Though it beats a 9 to 5 by a long shot, every job has its perks and downfalls. I’ve noticed a lot of my colleagues struggle with similar things that I do with working from home and dealing with feedback. So even though I’m not perfect and I don’t always abide by these myself, here are some things I know that help me stay positive through tough times.
1. Perspective. Remind yourself why you started and what good things have come from all the work you do. It can be hard to remember this sometimes when negative feedback is overwhelming. But remember that if more people hated you than loved you, you wouldn’t be able to have enough returning viewers to continue, and yet you do. Remember that the good outweighs the bad and that you know a good time will come soon. The bad stuff is only temporary. And if you’re unsure, the people who love you will always offer their support if they realize you need to hear it.
2. Limit exposure to negativity. Feedback and criticism is important, but generally taking it in in large doses isn’t good for your morale. Try to limit the amount of time you spend on your social media and in your comments. I’m still pretty bad at this, but when I have the self control to tell myself “this is not a week that you want to read the comments” I tend to weather it better. Still look for ways to improve and feedback, but remember to look for it in places that will be constructive without being overwhelming. Ask colleagues, friends, and use your smallest channels for feedback from viewers to keep it from being too much. Even if every single one of your commenters was trying to be constructive (ha) it can kill your morale to take in too much feedback at once.
3. Get out of your office! When you work from home you’re never off the clock. It’s hard to fully relax even when you’re caught up on your work because you always feel pressure to be productive. Get outside for your relaxation time. Don’t bring your laptop. Unplug for a minute, window shop, go swimming, eat out. Get some fresh air. You can even take your 3DS and play at the park. The important thing is finding a place that isn’t your work to give your brain a break for a bit so you don’t get burnt out. Take a vacation from your life for at least a few hours a week.
4. Make a schedule. This is what I really suck at, but I know I always do better if I can stay on top of a schedule. If I’m trying to cram a week’s worth of work into 3 days because I couldn’t get my act together sooner, I’m gonna have less time to recharge and prepare for the next week of work. Write things down so you’re not always worrying that you forgot something, and remember to schedule downtime too, so you can relax guilt free knowing that you really do have time to take this minute to yourself. When you’re in a creative field sometimes it can be hard to follow, but the closer you stick to your schedule the easier your work will be overall.
5. Don’t worry about numbers. Numbers are important after all, you can’t ignore them altogether. BUT! Do not let them rule your life! Do not let yourself tie your self worth to them! Remember that a lull in views is not the end of the world. You’ve had them in the past and come back swinging, and you’ll have them again. Ultimately they’re not the most fulfilling part of this job. Don’t spend a lot of time looking at your analytics and view counts and comparing yourself to other people. The less I let myself do this the better I feel about like, everything. It can be tough when you’re trying to make a living, but remember that there are always options open to you, so don’t panic and get depressed. If you have a bad week or month, don’t get discouraged. You’ll be okay. Close that analytics tab and go back to number 1! Perspective.
I’m not trying to preach with this, cause this list is more for myself than anything. If I have a hard time I can come back to this post and remind myself what has worked for me before. And I figured, if it might be able to help some of my friends and colleagues out too, all the better. No matter how great your job is there’s always gonna be rough patches, but we can weather them together. :)