I want to let you all in on a little secret... Are you ready? You're going to be shocked...
I'm a little bit of a workaholic. Okay, a lot of a workaholic. During 6+ months out of the year, I work 80+ hours per week. I've read all the articles on why self-care and not overworking yourself to death are so important. I've read these articles, and nodded at the sage-like advice, and even handed out that same advice on occasion, but yeah, I have a difficult time putting the concept of 'balance' into play in my own life. It is hard for me to give up control in my business, so I try to do it all, and because I love what I do, I also have a hard time putting work down even when I know I should. Can anyone relate?
I'm going to start making some small changes though, and I wondered if any of you would like to join me? Loosen your grip on your laptop just a little bit (white knuckles, anyone?) and take a step back to evaluate, big picture, what you need in your life to stay healthy, productive, and sane.
Here are some things I'm personally going to try in the next month:
Pick three things to outsource or delegate
It can be a conference call you don't need to be a part of at work, or outsourcing an aspect of your business that feels like a chore to you but is someone else's passion (accounting for instance), or it can be something as simple as asking your family for help around the house. You are amazing, but you are not literally the only person on the planet who can do all the things that you do. Find some things that someone else can help with, take a big gulp, and ask for help, or call in reinforcements in the form of outsourcing items that don't need to be on your plate alone!
Do one nice thing for yourself every week
This can be hard. If you're like me, you may actually feel real guilt over doing nice things for yourself, if those things don't directly benefit others, but we can try re-frame that feeling. Our culture glorifies workaholic tendencies, but what if you could show your kids, your friends, your employees a different, more balanced path? What if by doing something nice for yourself, and taking time for you on a regular basis, with no other goal in mind than self-care, you were actually partaking in a revolutionary act of shifting our culture, one bath at a time, from "you can rest when you're dead" to "regular rest and rejuvenation make the world a better place"? Just think about it, preferably while sipping a glass of wine in a bubble bath.
just say no
We hear a lot of 'Just say yes' talk. It's super trendy lately. And I'm all for that, when what you're saying yes to is more quality time with loved ones, more experiences, and more adventure, but perhaps this philosophy doesn't serve us as well when what we're saying yes to is actually more busy work, more sleep deprivation, and more obligations that don't fulfill us or serve an important purpose in our lives. So... maybe for a month, or even just a week, try saying a polite 'No thanks' to things that don't spark your interest or to things that you'd only be doing out of guilt. See what happens in this space? Maybe you'll have more breathing room for something that does spark your interest to come along. Or maybe you'll have more time to simply be, which is also really nice, and let's face it, when was the last time you just chilled out, sans phone, or computer screen, or someone else in the room? Can't remember? Same here, which is why maybe this is a good thing to practice.
I'm going to do my best to try each of these things over the next month, and I'd love for you to join me! Tell me what works for you! What was successful? How do you step away from work and care for yourself? You just may share a tip that works magic in someone else's life.