Stuck in a freelance rut? It might be time for “take your child to work day”—your inner child, that is. Here are three ways to bring the kid within to your work life.
Write an Invitation
Look around your workspace. Is it dry and boring or comfortable and inviting? If your desk is a place no kid would ever dare venture, it’s no wonder you’re feeling uninspired! Write an invitation to your inner child with a quick upgrade of the place where you spend most of your working hours. Can you add a picture, figurine, or object that reminds you to loosen up, laugh a little, or play? Can you incorporate a color or cue to help tap into the child within? You’d be surprise how a few simple tweaks to your workspace can change the way you think.
Remember how you felt in elementary school by the time recess rolled around? If you were like most kids, you likely squirmed, daydreamed, and watched the clock in a desperate bid to make playtime come around sooner. If you regularly pull long work sessions without the proper amount of time to play, your inner child could rebel. Show the kid within the light at the end of the tunnel by scheduling regular breaks. Download a timer app or decide to move at the top of the hour, then spend at least five minutes stretching, looking out the window, or doing something you enjoy. Then get back to work and rap the rewards of well-timed, well-used rest.
Banish Your Inner Scold
Do you remember the old adage “children should be seen, but not heard?” Unfortunately, creatives often bring that attitude with them through life—and neglect the parts of them that are the most connected to creativity and wonder. Chances are, that little voice deep within you is more wise than you might know…but if you keep suppressing it with harsh words, a blind eye, or an insistence on spending all of your time on the drier aspects of working for yourself, you might find that it gets even harder to tap into your playful side.
The worst move you can make is to scold your inner child when he or she shows up at your workplace. Don’t worry—kids aren’t too into paying bills or planning complex logistics, so don’t worry about interference there. When you do see sparks of the childish part of you, take it as a cue to pause and listen. How do you really feel inside the most basic part of yourself? Are you bored with your daily routine? Hurt by that disrespectful client interaction last week? Worried about how you’ll make time to rest and recharge? Instead of putting down that voice, give it an attentive audience.
When you pause and listen—really listen—to the child within, you might be surprised at what comes next. You’ll likely learn that the priorities and emotions of that inner child are both surprising and unexpectedly wise. And remember…the more you seek the child within, the more you’ll find.
If you’re starting a freelance career, or looking to grow your existing business, download our Free eBook, The Essential Guide to Launching a Freelance Career.