How to Achieve Your Goals Without Burning Out

The plan was that on the first ‘proper’ working day of 2015 (5th Jan) I would get up an hour earlier than usual to start work on my freelance writing Udemy course. I was to follow quite an aggressive schedule.

That’s right, I have a Udemy course on how to earn a living writing online. (But don’t worry, that’s not what this post it about. Well, not really.)

Despite having zero experience of creating and producing videos – and despite being absolutely terrible in the early mornings – I was prepared to get up at an obscene hour so that I could launch my course at the end of January, before taking a trip to Australia on 12th February.

It went well for the first week too. I stuck to my plan and got up early to figure out video production. (It’s really all about the sound. Who knew?) Then I did all my other freelance work, before heading out to the in-house writing job I’m currently in.

So what’s the problem?

Hmm. Quite. The old me would have thought nothing of this – if you want to achieve something you have to damn well get up early (and a lot more besides) if that’s what it takes. There was a time when I would have pushed and strived and been sleep-deprived for a project, regardless of what this meant for other areas of my life (not to mention my sanity).

‘Twas a simpler time in many ways.

However, I’ve since realised the huge benefits of letting things develop while dropping all the energy of straining to get a project done on the quick.

I published a post on The Art of Letting go not long after I finally decided to shelve my (slightly insane) plans to work on my freelance writing Udemy course each morning in January. Yep, I let that schedule go. Instead, I’ve given myself the privilege of a bit more time.

This means, instead of treating the creation of this project as a numbers game that takes X amount of bleary-eyed early mornings to achieve, I can instead turn it into a labour of love.

Creating something with soul (man)

I hope it doesn’t sound trite when I say I genuinely want this freelance writing Udemy course to help people. I want it to be so much more than the PDF version of the course, not just in format, but in terms of content, style and the results students can achieve with it.

The aim is to arm potential freelance writers like you with the information and tools you need to live the lifestyle you want.

I want to teach everything I’ve ever learned about how to start a career as a freelance writer online and earn good money from it. (That’s also why I’m giving readers of this blog a massive discount on the course.)

Don’t get me wrong –  I’m still working, but I’m doing so at a pace that is far more conducive to producing a quality product, a labour of love, something that I can be proud of and that will stand the test of time.

I’m excited to be announcing my freelance writing Udemy course to you right now, but I’m not putting a date on it just yet. Rest assured you can look out for it in the not-too-distant future though.

POST UPDATE: The course is now live! Get more details and your FWO reader’s discount here: The Complete Freelance Writing Online Course.

Image courtesy of Tim J Keegan via Flickr.

8 thoughts on “How to Achieve Your Goals Without Burning Out

  1. Hey Kirsty, totally can relate. I created a video course on a software development framework for Learnable and man, talk about hardcore. Now perhaps it was more my beginner status, than anything else, but it sure was tough. It remained, in part, a labour of love. But it was also a grind a lot of the time too. I’m proud that it’s done, but next time I’ll definitely take a different approach. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. You’re welcome, and thanks for sharing your experience too. That’s the thing – I know it’s all going to be worth it in the end but there are certain ways to make my life a lot easier along the way too! Thanks for stopping by Matthew – appreciate it.

  2. I can relate too. Not because I’ve tried my hand at video creation, but I detest early mornings. 🙂

    Have you seen the grumpy cat meme where he says “Good Morning? No such thing.”? That’s me. I have a morning ESL student which requires me to get up at 7.30 am in the morning three times a week, and I consider even that obscene. To me, anything before 10 requires superhuman efforts, especially if you consider I have serious sleep issues (trouble falling asleep, trouble waking up…etc.).

    That said, for me, teaching English is easier than writing or editing, so I don’t mind (that much). Besides, it’s a pros and cons thing, so I hope she takes lessons at the same pace for months. 😀

    I think it’s much better to work when you are at your most productive. Even the stuff you love the most can turn into a nightmare when you are sleep-deprived and exhausted. You have my full emotional support, and do let me know if you occasionally need the “You can do this, Kirsty!” tweets and messages:)

    PS Is Australia vacation, for work or both? 🙂

    1. Ah, thanks Pinar – I appreciate your support. I do try to get up early, and sometimes it works, but I just can’t maintain it… I’m a night-owl!

      Australia is a holiday, but I’m sure I’ll get a few blog posts out of it while I’m there. A freelancer writer’s work is never done. 😉

      1. I know exactly what you mean! I came back from a 5-day trip to Oslo, and I’m still working on slants and ideas. It was a birthday gift to myself (30th:)), but why not milk it, right?

  3. Hey Kirsty,

    Labours of love are always the best labours! I’m sure you’ll find the results much more satisfying and you won’t be exhausted and/or sick of the project by the time you finish it…

    Interesting to hear that you are also working somewhere in-house now – is that a temporary measure?

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