always working....even in my dreams
I have to be honest; sometimes I get so caught up in work that I even take it to bed with me. I’ve kept myself up for hours trying to make my Pinterest “perfect”. I’m a workaholic. Ironically, this blog post actually showed up in a dream after one of those nights. Dream Dixon had pretty good advice that made me reevaluate my website/blogging/social media games and helped me realized that while working is fun (mostly) it’s still work. I still need to take care of my emotional, physical, and mental needs.
what I’ve noticed
Something I’ve noticed is that self care is super duper important when you work for yourself. Entrepreneurs are hardwired to work just a little too hard and a little too much. Remember when you worked a standard 9-5 how you got a lunch break and maybe a break or two during the day?
You had mostly clear expectations, and unless you’re working a high stress, high workload job when you got home you weren’t expected to do much of anything work related. These expectations completely change when you start going into business for yourself. I find, and I’m sure you do too, that I’m always trying to think of new and exciting products to sell for my business. The work day may end, but it never actually ends.
what can be done?
Unless you’re naturally highly structured, chances are high that you find yourself in a situation where you have flexible hours that you take advantage of, but often times this means working weekends, late on week nights, and several hours at a time possibly without break. That isn’t okay! You still need to take care of yourself. Here’s my personal list to help make my work days a lot less stressful, and keep me going at 100%. These are three simple steps that will keep you going during the week and having you feeling a little less burnt out.
1) “ME TIME”
Take breaks, go for a walk, or sit and veg out on TV. Whatever it is you do to make yourself happy, schedule an hour during your WORK DAY to do that and to eat a nutritious meal. There’s a reason why you got a lunch break and smaller breaks during your time in the office. It was to keep you from going crazy because even the most fun job in the world can feel like a chore when you’re pushing yourself to work through it 24/7.
2) MAKE A SCHEDULE
I have found that, if left to my own devices, I could easily work 10 to 12 hours a day. I’m obsessed with always getting the big new project launched, perfecting my Instagram game, or evaluating goals and deciding the future of my little shop. Again, this is not okay! Set up a schedule. It doesn’t have to be a minute by minute play book or even an hour by hour one. You need to sit down and tell yourself “I work from 10 to 6 with an hour for relaxation and food,” and then hold yourself to it. Set alarms, sticky notes, and write it down in your planner. Don’t let yourself over work yourself. Choose the hours that work best for you, and if that isn’t a full 8 hours don’t stress it. It’s better to have four really productive hours than 10 less than productive ones, promise.
3) TAKE DAYS OFF
Yes, take a day off. Take two even. If you follow my Instagram, you may notice that I tend to disappear on the weekends. I consider Saturday to be the day I spend uninterrupted with my family. I don’t check my email, I don’t typically post to Instagram or Pinterest, and I don’t code. There are very rare exceptions to this rule. There’s a reason numerous states have a law requiring employees to have at least one day off in a span seven. While not every employer is the most scrupulous about following that law, that law does exist for a reason.
Sometimes these steps might seem like a “no duh” solution, but I have consistently found that as entrepreneurs and especially solo entrepreneurs we don’t take the time to do these simple steps. It’s like we’re always trying to go go go. Take a moment in your day to sit down with yourself and try these out. I promise, adding these into your day will help you from going crazy.