Best Practices for the Self-Employed Part II: Balance

I just wrote a post about keeping good business habits when you work for yourself. Now here’s the other side of that. Here’s how I stay balanced and limit stress:

 

*Get in at least one thing for me each week. 
Don’t be a martyr. When you constantly put yourself last, you suffer. Maybe not at first, but after a while, you’ll have a breakdown that will affect your work, your relationships, etc. This is a huge problem for a lot of women because we tend to put ourselves last. A lot. I’m not saying drop your work and your family and go hit the road like Thelma and Louise. I’m just saying the world will not stop turning if take some time for yourself on a regular basis. I try to do something for myself each week. Take a ballet class. Take a yoga class. Go climb at the gym. Read my favorite magazine on the couch for an hour. Grab lunch with my best friend. ANYTHING that’s meant for my enjoyment. It’s something I get to look forward to and keeps my stress levels down. I notice it when I’ve lagged on this for too long.
 

 

*Work on the plane on the way out of town, read my book on the way back home. 
I travel a ton, so there are plenty of flights each month that I could make productive. It’s an ideal space to work in; nobody hounding you, no internet (usually) to distract you, no phone buzzing every few minutes with messages or emails that slow you down. On the other hand, I love books. I love to read! It’s one of my “things” and the plane is an ideal spot to catch on my book of the moment. I don’t want to only work on flights, or only read and not accomplish anything. So I have a new rule: work on the outbound flight(s), read my book on the inbound one(s). Two birds. One stone. Ami’s happy.
Like I ever have that much leg room…Except for my twice a year 1st class upgrades. via

 

*Don’t overfill my schedule. 
When you’re self-employed, you kind of have to take work when it comes your way, just in case of an unexpected slump (e.g. the Recession) so you tend to overwork yourself. Burnout is BAD though! It’s very evident to everyone around you when you’re burning your candle at both ends. Clients might pity you at first, but when you’re constantly in that state, they may eventually start looking elsewhere for somebody who can handle themselves, and their schedule, better. When you’re burnt out for a prolonged period, you can actually start repelling business. Keep things at a manageable level! It’s good for your business, it’s good for YOU.
This is hilarious. Don’t hurt a seal though. Via

*Have at least one sleep-in day per work week. 
I get up most days of the week at 5am and travel most weekends. Sleeping in until 7am makes a HUGE difference. I learned a long time ago that my body doesn’t work on just 6 hours of sleep so I need a full 8 hours to feel good the next day. If I have to go to sleep at 9pm every night, my personal life takes a hit as well. Not that I need to be out partying every night, but I need to be able to hold an adult conversation past 8pm, so I have to balance it out and not take on so much so early.
What do you do to keep a good work/life balance?

Read Part I here.

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