Something I had to learn: the importance of doing other things in order to be able to become a better illustrator. At first I thought it was all about just illustrating more and more. Put in the hours, get clients, make more. First priority work. And when work is done, the rest…

Thing is, as a freelance illustrator, there is ALWAYS more work to be done. Client work, personal work, managing social media, practicing, website maintenance, networking, administration, practice, practice, practice, emails, packing/shipping orders, thinking about new project ideas, learning new skills, and the list goes on and on and on. So if I have to wait for all that to be finished, my personal life will never happen.

Just going on working through that list without looking up, you’re pretty much on your way to burn out. Been there once, don’t want to go there again. No thank you! I realized I had to prioritize myself in between all the work tasks. Make appointments with myself to do the things that are important to remain a well functioning version of me. Such as making time to cook. Go outside. Work in the garden a little. Read for fun.

And keep up the running. Three times a week. That’s it. But it is an important indicator for me on how the selfcare is going. When I find myself considering to skip a run because I should work on something, that means the balance is off. I don’t have the time for those three runs a week, I’m heading in the wrong direction. And it’s an easy way to go outside, leave the desk, let my mind wander.

Keeping an eye on myself is important when I’m my own boss. I need to take good care of my employee. So she can do the best work she is capable off.

What are your indicators of your work/personal life balance?