Earlier this week I posted a poll in my IG stories asking “Does anyone else struggle with turning work off?” 79% voted “yes”. I dug a little deeper to see who was voting, and the majority was female work from home mommas who own their own business.
Over the last few months, I have worked to find a better balance and to be able to turn off work without feeling guilty. I have shared before that sometimes this can be difficult for me because I love what I do so much so that it doesn’t ever feel like “work”. Over the last couple of years I have found that it is easier to shut work down when I feel like I have had a productive day and have accomplished what I set out to do. Here are a few tips on how I make the most out of my days.
1.The first tip I have for you is to go back to your why. The reason why you started your business. For me it was all about my family. It was about having the flexibility to set my own schedule and to be my own boss. I constantly have to remind myself of this, otherwise I could easily be working 40+ hours a week and it wouldn’t feel like it to me. My cap is 20 hours week. I just went back and checked my Toggl time report, and I have successfully stayed at 20 hours a week this year….small victory!
2. My second tip is to set up your clients with realistic expectations from the get go. My clients know and respect the fact that my working hours are typically 9am-3pm most weekdays. If something comes up outside of those hours, they know I will get to it when I am working next. It’s on you to communicate this with your clients. *Pro Tip* If you happen to be working outside if your hours because flexibility, remember? A lot of times I will schedule emails that I am responding to to go out the next morning within working hours so that clients won’t think that I am working at 7pm on a Wednesday all the time. Make sense?
3. Speaking of flexibility…I always schedule at least one or two random fun things in the middle of my day each week. Sometimes that is meeting up with a friend for coffee or getting my nails done. I think I like to do this because before these were things I couldn’t do on a Tuesday mid morning.
4. Find a place outside of your home where you are the most productive and work there a few times per month. I am one of those work from home entrepreneurs who absolutely thrives working at a coffee shop. For whatever reason I get SO much done! I try to go at least two or three times a month. I love my cozy home office, but sometimes I get distracted by things like laundry or that dust on the window sill I need to take care of and it can derail my focus.
5. Drink your water, eat food that makes you feel good and move your body. Need I say more? I feel and work at my best when I’m drinking my goal of 80 oz of water, eating food that makes me feel good and moving my bod for at least 30 minutes each day. I prefer my kickboxing class and a nice long walk when the weather is nice.
6. The success of my day starts with my morning routine. I get so much more done, and I feel so much better when I am consistent with this. I’m up at 5:30am doing my devotional and quiet time. Then I head down to my office and work in my daily gratitude journal and my priority planner. I check my calendar for the day, and then I work on my biz development. At 7am it’s time to make breakfast for the boys and get them ready to go for school. After I drop them off, I take an hour for myself before I start on client work. I encourage you to find a morning routine that works for you and to stick to it!
7. The success of my morning routine truly starts the day before with my nightly routine. By 8:00pm I try to be off my phone for the night. I usually wash my face and brush my teeth while the boys are doing the same thing. After I tuck them in at 8:30, I grab whatever book I am reading and read until 9:00pm. At 9:00, I turn off my lamp and play my ocean sounds. I’m usually always asleep by 9:30pm, which is setting me up for my early wake up the next morning.
8. Let it go. Ultimately, you can do all of these things and still not shut it down. You have got to let it go….literally. If you have an office door in your house, shut it and walk away. Literally shut down your computer and turn off your lights. As entrepreneurs there will always be work waiting for us.
Just remember that every yes to someone else is a no to yourself or your family. Remember your why and be unapologetic about it.