Have you ever taken some time to yourself but spent the whole time feeling guilty? If you're at all like me, you've worked yourself to the breaking point. Long hours, 7 days a week with no time off in sight. In the fast paced, overly connected world we live in we aren't allowed to truly "turn off." However, not taking time to reset can be extremely detrimental to your productivity (and your mental well being!).
Trying to balance all of your plates at the same time can be extremely challenging. If you run your own business, your day can fill up fast. Meetings, emails, accounting, managing clients, finding the time to post on social media and so many more moving pieces. Most days, the many tasks of an entrepreneur can spill into our personal lives and eat away at personal time.
Recognizing when you're not truly shutting off when you should be is step one in allowing yourself some free time. It's so common to respond to "just one more email" or "send a quick text" during your dedicated relaxing time. Distractions, whether during business hours or your personal time, can diminish what you're working (or not working) on. It's an adjustment to make, but staying focused during your off time will help you reset so you can stay equally focused during your on time.
You schedule your work days, so why not apply that to your time off? Maybe there's a yoga class you want to try, a new hiking trail you want to check out. Or, maybe you just want to catch the next episode of "Love is Blind" on Netflix. Making a decision to put some "me time" into your calendar creates an actionable task and entrepreneurs LOVE tasks! Set a time and stick to it.
The challenge with living in a fast paced world is that we expect our businesses to take off fast. And, if they don't, we feel like we aren't achieving. Unfortunately, there is a level of "keeping up with the Joneses" in the business world that cause so many entrepreneurs to lack patience. This, in turn, causes the 24/7 work and hustle mentality that has flooded mainstream media in the 2020s. In reality, having the ability to be patient while building your brand is your ticket to longevity. When you can set aside real time to spend on things you love, aside from your work, you'll approach each day with a refreshed mentality.
Reach out for help when you feel burnt out. Setting our pride aside and admitting we can't do it ALL allows for breathing room. I've often reminded friends, family and colleagues that they aren't superhuman. And that's absolutely okay. Are there some tasks that you could outsource to make your workday less hectic? Maybe a better time management system would help allot your day accordingly. How about your customer relationship management (CRM) system? When you work on mastering your daily processes, you will feel less guilty taking time off. If you don't know exactly how to setup a better workflow, reach out to other business owners! There are so many people willing to help and offer support, sometimes we just have to ask.
Alright, so this could be a bit abrasive, but I know some of you who are reading this have a problem with saying no. And, if I had to guess, this could be why you have too many tasks on your plate. As I previously mentioned, asking for help is important. However, if you're the person on the receiving end who constantly says yes to every ask for help, you're on the road to burnout. It is perfectly acceptable to say no, even when that no is because the task eats into your time to do nothing. No one is entitled to your time.
This journal is mostly targeted towards entrepreneurs but I want to be clear. These points apply to employees, stay at home parents and everyone in-between as well! The numerous hats that we all wear on a daily basis can create chaos in our minds. So, let's remember today to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we truly do deserve a break!