I was speaking to a young mother at work the other day who wanted to set up a clothing business. She had the skills, the materials, and a full business plan. A very marketable one too. But with being a mum and work she simply didn’t have the time, or marketing knowledge, to add a third spinning plate to her act. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot in different guises. It’s become abundantly clear to me over the last few weeks how hard achieving anything is alongside a full-time job. Perhaps this is why working-class individuals are so much less likely to move up, because we’re always bloody working!
By the time I get home from work, make dinner, and walk the dog it’s usually gone eight. That leaves between two and three hours (if I don’t want to be a zombie the next day and reduce productivity even further!) to do everything else on my list. Showering, housework, laundry, shopping… Then if there’s time comes the writing, blogging, social media upkeep, looking for new opportunities and jobs, looking for Edinburgh rooms, contacting landlords, finding places to send my writing, actually sending it… As writing (and indeed creating any business) is a full-time job in and of itself this all feels overwhelming at best. At worst, impossible.
And yet, I’ve definitely been guilty of telling people to ‘find time’ for what they love. Of cracking out the old classic ‘if you really want to do it you’ll find the time, if not you’ll find an excuse’. Which is crazy because I’ve worked full-time a lot alongside writing. I should know how hard it is to carve out that time after work. To not just veg in front of the TV with a packet of biscuits. However, I have always been able to find the motivation to keep going through the exhaustion. Always opted for the unhealthy method of just sleeping less and not socialising.
This time feels different.
While I’m still struggling to find time for sleep and meeting friends I’m not managing to find the time anywhere to do the non-financially lucrative work I need to do either. And when I do find myself with an hour or two to sit at my laptop it’s as though all the thoughts I need to get out, this pool of motivation and productivity, are locked on the other side of an impenetrable wall. A wall of my own making, granted, but still a fortress I can’t breach.
Perhaps it’s because I’m working twenty days in a row, or because I’m working a physically taxing job, or because I’ve had a lot of rejection since those motivated years and I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. Either way, finding my mojo to do anything except sleep when I get home recently is HARD.
It seems I’m not alone in this, though. Yesterday I put up an Instagram story asking for your thoughts on this topic and several of you (from bloggers to authors and beyond) claimed to be struggling with motivation after work too. One friend even said it was the catalyst for developing anxiety. I definitely feel that on a personal level. There are times where I wake up practically shaking with panic due to all the stuff I have to do and the complete lack of time within which to do it.
I did manage to get this rambling blog post up, though, so small victories…
What are your thoughts on this topic? I know everyone will be on different work patterns/ hours and trying to achieve different things outside work so do leave a comment below. I’d love to write about this more in the future.
[I’m trying to sort out my online life and therefore I’ve created a new Instagram account for my blog @diaryofalosttwentysomething. I tried to get @LostTwentySomething but it’s been taken already. Boo! I’ll soon be shifting to posting about my blog (almost) exclusively on that account—once I have the time to make the account aesthetically pleasing and successful, just to come full circle to this week’s blog topic!]