Do you have a difficult time shutting off your work brain?
Does taking a week off (or even a weekend) sound like a joke?
Do you have family members that tell you they have almost forgotten what you look like because you spend so much time in your office?
Challenges around taking time for yourself is common for business owners. It seems to be especially difficult for those of us that work from home.
In talking with colleagues and clients I have heard things like:
“I find it so hard to give myself permission to not do something related to my business every waking hour.”
“I am so tired and anxious! I just screwed up a client's project. Now, I'm going to have to get on the phone and explain.”
“I have to put food on the table. My kids aren't going to starve because of me.”
“It is so hard to turn off when you work from home and there is always something to do.”
“When I do take time off, I feel guilty about it.”
If that feels real to you too, I have some tough love and things to think about today.
Productivity Tips Are Not Going to Solve Your Problem
I have been studying and teaching about productivity strategies, tips, techniques and tools since 1993. I actually started studying productivity, time-management and organization because I was trying to cram as much into my day as possible.
However, just because you can get better and faster at what you are doing, does not mean that the hole in your heart will heal. It does not mean that you will suddenly decide that you are doing enough and it is okay to give yourself a break.
Until you make a choice to adjust your mindset, you'll keep overworking.
Why Did You Start Your Business?
Why did you get into your business in the first place?
I'm guessing that it was not because you woke up one day and said, “How can I set up a life where I ignore the people that mean the most to me?”
It probably also wasn't because you said, “I want to be so fried that I can't think straight and I want to produce sub-par work for my clients/customers.”
For many, it was because you wanted freedom! Freedom from that crazy boss or to do the work you loved or to change the world or to go on that vacation or to spend more time with your kids.
For me, it was because I wanted freedom
- to live my values and not have anyone tell me to do something that conflicted with what I believed
- to raise my then small son with the benefits of a stay-at-home mom without really being one.
- to travel, enjoy shows and be with the people I love
- to choose who I worked with
- to do work that directly aligned with my areas of brilliance.
Step back for a minute and remember. I'll wait for you. Why did you get started?
Got it? Ok good, then let's keep going.
Understand the Cost of Your Actions
Every action you take is because you chose to take it.
Get crystal clear that if you drive yourself into the ground, your business will fail and you won't be available for those you love either.
“Awe, come on Steph! It's not that serious.”
Well, for some it may not be; but for others it is. It happens to thousands of business owners every year.
I have had clients initially come to me because their health is teetering from their overwork.
I have also had clients initially come to me saying that their relationship with their spouse is on the rocks.
If you think thinking about your business all of the time is hard, imagine how that is compounded when your relationships aNFL health stinks too.
I know first hand.
In 2009 I had pushed so hard that I was told I would not see 2010. They told me that I had systems that had failed and others that were on their way to failing.
So, I had to stop EVERYTHING.
- No more client work.
- No more business networking.
- No more sitting on boards.
- No more speaking from the stage.
- No more volunteer work.
- Limited ability to parent to my then eight-year-old son.
- Limited interaction with my family.
- Limited interaction with friends.
I spend two years focused on getting better, while life went on around me.
I existed. I was not really living.
Is that a cost you are willing to risk?
You are Not a Machine
You are a wonderful, amazing human being, not a machine. You need healthy food, good sleep, nourishing water, exercise, healthy relationships…
Being a workaholic is not a badge of honor.
Taking care of you is taking care of your business.
Let me say that again.
Taking care of you IS taking care of your business.
Figure Out What is Really Going On
If you can't shut down, decide what is going on deep down that is making you addicted to work.
In many's case, it is based on not seeing and owning your value. Not feeling good enough.
The need to overwork often indicates the need to prove one's worth.
Here is the Truth
You are valuable right now no matter how you are using your time.
You are valuable when you are sleeping.
You are valuable when you are reading a book for fun.
Really successful business owners have figured out their equation for balance. (It looks different for everyone.)
Strategic work, play, spiritual time, etc. all combined make a healthy and happy business owner.
I'm on a mission to help as many people as possible define and experience profit AND guilt-free freedom in their business.
Sound good to you? If so, let's talk. << will take you to my intake form. You are under no obligation, but we'll schedule a time to get to the bottom of your overwork. Even if we don't end up working together, you'll have clarity around what to do to move yourself out of this dangerous pattern.
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday