One of the great perks of working for yourself is that you get to set your own hours, work at your own pace, and spend as much or as little time as you want on your business.
But, if you’re anything like me, when and how you work is all over the place.
This is what’s been happening with me lately:
I have SO MANY projects and things I want to do, there is stuff I’m working on to grow my business and there is the day to day working with clients and just keeping things afloat.
I’m busy (and sometimes overwhelmed).
That leads me to trying to work ALL THE TIME and feeling GUILTY if I’m not working.
Which is a terrible cycle to be in.
When I’m hanging out with my kids, making art, or spending time with friends, it’s been REALLY hard to just enjoy it. I feel like I “should” be doing something with my business instead. (ever feel like that?)
Which brings me to a HUGE a-ha! moment I recently had.
You will probably laugh at me, because it will seem so OBVIOUS, but these lessons sometimes hide away until we’re ready for them.
Oh! I forgot to say… something else I’ve been struggling with is feeling really JEALOUS of other people and how they spend their weekend time.
With summertime here, I see people sharing family vacations, BBQ parties, time spent up in the mountains, etc. Awesome weekending photos are all over facebook and instagram right now.
And it’s been making me feel jealous. Because traditional weekending is not my life.
My kids are with their dad every weekend. Saturday and Sunday are my time to buckle down and WORK and I usually have a gazillion projects waiting for me to complete while I have a break from the kiddos.
But then I see all my friends living these amazing weekend lives and I feel envious that I am sitting in a coffee shop working my ass off. (insert feeling sorry for myself music)
That jealousy has actually been making me feel kind of depressed and unmotivated to work on stuff and be creative. It’s been difficult to completely focus on my business.
(please tell me I’m not the only one who looses my mojo when I feel jealous and like my life is not going to plan!)
Anyhow, this is what led to my a-HA! moment…
I finally realized that I was feeling this way, completely out of sorts. My way of dealing with the icky stuff of my life is to dig into it and get curious about it.
So I asked myself why I was feeling jealous? What was it that I wanted? What wasn’t working for me?
The answer was that I wanted time to just do NOTHING. Time with my kids lounging about in the backyard, heading up to the mountains, just relaxing and enjoying life. Summering.
And I hadn’t been letting myself do that.
I was so worried about all the work I needed to get done, that even when I wasn’t working on stuff, I was THINKING about it and feeling GUILTY.
Not a very powerful headspace to run my business from!
But that’s when I realized that HEY! This is MY business and I can do things however I want to do them. (doh!, right?)
But seriously.. sometimes I get stuck in thinking things have to be the way they are in the “real” world.. You know, with “weekends” being on Saturday and Sunday, work only during the day, etc.
That 40 hour work week mentality is hard to shake off sometimes!
So, I decided that my weekends are going to be on Thursday and Friday. Those will be my days to lounge with my kiddos, go camping, or do whatever the heck I feel like doing.
I’m not going to work. I’m not going to do coaching calls. I’m not going to plan or write. I’m going to weekend. Because that’s what *I* want for my life. For my life to feel spectacular, I need weekends!
The rest of the week, I will work – still not 40 hours, because that also doesn’t work for me. But I will work on what I need to and get done all the things I want to accomplish with my business.
Just not on Thursday or Friday.
Since I decided to run things this way, I am BLOWN away by how much I am getting done! My stress and worry has decreased a ton, I am engaged and inspired about my projects, and I’m excited to get to work.
I’m not trying to fit in “free time” to my busy schedule and then feeling guilty about it.
I know free time is coming. It’s in the books. I have in my schedule quiet and do-nothingness time, which is something I haven’t been giving myself permission to do.
THIS is what owning my own business is all about!
We hear about the freedom that comes from working for ourselves, but we don’t always give ourselves that freedom.
The freedom to write our own rules.
To weekend or vacation when it works for us.
To be “off” when we are off.
To slow things down if we want to soak up summer.
And of course, we still have to work – our businesses aren’t going to run themselves!
But it’s okay to declare yourself “off the clock” and to do so regularly.
In fact, I think it’s ESSENTIAL that we do this as part of creating a kick ass life!
The key is to pick working times that WORK for you and your family. Don’t create a schedule based on what you think you “should” be doing, do what is actually going to work (like my Thur/Fri weekend).
That, I think, it the biggest gift we can give ourselves as entrepreneurs.