To Work or Not To Work? – Getting the Workload Right

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I have a weakness. 

Well, technically, I do have several (Don’t we all?), but this particular weakness entails a series of challenges once you’ve found your soulmate you’d love to spend every minute with, and – even more so! – once you become a parent.

I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I’m not referring to a passion for jumping off high buildings for fun, or being locked up in a basin filled with tarantulas. No, the adrenaline I prefer is caused by working under pressure. I thrive under pressure! The more there is, the more productive I become. I’m the one who wrote her Master’s thesis of roughly 60 pages in 3 (THREE!) days and got a straight “A” for it. The birth of my daughter took less than 9 minutes. But we’re drifting away from the original topic, aren’t we? Yes.

I find it hard to decline jobs, especially when the client’s been good and reliable. I always fear that they immediately find some genius replacement for me and never offer me a job again. As a freelancer, you cannot afford to sink into oblivion. At least if you like being successful and having a regular monthly income, that is.

In practice, this addiction to adrenaline paired with a constant struggle not to be forgotten by your client once you decline work has led to some weekends spent in front of my laptop rather than at the beach with my family.  I’ve usually justified this missing out on quality time by saying “Well, this extra bit of cash might be helpful, and I’m doing it for the sake of my family, aren’t I?”.

However, I’ve come to realise that less often is more. Spending time with my family and friends is, quite frankly, priceless. Given the choice between Saturday and Sunday surrounded by loved ones or another squeezed in 8000-word translation job due Monday 8 am, I’d much rather go for the first option nowadays. Running after a girl who’s just figured out how to pull herself up and use her little legs can cause about the same amount of adrenaline anyway!

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Kathrin x

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