If You’re Hustlin’ ’til You Drop, SOMETHING’S Gotta STOP.

“Every day I’m hustlin’ (x4)”

— Rick Ross, “Hustlin'”, Port of Miami (2006)

The other night I was typing up a storm in #blkcreatives—by far my favourite Twitter chat right now—when something caught my eye.

That month’s theme was money and money management, which invariably got us talking about how we make money. Black folk are all too familiar with the hustle. We’re raised believing we need to work twice as hard to get half as far as our non-Black peers, but no one discusses the consequences of this thinking when left unchecked.

We’ve never been big on mental health. I sought professional help a few times in my 20s because I just pushed myself too hard. Working hard is important—I don’t have time for those complaining about their lives while doing nothing to change them—but so is finding balance. I’ve spent much of 2017 putting everything I could into growing the brand, but with all the things tugging me in every other possible direction—my family, my job, and my church—I just reached a point where I’d no more to give.

And this sorely affected my writing.

I’m don’t lack things to write—my to-do lists dozens of items deep—but writing is a feeling process. How well you write is completely dependent on how well you feel, so when you’re feeling burnt out, it isn’t doing any favours to anyone.

Something needed to give before it was me who took the hit!

THE MONTHS OF ‘BER — Why I Write: Getting Back to Basics!

Sometimes you need to clear everything out to find some breathing room.

Things are cluttered in the Life and Times of Casey Palmer right now, constantly busy without feeling like I’m getting anywhere at all.

Work’s frenetic, with a haphazard project that rarely affords me time to think, much less work on the deliverables I’m assigned; my grandpa lost his battle against cancer on November 22nd, succumbing to the illness after months spent withering away; and when I wasn’t dealing with these, I practiced my role as a family man, constantly doing whatever I could to make life perfect for my wife and kid.

But there’s always more to do, always somewhere to be. It’s like we say at my job — good work gets rewarded with more work. You’re constantly on the grind, eventually realizing this time you spend being all the right things for all the right people leaves little time, space or energy for you to just do you — for me that meant the #BloggerLife I’d built these past years and the hours of work I usually dedicate to it.

With everything going on, blogging just felt impossible.

Get Busy.

Human beings aren’t meant to multitask, but we live in a world that demands it of us.

Way back when, we used to be focused; if you were a farmer, you’d toil in the fields from sunrise to sunset. Blacksmiths  would work in their forges, singularly focused on the task of reforming metal into armour, weapons and whatever else was needed.

This is not the world of today.

At any given time, I find myself balancing

  • my marriage
  • my 9-to-5
  • Project: Mansformation
  • learning whatever I can to be successful in my future business ventures
  • working on content for the various side projects that I have on the go
  • band practice
  • keeping up with social media and a social life
  • family
  • many, many other things

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been singularly focused on anything for ages. We are  a busy people!

Due to this — and the fact that it’s next-to-impossible to plan much on a computer without your attention being diverted elsewhere — it’s good to periodically unplug yourself and get back to basics.

That what I did when I started planning the layout for the website for  Project: Mansformation, one of my upcoming initiatives: 

Sometimes chart paper and post-it notes are all you need….

Sometimes you’ve just gotta close the laptop (or get up from your desktop — do we still use those, or is it passé?) and switch gears.

You never know —despite all of the tools available to us today, a few dollars’ worth of supplies and a little creativity might be all you really ever needed!

–case p.