The Importance of Self-Care For Busy Business Owners

The Importance of Self-Care For Busy Business Owners

Right, so who is prepared to hold their hands up and admit that you come at the bottom of your own priority list? I think this is even more so the case if you happen to be a mother as well as an entrepreneur.

When tend to be all systems go, all of the time, running around focusing on everything else, rarely taking time for ourselves. But does this really affect our ability to run our businesses well?

ABSOLUTELY.

A number analogies spring to mind right now, but the best one has to be….“Put Your Oxygen Mask On First”. This isn’t a nice to have option, its an instruction because you are no good to anyone else if you are dead! If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your business or if you are a mother, you can’t be the best mum you want to be. Stress, resentment and overwhelm begin to creep in when you are doing #allthethings.

Take a moment to have a think about the last time you took care of YOU.

When you think of self care what springs to mind? A day at the spa? A manicure? A weekend away? A yoga retreat? Whatever your definition of self care is, remember that it is doing something that refuels us, something that makes us happy. Not something that makes us unhappy. But how the hell do you make time for some down time, when you are just so busy and  when there is so much going on?

Set clear boundaries

If you are like many and a bit of a people pleaser, you may find setting boundaries far more difficult than those who aren’t. Some of us are actually recovering people pleasers, but we’ve usually be put in a situation where enough was enough and we’ve finally taken action. Wherever you fall into in the people pleasing camp, know that you really need to put your big girl pants on or alternatively grow a pair of balls (men are so much better in general at setting boundaries) and learn to say no (of course, with a polite thank you thrown in too), a lot more often than you probably are.

Only say yes to the things and people that are important to you, the things that light you up, the people that light you up. And start saying no to the other stuff.

By saying no more a lot more, you will soon find that you have more time to focus on the important things, get more shit done and have a lot more time for you as well.

Schedule time in each week

The key is to schedule in non-negotiable ME time each week. Mark it as an appointment in your diary, like a client meeting, and don’t let anything get in the way of some YOU time. It’s important, because you can’t bring your A-Game if you are running around on half empty, tired and heading for burnout.

Self Discipline

I know its tempting to keep working until the early hours of the morning, just to put the finishing touches on that eBook, new online course or changes to your website. Trust me I have been there, but you need to learn to switch off and step away. Although hard to begin with, you will actually find that you end up being more productive because you don’t have as many distractions.

Here’s a little confession, I am actually contemplating taking social media apps off my phone and having them on my tablet instead. So it forces me to step away and switch off, and when I wake up in the middle of the night I am not tempted to go hand out on FB, Instagram or Pinterest.

Outsource as much as you can

The one thing I hate more than anything is cleaning. It takes forever and bores me to tears, mainly because I struggle to finish the task as I get distracted by something else!! (Did I mention that I’m an aquarius, a creative and get distracted by starting the next new project before finishing the current one I a working on, it’s a never ending challenge, but that is a whole other story).

Make a list of the things you really don’t enjoy doing, business and personal and if funds permit, hire people to take over these tasks to free you up. Don’t waste your time doing things you hate, life is just too short and there are too many people to serve.

If you are struggling with setting boundaries in your business and your life, you can sign up for the PROTECT YOUR ENERGY WITH BOUNDARIES email series here. And as a BONUS For a limited time only, you can also get access to the HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ENERGY WITH BOUNDARIES WORKBOOK for busy female entrepreneurs by signing up.

Multitasking Is So Yesterday, Now It’s All About Mindfulness

Multitasking Is So Yesterday, Now It’s All About Mindfulness

Yesterday I spent the day stepping up potty training with my nearly 17 month old son and it got me thinking about the importance of mindfulness, focusing on one task and living in the present moment.

I spent years working in the corporate world juggling a large number of balls or spinning multiple plates at the same time because that was what was expected of me. In fact, so many years of conditioning led me to do the exactly the same when I started to work for myself. I would work on multiple projects, for multiple clients at multiple times. That is what I had learned and what I thought was in fact the best way to work.

That was until I read a blog post about multitasking actually being counter productive. I thought about it, tried to focus on fewer tasks but didn’t see much of a change in my productivity or performance. It wasn’t until early last year when I read “The Power of Now” by Eckhardt Tolle, that the meaning of mindfulness, living in the present moment and appreciating the here and now that things really started to fall into place.

Ever since that moment, I made the decision to be 100% present with my little boy. I protect my time with him, it is so precious and I cherish every moment we spend together because before I know it, he will be leaving home to go off to uni or on an adventure all by himself. Yesterday was no different. For any parents out there who have potty trained or who are potty training, you’ll know what I mean when I say I had to watch him like a hawk. Otherwise it would have been a catastrophe! I had to give him 100% of me.

I am privileged to have grown and now be raising a little human being, who I am in awe of. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don’t just teach him, he teaches me. In the past 17 months I have watched him and learnt about resilience and persistence. That we are not born with limitations.

The Impact of Being Mindful and Living in the Now

Since applying this mindfulness and being present mantra to my time as a mummy, I have applied and implemented this approach to my work and it helps me to keep focused, gain clarity and get more shit done. Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect. I have days where I struggle to focus, just like the next person. Where I don’t achieve what I set out to do, in fact some days I don’t achieve anything. And that’s ok. Before I would have beaten myself up about not getting anything done. Now I forgive myself, because I might not necessarily have achieved what I wanted to, but I have achieved something. By applying this same principle to my work and my clients, they get 100% of me, bringing my A Game to the table. Adding value where I can and challenging them when they need it.

I can honestly say that taking a break out of my business has allowed me to come back, with a new found love and new found passion for helping go getters, who have big dreams and big goals to achieve them. Becoming a mother has given me a new found perspective and appreciation for everything, life and business. And that is priceless.

I challenge you, to spend less time being busy for the sake of being busy and practice mindfulness and living in the present moment, focusing on the task in hand, appreciating and giving it everything you’ve got. Watch what happens, to your mindset, your productivity and your business.