You need to do more. You need to work harder.

Nikki Donovan
November 10, 2022

You need to do more. You need to work harder.

Goals. Achievements. Future aspirations.                

This is drilled into us and is visible all over social media etc. But isn’t it overrated? Putting too much pressure on ourselves and others.

One of my pet hates is when someone sees me outside of work (which doesn’t even happen that much half the time anyway) and they say ‘oh half a shift today is it’ or something similar to imply I’m not working hard, which they definitely don’t mean, it I always seem to take it as an insult . It feels like we have to always justify how busy we are to prove we’re 1) successful and 2) not lazy.

What about normalising actually living life. The little things. Making memories. Pivotal moments. Enjoyment. Having FUN.

Ok so how this blog post started was after I read this on Emilia Thompson’s instagram page -

“Have boundaries,

Take time off,

It supports creativity,

Restores the energy you need for your clients.

But you still have to work harder,

More efficiently,

Than anyone you know,

If you want that hashtag balance in the end.”

This quote really resonated with me because to be honest I am proud of how disciplined etc I am. And if you want to run your own business you do have to be. I do sometimes get defensive when people (who are only trying to help me) say ‘you work too hard/why are you still working at this time/you’re always on your laptop’, well yeah I have to, no one else is going to do the admin etc for me. But anyway that sentence is kinda the opposite of the rest of this blog...!

I’ve always worked hard, it just comes naturally to me, school, sport, uni - 3 degrees, recently passing my CrossFit L3 exam even though I don’t actually need it for anything, I just like learning and being the best I can. In a way it’s good and makes things easier because I know that if I want to do something then I will commit to it and work at it until I’m satisfied and won’t quit. But recently I’ve realised that sometimes it’s okay to quit and I don’t always have to be busy/achieving something/trying to be the best.

Even before I was self employed and worked for a company in London, it always seemed you were rewarded for being the last in the office, we would often be getting home at 11pm sleeping then going back to work. Even our social lives were just taking clients out. And god forbid going to the gym at lunchtime, that meant you were a right slacker

Everyone gets caught up int the rat race, but what about just trying to work smarter not harder?! Pandemic has shown that some people can get the same work done at home in 3/4 hours than they would sat in an office for 8/9 hours. Length of time and location are irrelevant. Thankfully I do think things are improving.

I’m extremely self motivated, probably like most self employed people. It’s the athlete in me, always wanting to achieve more and be better, and also growing up with parents that were athletes probably had its impact too (in a positive way).

“If you can’t find happiness in a cup of coffee, you won’t find it on a yacht”

Even though me and Alecs had the same upbringing and get on so well, we are actually such different people but she is my biggest inspiration and I will always try to mirror her carefree attitude and outlook on life as it doesn’t come as naturally to me.

It’s nice to have someone that just gets you and always has your back and we will always have each other to ring crying when one of us is having a breakdown and the other one needs to pick up the pieces

. It feels like she’s my older sister in lots of ways. It also helps so much that we are both self employed so we can relate and help each other.


“Many people forget that the goal isn’t money, the goal is to spend your days as you wish.”

It has never been about the money for me. Its always been about helping people. And I find it hard to say no and take a step back when people are asking for my help.

But can I honestly say I want to spend my days working the whole time? No time to train, chill or even eat at times. Well no not really. It got to the stage where I felt so unhealthy and stressed and didn’t even know what I enjoyed outside of work anymore. That’s not living life, that’s just surviving and living to work instead of working to live. The irony is I work in a health conscious industry and educate my clients on how to look after themselves...


“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I do believe that this quote is true and that those of us that have managed to do this are living the dream. But it’s hard to switch off when your job is also your hobby. Up until the last couple of years I didn’t really consider the downside of being high functioning, loving my job and not being able to separate my work and personal life.

It’s amazing if you love your job but sometimes the problem is you end up working 14-16h days which isn’t healthy, leads to stress and doesn’t give you a break. I also think working those hours means we can’t be at our best and then can’t give our beat to our clients. This is probably something I’ve had to work at the most and still find myself slipping into bad habits.

Setting boundaries is something I find difficult to do and doesn’t come naturally especially because my job and hobby is basically the same thing (where else am I meant to spend my day off if it’s not the gym...?).

It really does all come down to balance. Instead of constantly ticking things off - which probably I used as coping mechanism (survival) with lockdown etc, and due to the fact my brain works at 100mph all the time - now I’m trying to enjoy the little things instead.


I actually love them, anyone else love the satisfaction of achieving things and ticking things off etc?! But where do you draw the line...?

I don’t think it’s healthy for our brains or bodies to constantly be striving to achieve more and more all the time with no break. We can all be guilty of never being happy with where we are at or taking time to look back and see how far we have come. Stress wise this also isn’t good, our nervous system is always going to prioritise survival over whatever goal we have in our heads at the time .

My clients always ask me what their goals should be and what mine are, well right now my only goal is to try and have a nice day every day. Sounds cheesy but honestly that’s what I’m focusing on right now. And it sounds easy to do doesn’t it, but some days it’s harder than you’d think. Especially if you’re so used to being addicted to being productive, like I am.

Recently I felt like I’d lost the ability to find joy in the little things and everyday life, everything got on top of me. But luckily because I do love my job and I do genuinely like working hard, I know that the feeling of overwhelm wouldn’t last forever. I’ve prioritised building a life based on what I like doing, now all that’s left to do is actually enjoy it.