Don’t waste another day

It’s not all bull

The internet is choked with pithy aphorisms on how to live a happier, more productive, more creative, healthier, enriching life. Some of it is good, some just schlock, but the sheer volume of it itself becomes overwhelming and gets lost in a sea of good intentions.

The thing about good advice is, we tend to remember it most when we are not following it. If you are a freelancer — or trying to become one — you may already be acutely aware of this phenomena. Symptoms include:

• A restless feeling of discontentment
 • Anxiety about all the things you need to get done
 • Gnawing doubt about being what you say you are (feeling like a fraud)
 • Stress that the bad days you have represent the rest of your life
 • Fear that the good days you have are flukes and won’t happen again
 • Questioning your sanity at least once a day

I’ve worked as a freelancer for more than 15 years, and I’ve gone through it all. Big highs, deep lows and a lot of the in-between but the best advice I’ve ever had is simply this: don’t waste another day.

It has wide ranging applications. Here are a few that I’ve found particularly helpful.

Don’t waste another day:

• Worrying about why you started so late
 • Trying to become better at what you’re not good at
 • Feeling embarrassed about past failures
 • Regretting things you did
 • Regretting things you wish you had done
 • Not making the time to do what you want to do
 • Waiting for something to happen
 • Hiding out
 • Pretending to be someone you’re not
 • Avoiding discomfort
 • Not starting something because you don’t know how to do all of it

I’ve done all of the above and probably will backslide into some of that thinking again. But just remembering that every day matters and that the best time to do anything important is right now always pulls me forward.

(For more free “freelancer therapy’ please have a listen to a new podcast I co-host with Nanci Murdock at www.slashpodcast.com and be the first to know when my book Gigonomics: How to Thrive as a Freelancer, is published).