In the last few months I’ve gone through a lot of periods of change and self-growth and acceptance. Like this article says, I truly think that becoming a full-time freelancer has made me into a better, and happier, person.
I’m definitely still a Type A (100%) and I don’t think that will ever change, but what has changed is my ability to recognize my stress level and how it affects the way I treat people and situations that annoy me.
Before I quit my full-time job I was stressed to the max. I was working 40 hours/week at my job plus putting in 40-ish hours/week on my business. I wasn’t sleeping much, I wasn’t exercising, and I wasn’t eating right. The tiniest delay or change to my extremely scheduled life put me over the edge. I would react to it with irritation, annoyance, and there were times I was downright rude no matter if it was someone’s fault or not.
For all you other Type A people out there, here are some things I’ve done to have a plan but not be so rigid.
Slow Down and Smell the Roses
After quitting my job at the end of July, I spent the first few weeks catching up on life. I went to be earlier, slept later, and (gasp!) I spent a little time “relaxing”. The reason I say “relaxing” is because even though I tried my very hardest to put my to-do list and business out of my mind when I’d finish working for the day it would still be there at the back of my mind. To this day, it’s still there everyday no matter how hard I try to relax.
I always say I’m not good at relaxing or slowing down, but I did my best to do so when I first quit my job. Going from working 80+ hours/week to working only 40 hours/week on my business was amazing!
You knew this one would be on the list, right? I still have a plan for each day. I have deadlines and tasks on my to-do list but I try my best not to fret if things don’t go exactly as planned. They rarely do in life anyway.
When I start to feel stressed out or angry about things not going as planned I try my best to remind myself that everything is ok. The sun is still shining and there’s always tomorrow.
Build in Time for Nothing
One new strategy that I’m trying out is planning extra time into my day for nothing. It might sound strange, but I’m trying to quit working a little earlier in the evening so I can spend an hour or two doing nothing, or doing anything I want to do. Yes, I still have to put this in schedule to make it happen, but that’s what works for me. Yes, I literally block off a time on my calendar for “nothing”. 🙂
Being a Type A isn’t a bad thing. We tend to be driven, competitive, highly efficient, and great at our jobs. But we also tend to have trouble relaxing, sleeping, and prioritizing our lives. I don’t want to fight against all of my natural tendencies so I still keep a calendar and have a plan for my day, but I’m trying to be less rigid about it when life intervenes.
Are you a Type A? How do you relax or deal with it when things do go according to plan?