When you work from home, the line can get pretty blurred between work and free time. Taking a little time throughout the day for wellness and establishing weekday routines can really help. Bottom-line, We need to take care of ourselves as business owners.
I’m sure that you didn’t originally start your business so that you could work endless hours without breaks. If you can relate, then I’m going to help you make some changes to balance things out. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear picture of how to tweak your daily life to make more time for yourself and still succeed as a business owner.
As a solopreneur, it’s essential to make a little time for yourself during each workday. You need to step away from the hustle and take a breather, if only for a few minutes.
It can be so easy to skip breaks because you feel like everything is on your shoulders. Maybe you feel like all the things need to be done at once and that you don’t have enough hours in the day. But if you health starts to suffer because you work too hard then you won’t be able to get anything done. You need to set realistic expectations about what you can accomplish each day to prevent burnout.
If nothing else, step away for at least a half hour to make a meal and eat it somewhere other than your desk. Enjoy food that makes you feel good and gives you the energy to get back to work after lunch. Bonus points if you eat your meal mindfully and take some time away from all screens. But, even if you do eat your lunch in front of the tv, or while enjoying a youtube video or podcast – that’s great too. As long as you step away from your desk and relax for a little while you’re improving your health.
If you have a little extra time, try taking a few small breaks throughout the day. I like to go on an afternoon walk with my dog around the neighborhood. This gives me some time to spend with her, some exercise, and I get some much-needed vitamin D. It’s also a great time to reflect on the day I’ve had so far and get clear on what I want to work on during my last few work hours of the day.
Once your workday actually begins it’s easy to just get caught up in the swing of things. Wellness mainly happens during your non-working hours of the day. Which makes sense, because you have more time to step away and think about something other than work. This is why morning and evening routines are so important.
My Morning Routine: I’m not a huge morning person, so I like to keep my routine simple and streamlined. I enjoy spending some time alone in the morning before the rush of the workday begins. I generally start my mornings off with a glass of warm lemon water and some light stretching/yoga. Then I get ready for the day, which, generally means just taking a shower and putting on some casual clothes. Next, I sit down with my breakfast and look over my to-do list in Asana so that I can prepare for the day ahead and decide what my first priority will be. After breakfast, I get to it!
My Evening Routine: I usually stop working around 6 pm, once my husband gets home from work. We make dinner and eat together over a Netflix show. I know, not the best habit…but we like our tv. After that, I generally clean up the house a bit and watch a couple of youtube videos. Basically, I just do a few things that I enjoy doing to unwind after a long day.
When it’s getting close to the end of the night, I will start getting ready for bed. Occasionally, I’ll go the extra mile and relax a little more with a face mask, long bath, or by painting my nails. Then, I’ll take about 5 minutes to look at my Asana to-do list for the next day and make sure that it’s reasonable. I’ll move task due-dates around if needed and add/remove things that don’t apply anymore. Right before bed, I’ll read one chapter in whatever book I’m reading at that time.
As you can see these routines aren’t glamorous or anything really life-shattering. But they do allow for plenty of free time to unwind after work. And of course, my routines don’t always look like this. My evening routine varies depending on if I have plans with loved ones or if I have a non-work project that I’m doing. The main takeaway here is to play around with your routine and find what you enjoy doing.
You might have noticed that I mentioned using Asana several times throughout this post. Asana is a project management system that I use for my own to-do lists, goal setting, and client projects. It allows me to keep all of my projects in one organized place.
I like to take a couple of minutes during my morning and evening routines to plan out my day and spend some time in Asana. Throughout the workday, I refer back to my tasks and simply check off any that I complete.
You don’t have to use Asana. There are other project management systems like Trello, Redbooth or Basecamp that you could try. You could also use a planner or simply write out a to-do list each day.
The most important thing is that you plan out your day for success so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. I have a lot of things that I like to fit into my 7-8 hour work days and I don’t want to waste any time. I like to come into my workday with a plan of action so that I can get right down to it.
Perhaps you like to make exercise a part of your morning or evening routine. Perfect! You’re all set then.
I only do a little stretching in the morning and hate going to the crowded gym in the evening. My ideal time for exercise is in the afternoon, around 3 pm, before the gym gets really busy. That’s why I schedule a time to go to the gym 3 days a week. To make up for the lost time, I simply wake up an hour earlier or work an hour later on those days.
If you’re new to exercise, choose something that you actually enjoy doing. For instance, if you hate running try incorporating weight training, yoga, or cycling into your routine instead. Whatever you choose to do, schedule it into your day and treat it like an appointment. That way it actually happens and you don’t blow it off.
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