2017 was a crazy, not so amazing year for me. I was determined to make 2018 different and while it's been a work in progress. I've made some small changes that have made a HUGE impact on both my business and in life overall. I'm sharing them below in hopes maybe it'll help someone out there make their life a little less crazy and a little more calm.
1>> Social Detox
Social "detoxing" is something I started doing to focus my time and energy while working. Ever notice how you pick up your phone after getting a text message or social notification then the next thing you know, it's 35 minutes later? Yeah, that just wasn't healthy for me! So every day is a little different but I'd say about every other day I do whatever I need to on social/email for work in the AM, then before starting work, I literally leave my phone in the other room. I don't answer text messages (if I get a phone call, I'll look at in case of emergency), I don't go on social, I don't check email. I may check on a lunch "break" but other than that, it's out of reach for 5-8 hours.
This has been a huge game changer in my productivity! It also really helps me not go down the negative rabbit hole of the social media dynamics that our brain sometimes plays on us (the "ugh I'm not good enough" or "I wish I was as successful as..."). The reason I only do this about every other day is I do use social media for business and some days I love interacting and being on there. Try this for a day and see how much better & more productive you feel.
2>> Start a Morning Routine
I had NEVER had a morning routine until I start my business full-time. If you ask anyone close to me, they all would tell you I am NOT a morning person. I want to be so bad, but I really do just enjoy a quiet morning, literally not talking. When I went full-time, I knew I needed a morning routine. So I started a small one. I got up, enjoyed my "quiet hour" of coffee, cuddling my dogs, eating breakfast with the hubs. And started work (from home) at 9:30am. But even throughout and at the end of the day, I still felt all over the place and like I was running in a million directions (because I was!).
Literally at the most perfect time, a new friend, Cat (check her out at Nine Lives Health) was starting up her #MEOWningRoutines week course. This was JUST what I needed to build out my morning routine! The main thing that was missing from my routine? Setting an INTENTION! This was such a game changer. I was always all over the place and never happy with how my day went because I wasn't focused on my "intention" for that day. For example, on a busy work day, at the end of the day, if I can say I finished all my orders & work by 7pm and that was the goal...then success! So what if I didn't get that workout in or make dinner? I stopped beating myself up for not doing ALL the things and just focused on my intention for that day.
3>> Block My Work
This is still pretty new to me, but I can already see how this will benefit me SO much. My brain is usually full of a million ideas, I always have lots of different work projects to work on, and I find it hard to not multi-task. But I'm trying to create my ideal day (every day that I can). And that is not working for 8+ hours because I got side tracked 19 times. For example, it's having a morning routine, working for 3 hours, breaking for a walk and lunch, working 2 more hours, taking the dogs for a walk, going to work out, making dinner, then spending the evening either relaxing or getting in 2 hours of business development work (working on my business, not IN my business).
So while I'm not at my ideal yet just due to work load, I'm working so hard to get there. I would love to have 2 "heavy" work days. Days where I work a full 8-9 hours. Then 3 "medium" days where I work 4-6 hours. And 2 "play" days, where I don't do any "work work" and just work on fun projects, new ideas, personal fun, etc.
4>> Say "No" More Often
I did this pretty much all of 2017 mostly for my own survival (eeks!), but in 2018 I wanted to put a little more of my personal life first and be able to say "yes" to more friends/family time. However, this comes with some balance. And there are two different types of "no" in my opinion. The "no" I don't want to have to say and the "no" I want to say but don't.
Example of the NO I don't want to say: I know if I have a ton of orders to get out today and I have dinner plans, and I'm racing against the clock, the anxiety & stress will easily creep in. I had to put a stop to this and unfortunately, I've had to say no or postpone plans due to a crazy work day. But I NEED to do that for my own mental health. And I'm learning how to do that...say NO when I need to.
I'm also learning to say "no" to the things I actually don't want to do. This is so hard! Especially for small business owners! But sometimes I look back at things I've planned or projects I've taken on and I'm like "WHY did I say YES to this!?". I'm getting so much better at asking myself "do you REALLY want to do this?" If the answer is no...I say no.
5>> "Outsource" Things I Don't Need/Want to be Doing
Another game changer! My husband and I are always busy (not wearing that as a badge of honor! It's just the lifestyle we choose). So we value our TIME oh so much! Could we mow our own lawn once a week? Yes. But my husband would rather have that time on the weekend to spend with me, or do something for his gym, etc. So we pay someone to do that for us.
We also recently started using a food prep service. We are always on the go, and don't always prep our full week's meals (that's the goal)! I would be working a ton then find myself starving and not wanting to make food, so I'd end up caving for something "bad". I've been putting a focus on getting back to healthier eating, so to combat the last minute bad meals, we have AMAZING healthy & gourmet meals ready in our fridge that we can easily consume. This has literally saved me on days where I'm tired and don't feel like cooking OR I'm rushed and need something quick. Also! I don't have to spend the time that is so limited currently on prepping an extra 4-5 meals a week for lunches (or dinners)! We found Cat from Thyme & Honey at a Boss Ladies Referral Connect and are BEYOND happy we did. Her food is legit amazing. So "outsource" things that will give you back TIME!
That wraps up a few of the small changes I've made that have made such a huge difference! What things in your life help you live a little less hectic and a little more calm? I'd LOVE to hear!