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  • Sarah Margaret Henry

My Struggle with Turning Off the World


Every day it becomes increasingly clear that my job is conspiring against me in my efforts to become a techno-free hermit.

I might as well superglue my phone to my head.


That's how on call I have to be.


Between responding to job postings, talking with clients, researching leads, editing videos and photos, connecting with prospects, running my social media, returning emails, managing my websites, submitting my writing for publication, and even running this blog, I'm constantly in front of a screen. And part of me hates it.

But the other part of me loves how I can do so much creative work at home. I love the power that #Adobe gives me to create beautiful art and I love how my phone can connect me with clients from all around the world.


But I hate how when my phone rings at 11:30pm, I have to pick up. I hate how when I'm eating lunch with my fiance, my ringer has to be on. I hate how I'm looking at freelance jobs in bed when I'm falling asleep just so I can stay on top of applications.


Romantic evening with my fiance, right? My phone is right next to my margarita and fajitas.

I'm that workaholic in every crappy movie I swore I would never be.


But I don't know how I'm supposed to do that and be a good businesswoman at the same time.


How am I supposed to keep a client's attention if I don't respond instantly? If I take just fifteen minutes to return an email or reply to a job posting, they could have already found another writer, another video producer, another photographer who can do whatever they need just as well as I can.


So what sets me apart?


I'd like to say it's that I care too much. But I really don't know for sure.


The problem is that we're absolutely inundated with content from every corner of the internet. Content an artist makes needs to be better and better just to get eyes on it, and that's when it's offered for free. Trying to make people pay to see what you're making is a whole other ballgame entirely.


And in this game, you have to pay to play.


And the bats are lasers and the balls are those giant inflatable zorb balls you can wear and run at each other with.


So I'm stuck. I really want to do what I'm doing, but not only does it cost a significant amount before I can expect a return on investment, but it takes precious time away from the ones I love.


But don't I love my job, too?


Part of me is jealous when my fiance comes home and can leave work behind in the office. He isn't designing buildings in AutoCAD in our bed at night. Not only is my office a few steps away, but it's also in my pocket.


So how do I turn off the world and just breathe?


The answer is I don't know if I can quite yet.


I need to find what sets me apart first. I have to become so good at my job that people can stand the fifteen minute wait for me to answer their emails.

And a part of me needs to understand that maybe the clients that aren't willing to wait that long aren't worth having.


But I've got a long way before I'm confident enough to really believe that.


So what about you? Does your job keep you glued to your phone as well? How do you handle that pressure and carve away time for yourself? Comment below and be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on the latest crazy thing I have thoughts on!

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