I joined 17hats last year and am just now starting to use it. And no – I’m not getting paid for this post. As a person with a mental health condition that disturbs my sense of purpose and direction as well as my relationships, it is amazing how helpful it is to have an interface for emails and friendship tracking and professional commitments all backed up. This is because it gives you consistency even when your mood or plans change. Maybe you fall off the bandwagon for a couple days or longer. At least you have a record of what stability looks like and where to pick up the pieces as you go along your way.
I am also using it to put on contracts that I get and other things and am realizing how busy I actually am, which also feels nice since I don’t have a full-time hectic teaching schedule anymore. It is amazing how much our devotion to work schema in the US makes me feel like I’m not contributing just because I don’t have a 40-hour workweek. When you don’t have that validation of working for a full organization it is easy to feel like you aren’t a full person, but it means a lot when you realize that, indeed, you’re getting paid, and you’re keeping in contact with people, and that even if I wasn’t able to do even that, I would still be an equally worthy human being and individual.
People who work for themselves usually rejoice at not having a boss, but when you really struggle if you do have a boss, then it seems less like a choice and more like a weakness. But here I am in a cafe after having just written up some reports and man does it feel good to be able to check things off!