Ever heard that the joy of being self-employed means you get to pick which 18 hours of the day you work?
You feel that all you do is work.
You don’t have time for anything else and when you it’s rushed or grudged.
We’re our own worst enemies at times.
Working for ourselves we imagined all the freedom we’d have and the flexibility that would come flooding our way too.
And yes, for most of us work can take up the biggest percentage of our day.
In my previous life, I was a career girl and consumed by the illusion that I had to be busy or I wasn’t doing it right.
I was surrounded by people that didn’t get to bed until 3am as they had a report to write and then got up again at 4am to jet off for a meeting in Europe.
And I believed I had to function like this too to do my job.
Boy was I glad to leave all that behind when I started working for myself.
Or so I thought.
I’ve had times when I’ve got up and plonked myself in front of the computer at 6am to get an hour in before I started breakfast before the school day starts.
And then got my head down, worked through lunch and topped up my energy with an endless supply of tea, a packet of biscuits and Passenger on a loop playing in the background.
Before it was time to welcome my little darling home from school, start cooking, eating and back to it again before falling into bed with a quick check of Facebook on my phone.
You can become consumed by your business.
Not only that, but you’re missing out on so many other fab things:
- You time
- Time with your nearest and dearest
- Personal development
- Giving back or being part of your community
Not to mention that ‘All work and no play made Jeff a dull boy.’ Bet you’re shouting it’s Jack Tracey, but read on.
At the age of 24 Jeff Platt was exhausted. He’d been working 16-hour days, seven days a week, for two years to launch his indoor trampoline business. Yes his business was successful but he’d gone without a holiday for two years.*
He was exhausted.
Research backs up the fact that we can’t keep burning the candle at both ends, AND in the middle.
“There is a lot of research that says we have a limited pool of cognitive resources,” says Allison Gabriel, an assistant professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies job demands and employee motivation. “When you are constantly draining your resources, you are not being as productive as you can be. If you get depleted, we see performance decline. You’re able to persist less and have trouble solving tasks.*
So what can you do to escape the false ideas that working longer, harder and only focusing on your business is the way to go?
- Create a schedule for your daily boosts
Go for a walk, eat lunch away from your desk, go for a swim, meditate
- Spend time disconnected from technology
Switch of your phone, your tablet, your PC on an evening and spend your time with your loved ones.
- Get Creative
Bake, cook, draw, write, make, fix, build, play.
- Give Back
Help a neighbour with their garden, get involved with a community project, volunteer a few hours a month
Got tasks that aren’t the best use of your time? Hire someone that loves to do these tasks and is more skilled than you.
Your ability to be productive and get more done won’t come when you’re glued to your To Do List and your business for every waking minute.
You’ll get more done when you have energy when you take breaks, spend some time having a life and stop telling everyone and their Granny how busy you are. Take a step back.
Remember, your brain is just like your mobile phone. The battery goes flat when you don’t recharge it.
Want to be part of a community that knows exactly what it’s like to quit your day job and go it alone? Get support, get motivated and collaborate with like-minded women when you join me and others that have left their day job to work for themselves in the Facebook Business Group
*excerts taken from The Entrepeneur article The Secret to Increased Productivity: Taking Time Off