I used to be a full time business owner, and there was always something to do: A timeline to build, a blog post to write, a mixer to attend. Even when I had organized the business to guarantee a neatly contained workday nearly every day, I’d find myself at 9pm at night, say, going online and doing some marketing research, or updating my bookkeeping. I was very efficient with my main work at hand (event planning), so when I had leftover time, I felt like I should be doing something more. And certainly, there was always something useful I could be doing, even if it wasn’t totally necessary. But what I should have been doing was telling myself to slow down. Take some time for myself, my friends, my family.
I wound down my business 3 years ago to work in the hospitality industry, but even then, I was consulting on the side on a freelance basis, and working on a project (virtual Wedding Planner Support Groups – to come in late Summer 2019), and this, that and the other. Then, a few weeks ago, something changed.
I’d leave my job, come home, tidy the house, make dinner, check in on some family, work out…and just have a nice evening of normal around-the-house activities. I had finished up a couple consultation projects; the Wedding Planner Support Groups were steadily coming together; and I just decided to have one job for a few weeks. And it was awesome. I realized, I didn’t have to take over the world every night after work – I didn’t have to do MORE to be a BETTER consultant or hospitality professional. I could slow down a little; I could have a nice normal life with ONE job and the occasional, well timed and somewhat automated side project. The pressure to be all things, to have my fingers in every pie, fell away. As my business consultant once told me when I went on a downward spiral about all I was trying to accomplish: Give yourself a f*&king break.
And I’ve never been happier.
A few things that happened because of my return to normal-hood:
- I’m sleeping better. Fewer things are swimming in my head when my head hits the pillow every night.
- I’m highly focused. Multitasking isn’t always the ideal – you can’t multi-task every single moment of the day. You risk doing a half-assed job on everything versus giving 110% to every task.
- I’m healthier. I started working out almost every single night (Beachbody on Demand to the rescue!). I’ve regained muscle I haven’t seen in years, it’s also added to my sleep, and my stress levels have plummeted since I have increased my cardio activity.
- I’m closer to friends and family. I have more time to reach out, send that checking-in text, grab coffee on the weekends. Socializing has legitimate long-term, crucial health benefits, along with the short-term bump you feel in overall mood.
Life is precious, and every second counts. No one is going to give you a medal if you add one more thing to your to-do list to prove your productivity. Give yourself a break; slow down the pace of the voices in your head demanding you do more, more, more; give yourself boundaries, and take time to refill your well of energy, every single day.