When you’re starting out on your own and establishing yourself as an entrepreneur, the hours can be very long. And when you’re a one-woman team, juggling between being the CEO, the marketing guy (um, girl…), the secretary, the accountant, the tech administrator, and even the janitor (!) it’s hard work.
Long workdays can suck the energy from you.
I know, I’m feeling that energy suck today!
And guess what? You have to do it all over again the next day.
This is the life of a freelancer/small business owner, especially when you’re just starting out and doing everything—or most of everything—by yourself.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you need to take care of yourself—you cannot neglect me-time.
Me-time is time spent on rest, relaxation and recreation. Me-time can be time spent with family or friends. Me-time is time for you and your enjoyment.
Me-time is important to everyone—really, it’s what keeps people sane!
That said, here are my top 6 reasons why you should always schedule me-time.
1. Because you can get caught up with too much work and completely forget about taking care of yourself.
The key word here is schedule—put it in your calendar.
Because when things get out of hand at work, the first thing that gets written off your list is personal time. While that’s understandable in dire circumstances, you shouldn’t do it often.
You need to respect yourself and me-time.
And as with most folks, personal time is often spent with family and friends. Respecting me-time also means respecting their time. It can be difficult on occasion, but that’s when time management skills simply must be put to good use. Schedule it. Capisce?
And don’t ignore me here; I’ll have to find a way to exact retribution!
2. Because you are not a machine.
You’re not wired to work 24/7. And even machines aren’t programmed that way. Your computer gets rebooted too, when it becomes so painfully slow that you can’t even get your word processor to work properly.
Or like mine, when it becomes so painfully slow it literally crashes. Might have something to do with the fact that I have about 20-30 windows open at any given time, but shh… we don’t talk about that!
Consider me-time as your reboot. If computers need it, why don’t you?
3. Because all work and no play makes Jane (and Cori!) a very dull girl.
For writers, inspiration is important.
While I’m sure that great writers find inspiration from the most mundane of things—your computer monitor or your stack of books can’t be your only source of inspiration.
And I’m pretty sure that your readers will want you to write about other stuff too. At least I think they will… who knows, maybe you’re readers are boring?
But I know mine are totally rockin’ and want to hear about something other than the last book I read. So think about it eh?
4. Because working long hours does NOT mean earning more money.
Several studies have shown that a happy worker is a productive worker.
And the happy workers today are the ones who slept well last night. They’re the ones who saw that movie hit the other week. They’re the ones who get to sit down and talk—as in a real conversation that doesn’t involve a keyboard or a mobile phone—with a good friend or a family member.
Happy workers have a life!
So find something to make you a happy worker.
Start a hobby.
Exercise—and get those endorphins going.
Spend time with family and friends. Do something that’s for you. No arguments.
5. Because stress can make you irritable—and you cannot afford to be irritable with clients.
I don’t know about you but I can get pretty irritable when I’m under a lot of stress. The littlest things can set you off when you’re on edge. Think massive bi-atch and you might get an inkling.
However, no matter how stressed out you are, you cannot lose your cool with a client. While I’m sure that there are some you want to strangle, being professional calls for level-headedness, which, admittedly, is pretty difficult to achieve when you’re tense and tired. Just sayin’.
So before you blow a gasket and lose your cool, take a deep breath and step away from your workstation. Don’t go back to work until you’ve calmed down. That’s an order!
6. … Because you cannot afford to get sick.
You can’t afford a sick day when you’re starting out and there’s only you running your company.
Who’s going to meet with the clients? Who’s going to do the paperwork? Who’s going to pay the bills? Who’s going to bill the clients? Who’s going to clean up that mess in the office?
No one else but YOU. Sorry darlin’, but that’s the price you negotiated when you decided to dive into being a full-blown entrepreneur. It’s a fun ride, but man… it’s also responsibility!
And it’s simple: If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
So bottom line? Take good care of yourself and invest in some regular me-time—because there’s really no one else to depend on but you. Take care of you.