It’s a funny old world, the freelancer world. Most of the time when I tell people what I do, it takes a few breaths just to complete the list of weird and wonderful things I do to make a living. From writing, coming up with concepts, content angles, outreach, organising events and even covering bums in glitter, jobs are I dare say, varied. Some are retainers, others contract to contract with a few one-off projects in between. I always count myself lucky to work for myself, when I want, how I want, but sometimes it never rains but it pours, especially in February. So how do you deal when there’s only yourself to turn to?
It’s been little under 1 full year since I went solo, which is pretty crazy when I think about it. Even during Betty & Bee, February was always fast paced, full on and fly by the seat of our pants. Now I am by myself it’s pretty much the same, but double the work. It can be pretty overwhelming, seeing your to-do list multiply along with your washing basket – the trials and tribulations of working from home. It can paralyse you. You can end up swamped by these feelings of unrealised goals and of not measuring up (cheers, Instagram), and the worry that you won’t get it done and if you do, well, that just wont be good enough. That has always been a pretty regular thought pattern to me. I always seem to get shit done, per say, but hell it can be an uphill struggle, till I found Sarah Knight. Yes guys, I’m proof in this pudding. If I can take real (pretty incredible) steps to help get my anxiety in check AND productivity in order WHILE doing the things I want to do, well anyone can. How you ask? With these books.
I know, I know. The quest for self-improvement leads lots of us to these books which promise to change our lives forever. But honestly, these two actually did for me. Let me explain. Last year, I came across The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck. A crass title with promises of life change? This will be fun, I thought. Little did I know that a few chapters in, I had already started making some real positive movements in my behaviour. I was saying no, I was less scared of telling the T and best of all? Work was getting done. Sarah breaks it down in a way I just got. She had some thought patters which were scarily similar to mine, and with that I was hooked. An absolute must for anyone with a “to do” list that never seems to get to “done”. Sarah basically describes the ways of where and when to place your “fucks” in order to live a happier life for you. By visualising your problems and general list as an imaginary bag of fucks (again, crass but go with it) that you work through in stages, asking yourself a few questions before deciding whether you actually give a fuck, and in turn, make things feel more manageable. As I type this, I am living the book. Since being away most of last week, my emails have had a life of their own but yet here I sit, making them wait. The fucks belong to the inspiration to write this overdue post, after all, my emails will still be there when I’m finished so it’s well worth the spend.
Since generally getting to know where and when to place my fucks, I was super excited to spy the next instalment of Sarah’s books waiting for me at Kings Cross station: Get your shit together: How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can make time for what you need to do and start doing what you want to do. It really couldn’t come at a better time. This month I have new collections and product launches for clients, events to organise, gifting to arrange, articles to write for Fashion Fix Daily, prepping for my video debut with BBC’s The Social, London Fashion Week organisation, write a social media workshop for Walnut Wasp’s Marketing 101 as well as general day to day creating content and battering through emails. Yep. It’s a lot but getting shit done is exactly what I need rn. So far after devouring this book over the last weekend, things have already seemed more manageable. Again, filtering out the “small shit” from the “tough shit” and relooking the natural order in which I usually work – i.e everything all at once. A lot of it makes general sense: breaking things down, working out priority etc, but the way Sarah writes somehow makes everything easier to execute. It’s like she’s reached into your weary anxious soul and made it a hot toddy to make it better. Seriously, it’s list witchcraft.
It’s crazy how much a self-help book that proclaims itself not to be a self-help book has helped me. And I am not just talking about my working-force-to-be-reckoned-with kind of way, but with my general social life and friend circle too. Different things work for different people, but all I know is that Sarah Knight is definitely my kind of people. So if you feel the same, I’d go right ahead and treat your self to both copies and her newsletter. It’ll be the best decision you’ve made all day, I promise. Now, back to those emails…