Entrepreneurs are the last people to acknowledge they need a day off.
When I mentally and physically shut down, there isn’t any way that I can be productive. I am a one-person small business, and I pride myself on doing quality work, working through client issues, & being accessible.
This energizer bunny completely loses her energy. I can’t think straight, can’t remember phone numbers, and literally cringe when that cell phone rings. I hit a wall. I am a multi-tasker and think on my feet. What I didn’t realize I was doing, listening to my own warning signals. For me, when I get up in the morning and feel just as tired as I did the night before ~ that is my body telling me “I need a break!”
I had to sit back and ask myself why do I feel guilty for taking a day off? If I worked for someone else, I would have set hours and set days. Working for myself, my set hours are 12 hours daily and working weekends.
This hit home! I put myself in this situation. I knew I needed to change my accessibility; so after much thought, I decided I would instill work parameters and I would not be available (for business issues) on the weekends.
This wasn’t the game-changer, though. Not only did I have to educate my clients, but I had to follow through with the new working hours and days. One last hurdle for me was me! I had to be ok with honoring myself that day off.
Let’s start with what happened with the changes:
- My clients had no issue with my revised week schedule. What? So the issue wasn’t my clients, the issue was me! Note to self, “Do Not Form an opinion about what others think.”
- Taking weekends off was the best decision I ever made. Sometimes, I go to the local Farmers Market; take Sir Riley for a long walk or work in the yard. I leave the door open to do work on the weekend, but I don’t tell my clients that.
- Acknowledging that I may hit that brick wall during the week is ok. Working for myself has its perks. I can swap days when I hit that brick wall. This happens more on a Thursday or Friday of the week. If I take the day off, I work it out in my head that I will work on Sunday if needed.
So how do I relax?
- I am an avid reader. If I sit down to read an excellent book, I get totally immersed in the story. This is good. It allows me to just read. No, I don’t read business books. I like a great mystery or thriller. I pull out that book and just start reading. If I am truly fatigued, reading is my go-to.
- Working in the yard. I love plants and love taking care of them. If I am not fatigued but need a break, I pull on the garden gloves, get Sir Riley on the leash and out front we go. Pulling those weeds, (they do better than some of my plants) gives me satisfaction. Raking those leaves and debris also helps me feel that I have really accomplished something.
- Once in a while, I will take care of my errands. Get that grocery shopping done, banking, go to the Palladio to just browse. The key thing for me is doing something not related to business. I need to clear my head, get rejuvenated, and just spend the time for me.
As a woman entrepreneur, I don’t have to worry about children. Mine are all grown. I don’t have to shuffle my schedule to meet the needs of my family. As most women will attest to, “they have many roles they play” so taking care of yourself is vitally important. This is what I know. If I don’t take care of myself, no-one else will.
Every morning, I walk Sir Riley. That is how I start my day. Yes, I make the bed, throw a load of laundry in, vacuum, or change the cat litter. But the precedence is to get my rear out that door and walk. If I have a conference call say at 8:30 a.m., I am out the door at 7 so I can get our walk in.
I will say this. If I am in a foul mood, I let those trees, birds, and squirrels know! You can chuckle, I am very adept at saying bad words, and sometimes it takes a good mile of walking before I have gotten it all out of my system.
Last but not least, I listen to podcasts while I walk. There is such an array of podcasts to choose from! “Entrepreneurs On Fire, Social Media Examiner, Songland, Ted Talks NPR, these are just a few of what I listen to.” The wealth of information that is just a click away is phenomenal.
Taking care of you is key! Putting you first isn’t selfish. Listen to your warning signs. Brain fog, lousy temperament and just being a grump is not the way to handle your fatigue.