I once heard an analogy about how men are able to compartmentalize different parts of their life (work, home, friends) like the pieces of an orange, and how women were more like a tomato: cut us open and all those parts of our lives mush together.
It wasn’t a pretty image, but it made its point to me. As an entrepreneur, I sometimes have trouble separating that whole work and life thing, making balance nearly impossible. Fortunately I’ve learned a few tips I’m happy to pass along to you! Here’s my life-taught tips on perfecting “me” time:
Start Acting Like You Deserve “Me” Time
For so many women, “me” time comes after “kid,” “husband,” and “work” time. There’s nothing left to take once we’ve given it all away! You’ve probably heard the adage, “take care of you first.” I absolutely agree.
Consider it an investment in all the other areas of your life that are important to you; if you’re better rested and less stressed, you can be a better partner, mother, and business owner.
So What Does “Me” Time Look Like?
If you’re envisioning eight hours at a spa and getting a little nervous about taking so much time for yourself when you have so much to do, relax. I’m not going to prescribe anything so complex. (Although if you have the time, I highly recommend a spa day!)
“Me” time can be in tiny increments you fit in around your work and home responsibilities:
- Reading a magazine for 15 minutes
- Walking around the neighborhood, alone or with family
- Taking a long, hot bath
- Coming in to work late after a leisurely breakfast with your significant other
Your goal here is to recharge after a hard day at work or a challenging battle of wills with one of your kids.
Separate Work and Home
When you’re done working (especially if you work from home), shut down your computer. Close the door. Resist the temptation to check your email throughout the evening. You need the mental space that comes with being off duty so you are refreshed and ready to tackle work the next day.
This is where having a dedicated home office is helpful. If you use the same laptop for work and fun, it’s too easy to peek at your email when you’re logging on to play Words with Friends. Opening an email from a client asking you to take on an urgent project on the weekend only stresses you out and makes your clients think you’re accessible 24 hours a day. And that’s not an impression you want to leave.
Give Yourself a Break
There’s nothing to feel guilty about if you decide to close your laptop at 2 in the afternoon to go shoe shopping, or taking a week off from work. After all, that’s why you wanted to work for yourself: so you could have flexibility in your schedule! Take advantage of that perk and knock off work early whenever possible.
Taking better care of yourself will give you the drive to help your business succeed. But if you neglect yourself on that list of things you should focus your attention on, your business will suffer.
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