Ok, so it's extremely ironic that I'm writing this because I am THE worst at taking a break from work. But, maybe it's time I take on board some of my own advice. If like me, you're a business owner or a freelancer or anyone that works from home or someone that doesn't have set 9-5 hours to keep them in check, then I'Il bet you're also a wee bit of a workaholic (minus the wee bit right?) and struggle to take time out to rest, relax and recoup. Well, here's some top tips that will help you take your business hat off and put your 'oh yeah, I've also got a life hey?' slippers on.
1. Start small. Make sure you take a lunch break, I knowww, once you're on a roll it's hard to stop what you're doing and make yourself a sandwich - who needs food anyway?!
YOU DO. So get some down you and I'll bet your productivity will be even better with some food in your belly.
2. Turn off your phone. Right, ok so I don't think I've turned off my phone since the early 2000s, but I do put my phone on 'do not disturb' mode. With literally all of my work being done through social media, emails, apps and video calls, it is impossible for me to not respond to a message from a client that comes through at 11:30pm if I see/hear the notification. So set a time-span on your phone where no notifications come through and deal with them in the morning.
3. Set realistic expectations with your clients. Let them know what hours you’re available or if you won’t be able to respond to them instantaneously. If you keep answering their 2am requests straight away then they aren’t going to know that actually, you were working till 10pm and are really tired and are trying to get some sleep before you need to get up at 6am for a video call with your client in a whole other timezone. Let them know what to expect and then they will know not to expect the ridiculous.
4. Take one day off a week. I mean, you should take 2 days off a week, but I can't write that because I haven't quite got there yet. I find this one really hard. And when I say take a day off, I mean, really take the day off. No quickly replying to that email that comes through, no posting on a client's Instagram whilst you're waiting for the train, no writing to-do lists for the week ahead. A day. A whole day. Where you do nothing work related at. all.
5. Tell the guilt to fuck off. Revelation - if you manage step 5, all the steps before it become infinitely easier. Let's just take a second here. So, you're working freelance, for yourself,
being a bloody boss babe - do you understand how much it takes just to get to that point? How much of your life you've worked, studied, struggled to get where you are right now? Ok, hold that thought. Now think about all the hard work you are continuing to do, all the sacrifices you make, all the times you keep pushing through and continuing to kick those goals? Right. Now put those two thoughts together, YOU HAVE WORKED SO FUCKING HARD. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY ZERO TO FEEL GUILTY FOR TAKING THE TIME YOU NEED TO FUNCTION AS A HUMAN BEING. Yeah, that.
Look, it isn't easy. Successful businesses aren't born from people who don't go above and beyond. There will be times where you've got bills to pay and you're going to have to take on that extra work to be able to, there will be times when your client really needs that work done by tomorrow morning & drinks with friends will have to be postponed, and there will be times where you'll need to work through the night to get where you want to be. And I'll continue to be the person that does those things, and I'm sure you will too. But you are still a person, that needs rest and to look after themselves. Because without your boss bitch arse being its best, your business won't be either.