent Contractor, feast or famine comes with the territory; even when you're good at what you do and are rarely looking for work, it's hard to really own that, psychologically.

Sometimes I feel like Ben Affleck, who recently told The New York Times that despite two Oscars, he constantly feels like he has to keep proving himself.

And frankly, although plenty of clients do try to fake-rush a project through the pipeline, a massive chunk of my work angst is generated by Yours Truly. Even when I have only the tiniest of deadlines to meet, I have a very, very hard time giving myself permission to take some much-needed time off. 

As the Boss of Me, that shouldn't be the case. Not only is it completely, utterly counter-productive, it also just isn't right. I deserve time off just like anyone else. Obvi, my approach to not working needs serious work. 

 

I went to Key West. But did I enjoy it?

I went to Key West. But did I enjoy it?