Self-Care for the Success of Your Business
It is easy to lose your sense of self when you spend 25% of your day working and an average of 29% of that time asleep… Not to mention the dozens of other things you are juggling in your life. We have jobs, businesses, children, friends, family, community obligations, etc. that we tend to daily. After all of that is said and done, what is your place in that extensive list? If you come last, how is that being fair to yourself?
Despite everything going on around you, you have got to prioritize self-care.
Sometimes the task of placing yourself first can be daunting, especially without enough hours in a day to complete everything you want. Hear me out, though... working yourself overtime in order to acheive a goal is counter-productive; this causes you to strain yourself and stretch yourself thin, leading to burnout. A burnout can be destrimental in some cases. Understand that this is not an appropriate way to achieve your desires or run a business.
Consistency is Key
Much like in the process of scaling a business, I believe in using consistency (in even the smallest increments) as a tactic to establish long-term results. One thing that sometimes causes me to fall behind on my tasks, is becoming too obsessed with one of many projects or tasks. I find myself spending the entire day - if not multiple days - on one project, neglecting to go to bed, and ultimately, feeling like my to-do list did nothing but grow.
It is important to intentionally make time for the free time you need. Schedule that time into your agenda and abide by it religiously. Then you can use that time with intention and embrace moments of solitude and peace. Even if you take one hour out of each day or one day out of each week to dedicate to yourself, you can assure that you get time to yourself without thinking about work and other stressors. That one hour or that one day can feel like a reset button when you take your self-care seriously. In order to make this work, you want to get into the habit of using time management as a tool for productivity and success. As I fine-tune my schedule and figure out what works best for me as a business owner, I came up with a great acronym for managing my work-life balance. ABS!
ABS = Alarms + Bedtime + Self-care
Alarms: Set an alarm for the length of time you want to spend on a particular task. Once the alarm goes off, have the discipline to close the tab or walk away without insisting on “getting to a good stopping point.” If you know, you know!
Bedtime: GO TO BED! In order for your brain to rest and prepare for a new day, you need sleep. You are not a robot or a slave, so sleep should be seen as a requirement, not a luxury or a prize for a productive day of work. Some people opt to only sleep for a few hours a night in order to get an early start the next day. Do what works best for you, but if you know you aren't getting enough sleep, it would be in your best interest to figure out a way to make it happen.
In my experience, I get a lot more work done at night, but I find that any time I continue working past 1 AM, it easily becomes an all-nighter. Stay up until 3, 4, and even 5 AM leaves me feeling depleted the next day - even if I did manage to catch up on the hours I would have missed. In order to maintain the consistency and longevity we seek, we want to become accustomed to going to bed and getting an adequate amount of rest.
Self-Care: Ahh… my beloved self–care. I took a long shower and made the most yummy, aromatic cup of tea, but is that considered self-care? Nope! How often do you dedicate time to truly caring for yourself and being in the moment? I would like to encourage you to set aside a dedicated amount of time to truly be in the moment and care for your well-being. Although I am sometimes guilty of this, it does not count if you mix work and self-care to save time. You need a moment to enjoy something you love, cater to your mind and/or body, or simply just rest.
Why is self-care so important for a business owner?
In order to encourage longevity in the success of your business, you need breaks or time for recuperation. When you are grinding for a goal, being hyperfocused on working may seem like the appropriate thing to do but it can actually hurt you in the long run. If you are a small business owner, chances are that you are running most, if not all of the operations of your business. You left your 9 - 5 job, only to begin working 24/7.
According to an article on Forbes, "some of the most successful people in history have suffered from relentless, incapacitating depression" (Walton, Why The Super-Successful Get Depressed). It could mainly be due to the fact that one finds their worth by climbing the ladder of success instead of finding their worth from within. It could also be due to the fact that in burrying onesself in work, those individuals miss out on the simple things that make life more meaningful.
As we work on scaling our businesses and achieving our dreams, I hope that you, too, will be able to prioritize time management and self care to remain consistent and encourage longevity. Keep working those ABS, folks!
If you would like to learn more about how you can maintain your mental health as a business owner with a busy schedule and big dreams, join our live sessions for "Boundaries in Business" on Thursdays at 8:00PM EST!