Running a solo-business isn’t always easy for busy women, especially when you’re working from home. Whether you have a heavy work load or don’t have enough work, both can be stressful. When adding a new work project or a domestic crisis into the equation, what do most of us do? We work all hours, doing whatever needs to be done and it is so easy to forget looking after No 1 … YOU!
But when you are juggling work with looking after sick children or older relatives, it can seem impossible to take even a couple of hours off!
There are two key strategies that can make a huge difference to your sanity: Letting go of non-urgent tasks and asking for help. Both will help you to clear some important me-time in your hectic day and could even prevent long-term stress.
Once you have a bit of breathing space, try the following tips which are based on a principle that is actually quite simple, if not obvious: Sometimes the quickest route to achieving time out is doing the opposite of what you normally do. Let me show you what I mean by that:
- If work means being tuned in to email and phone calls, why not switch off your computer, tablet and mobile. Alternatively put your mobile on silent – if necessary prepare your work contacts or leave an appropriate voice mail. If you are in a position to delegate, this is the time to do it.
- Have an early night instead of a late night, or vice versa, and then watch that DVD or read the book you’ve wanted to get into for some time. Likewise, you can get up early if you’re a late starter, or if your me-time is at the week-end, have a lie-in instead.
- If you usually plan your activities, this time don’t plan your time off! Instead allow yourself to drift, day-dream, shop, sleep, exercise or do whatever you fancy. If you usually rush around all the time, even if it’s to the hairdresser or gym, then it helps to have a slow day every so often. On the other hand, if planning work and life is not something you enjoy, try to plan your down-time in advance for a change and see what it’s like!
- Make time for friends, if you don’t see them much. But if you do see them regularly, make sure that this time, you have some time on your own.
- If you usually cook, don’t. Instead involve your partner, or any older children in improving their own cooking skills! If you normally make do with fast food, ready-made meals or takeaways, try cooking something completely from scratch. Some of my own time-out activities involve baking or making jam and chutney, something I find very relaxing!
It is worth experimenting with a change of routine now and again, as you’ll be surprised how everyone around you can benefit, not just you!
Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business coach who specialises in helping busy women to be more visible, focused, effective and profitable in business. Ute also runs Success Network and the Inner Circle Mentoring Groups: http://www.successnetwork.org.uk