Thoughts and such like.....
In my last blog, I talked of the importance of taking vacations, and for me, just after Christmas (literally – I left home Boxing day!) I was lucky enough to visit my sister in Malaysia after really busy December. While away I was able to reflect on how I was feeling, physically and mentally, and boy did I feel wrung out. I’d juggled a number of jobs leading up to Christmas as well as hosting my son’s girlfriends parents and family over the Christmas break, strangers until they arrived! So I had pushed myself to my limits and really needed that break, which was wonderful.
Aside from the fact that it was great to visit with my sister and her family, she also understood my burnout and allowed me the space to recover, adding quiet support and time for me to recuperate from a long flight and the cold I’d caught. She thoughtfully laid on great treats, such as a mani/pedicure on the first day after I arrived, as well as travels to other cities, and asked for nothing.
Now, as I reflect back, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. When we work independently as solo entrepreneurs there is no one to say – ‘hey take a break’ or ‘how are you sleeping?’ We’re constantly trying to add value to the work we do for our clients, while at the same time hustling for new clients. We stress about our finances, we stress about the future, where will we find the next client all the while trying to serve the clients we have to the best of our ability! So all the while I was away, I was thinking about all these things and how my outlook reflects my wellbeing.
Coming home, I’ve decided to be kinder to myself…. First I had to get over my jet lag, which I didn’t struggle against, I let it happen and was gentle with myself, if I needed to take a nap, that was okay. However, when I was away, I walked – a lot! Exploring and comparing my fitness with my big sis, who also got me swimming, not something I do often made me realize how I sometime in busy periods neglect this part of my wellbeing. On coming home, I wanted to continue these great habits and began with 30 minutes walking each morning, a couple of 10 minutes upper body sessions last week, and, of course, my great yoga class.
That was the easy part, now to get back into my work routine – I completed a number of contracts in December, and so I was able to away without trying to juggle time zones and zoom calls. Coming home I needed to follow up with current clients, and connect with prospective entrepreneurs and emerging leaders who want to grow and develop. It’s also time to restart my blogging as well writing for other on-line magazines. I could get lost in the ‘tyranny of the urgent’, frantically worrying goals I’ve set, or what my bottom line will look like at the end of the month, but instead I’m going to focus on improving on what I know is the good value I bring to clients, and trust that growth will come with the investment I’ve made and continue to make in my business. I won’t get caught in the cycle of negative thoughts and energy thieves. I've got my weekly mastermind group and a new business partner to bounce ideas off, and catch me when I'm being too hard on myself. These are supports I needed to put into place to help me not become my own worst enemy!
When I began my entrepreneur journey, I wanted to spend more time on my hobbies, and although I have spent some time playing in this arena, it hasn’t been to the extent that I had in mind. So I’ve made a decision to give myself permission to play more, right now I’m cleaning up, and putting away my vacation clothes, as well as tidying up after Christmas. Yep still putting away Christmas decorations! However, as I go through my diary, I’m adding play time. I find I work best when I calendar in all my activities, I colour code everything, this gives me the ability to look at my week and see where and how I am spending my time – if I go over, say my volunteer time then I can reflect on what occurred, and what I might need to change to ensure that I balance my week. Notice I say week, I think trying to balance days is a little crazy, I look at my weeks and months to see how I’m spending time and compare it to how I’m feeling – sometimes it’s a mixture of too much of everything, others it’s one area of my life that’s a little crazy. This colour system allows me to keep track of my life, and rebalance it when necessary.
How do you ensure you have time for everything in your life? Do you have a system? I wonder at those that discuss work/life balance as for me it’s all about life, and the balance is in how we take care of ourselves and our loved ones, whether at home or work.
Remember, life is for living. You only have this one life to live. Live it to the fullest, laugh each day, try to hug at least one person, be grateful for what you have and support others who are struggling. Give where you can, sometimes that may be financially, but often it’s lending a shoulder or an ear, it can make a huge difference.
So, belatedly Happy New Year to you all, tell me what is the one thing you’re changing this year to increase happiness in your life? Leave a comment below, so we can all learn from each other.
Maeve O'Byrne's Blog