Well, it’s done. I have checked off everything on my “To-Do List” and have even made my list for tomorrow, but for some reason I still feel like I didn’t get anything done. What the hell is that all about? I freakin’ sent the e-mails to that client, finished the dang audio on the scene that was giving me trouble, and managed to produce a somewhat funny video that was posted to Instagram and yet none of that feels like I really did anything at all. Is it because I didn’t get paid for any of it? Is it because there is no one else around me to tell me “Good job, Tyler. You are such a fantastically hard worker, I wish I was like you,” when I reach a daily goal? Truth is I was productive as hell, but our instant gratification culture has me programmed to feel like I need an achievement notification to prove I was.
Being self-employed has some huge advantages like the fact that I’m not wearing pants right now or really ever while I’m at home working. Don’t worry, I pants up when I meet with a client. Sometimes. One thing self-employment doesn’t offer is a room full of co-workers who see you grinding away for hours and share in your relief at the end of the day knowing that you all got something done, whatever that may be. You grab a couple beers and talk about the project you were working on that day and joke about the annoyances of client expectations versus reality. You get a feeling like you actually did something because the other people around you also did something and you all saw it.
My roommate is also self-employed, but for that most part we are both plugged in and on separate ends of the house and never really see what each other produces until days, weeks, or even months later when the rest of the world also sees it. Your “To-Do Lists” are sometimes the only proof to yourself that you actually accomplished something. The important thing to remember when you’re done for the day and no one double tapped your life sending you a big red heart or disembodied thumbs up that it isn’t about the gratification you get today, tomorrow, or even this year, it is about the moment you’ve come to when you’ve surpassed what you even thought you could do and no longer need someone to tell you good job to know that you did one.
On that note, please like and share this blog post because I’m not quite there yet.