In a world where we are constantly connected and working, it can be a challenge to find time for rest and relaxation. We all know the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which includes a balance between work and play.
But what happens when we become so swamped with our businesses that we forget to take care of ourselves?
As a dietitian entrepreneur, I often see my clients burning out because they don’t prioritize taking care of themselves. In this blog post, I am going to share some tips on how you can implement more rest into your daily routine as an entrepreneur!
And, sometimes I also get in a season of optimistically overscheduling myself, too. So sometimes my posts are as much of a reminder to myself as they are for my readers.
We didn’t become entrepreneurs to work 24/7, did we?
Entrepreneurship can be 24/7
The great thing about having your own business is that you’re your own boss…and you get to decide when you work.
The tricky part is stopping work when your work is available at any time. And not just stopping work, but also stopping checking back in the inbox, worrying about this or that and reviewing your to-do list for the hundredth time.
When you’re worried about making enough money and growing your business fast enough, that can really fuel your fire. But it is just as important to rest, take breaks and recharge so that you’re bringing your best self to your clients and business.
Close the door
If you’re working from home, it is especially important to create boundaries between your work life and the rest of your life…otherwise, it might just all be work!
If you have the luxury of designated office space, be sure to close the door, turn off the computer and stop checking your phone after your work is done for the day.
And if you are sharing space in your house, do what you can do to “clock out” when you’re done working for the day so that you’re fully present for the fun stuff, like walking your dog, hanging out with your partner, or curling up with a fabulous book.
Having a winddown routine can help your brain to make that transition away from work.
Cultivate a routine
A morning and wind down routine can set you up for the best work of the day, and an evening routine can help to disconnect your brain from work so that you’re available for your own pursuits, your family, and friends.
I feel best when my morning starts with writing in my gratitude journal, some yoga, and a walk with my dog. I’d say that my wind-down routine for after work or even before bed is in the “needs improvement” category. Baby steps forward!
Something I learned as a Starbucks barista while working there in grad school is the magical restorative powers that a ten-minute break can offer you. Even if there was a crowd, the company valued the barista’s mental health.
We took a timer, stepped in the back, and took a ten-minute break to rest and recharge. And let me tell you: it made a world of difference for my patience, kindness, and focus. It isn’t about wasted time, it is about investing in your mental health to then come back refreshed, refocused, and even more productive!
Implement screen breaks at lunch
My eyes and brain feel better when I am off my phone and computer for lunch.
And full disclosure: I’m definitely not perfect at this, but I do feel better when I take my lunch and read a book for 10-15 minutes or take a short walk after lunch. Teddy, my Bernedoodle is thankful for our walks, and my body appreciates the movement.
I’m also able to focus and be more constructive after taking a break (even when my brain likes to trick me into believing that I need to work straight through).
Take a vacation
The cool thing about being your own boss is that you don’t have to ask a boss for time off.
The harder thing is that you have to prioritize the time off or it ain’t never. gonna. happen.
If you’re in the beginner, broke, and overwhelming stage of entrepreneurship, a week off with a flight and hotel might seem just about as accessible as a trip to the moon. But take heart: you can start with a single day off with a fun and inexpensive staycation.
As your business (and boundaries of time off) grow, you’ll be able to take longer and more elaborate vacations.
Part of my annual planning is an evaluation of how things went the previous year both in terms of what projects generated what revenue, how much I enjoyed doing those projects as well as income and lifestyle goals for the next year.
Since I don’t intend to work every week of the year, my income goals have to be based on the number of weeks I intend to work…nothing more!
For the full scoop on taking vacations as an entrepreneur, check out my blog post: Why you need a vacation as an entrepreneur (and how to make it happen).
Having your own business is a big responsibility. You wear many hats and there is always something that you could be doing.
But working 24/7 without breaks is a quick recipe for burnout, frustration, and spinning your wheels. Breaks throughout the days, weeks, and years help you to enjoy your business more, have a better balance between work and not work and create space to truly enjoy being your own boss.