4 Tips for Creating "ME" Time
As entrepreneurs, or as I like to call myself a #BossB*tch, we often drown ourselves in our work. We become obsessive, thinking 24/7 about our careers, and how to take it to the next level. Slowly, our social lives disappear, keeping a steady relationship becomes impossible, and the idea of settling becomes non-existent.
Being your own boss means that we often face thousands of obstacles and challenges, without a safety net and sometimes without a backup plan. When I quit my job over a year ago, I never imagined that I would be where I am today. To be completely honest, I was scared and expected myself to run back into the corporate world a few months later. I guess I did something right, although I have yet to figure out what.
Of course there are perks such as fun events and meeting/making new friends, but it is not a glamorous lifestyle. We're just really good at making it look like that, hah. While we get great opportunities, they are not handed to us. As influencers, we aren't just eating and partying all day and night. We sit behind our laptops about 5-7 days a week, answering emails, scheduling meetings, on conference calls, writing, editing photos, and plan our upcoming projects/blog/social posts. We spend at least 70-80% of our time working behind the scenes and I personally spend 20-30% of my time out in LA at events, and 10-20% sleeping/eating. By the way, I live about 45-60 minutes outside of LA so imagine my drive! If you want to know how I'm so skinny, it's because I don't have time to eat (LOL). But in all honesty, we work our asses off each and every day so we can keep our careers. For me, this is my life and this is just a stepping stone to where I want to be. To survive my lifestyle (that I chose and do not regret whatsoever), I had to learn to take time out for me.
I know a lot of other entrepreneurs have a hard time carving out time for themselves. Many haven't gone on vacation in months, let alone get enough sleep. I spent this summer revisiting the things that I used to love to do, prior to being a blogger, and reconnected with friends and family members. As Dawn McCoy said during this past Saturday's Simply Stylist event, "what you did between the ages of 3-10 are the things you loved the most so go back and do it again."
Here are my top 4 tips for creating me time -
1. Prioritize and Schedule Your Social Media Posts
You can easily schedule Tweets and Facebook posts ahead of time, and because I have 2 social media clients, I take advantage of this feature very often. After all, trying to post on 9 different social media accounts can be hectic. Now as for Instagram, I recently started using the draft feature that Instagram offers as well as Planoly. I'm probably super late to the game but I'm so glad I have finally started using it!
Planoly allows me to schedule posts, figure out what to post next as I can easily move around images on my feed, and allows you to schedule way in advance which helps with deadlines. It also gives you analytics, you can access it on your desktop, and you can comment back on the app too.
2. Set Alarms for Breaks
This may sound weird but sometimes you just need to be nagged! We set alarms to get up every morning, to take our birth control pills/any meds for that matter (hah), and for other important things right? So why not force yourself to take breaks by setting alarms. For every hour to two hours, set an alarm that goes off mid-way to give yourself 15 to 30 minutes to stretch, get up, grab a snack, and/or relax.
Another app I use to schedule in breaks, as well as keep me on track with my projects/to-do list is 30/30. It is easy to use, you can set up your entire to-do list and allot a specified time for each project. That way, you don't end up getting sidetracked (as I often do).
3. Designate an Off Day
After tackling your schedule, the next step is to designate a day you cannot be reached. My day is Sunday, in which I ignore all emails, majority of texts (that aren't important and can wait), and try to do something active outdoors. Getting fresh air and doing something you love, that feeds your soul, is the best way to reset and get ready for the new week ahead.
P.S. Hiking is the best excuse to get away since you can easily lose signal as you get higher up that mountain!
4. Turn Up The Music and Turn Off The Phone
Last but not least, if all else fails and you can't just get away or make time during your busy day, then turn up the music and turn off the phone as soon as you get home. Perhaps you have a half an hour to spare before bedtime, take a warm bath and play your favorite tunes or read a book. The most important thing is to create that peace and quiet either before or after your day. Having a morning and/or nightly routine helps a lot! Reflect on what you are most appreciative for and allow yourself to feel good for all that you accomplished so far.
It isn't easy when your job revolves around being on your phone and laptop constantly, but if you do not set boundaries then you will burn out. Treat yourself, you deserve it, and above all, don't feel bad for it! Good luck!