Let me first say, I LOVE MY JOB. But, with that comes the need to work 24/7 and always have "work" on my mind. Here are some helpful tips below to take necessary time off for those who are self employed. I decided to take this weekend off from work, which meant not scheduling any shoots, not answering emails, no consultations/meetings, no editing etc... I didn't even write this blog post on the weekend ;) I wrote it several days ago and scheduled the post (see below). I am running the BMO Vancouver 8 km tomorrow. I have never enjoyed running and can't say I am very good, but I do enjoy physical activity and challenges. And, what better way to do it then to raise funds for the BC Schizophrenia Society Alas, my goal is completion! Again....some tips for taking time off when self employed:
1. WEEKLY ORGANIZATION
- I create a check list at the beginning of the week to prioritize my to do list. What things are urgent and which items can wait until the following week? I cross them off as I go and add stuff as needed.
2. DAILY ORGANIZATION
- I schedule my day according to what is happening that day, as everyday is different for those who are self employed. I take conscious breaks throughout the day. After an hour at the computer, I force myself to get up and go outside, grab a coffee, watch some tv etc... before I go back to work. Use a timer if you need to!
3. STAY FUELED.
- Do not forget to eat and stay hydrated. Sounds odd? But for those of us who have such irregular work schedules it is often hard to remember to eat/drink. I meal prep every weekend to ensure meals are easy, healthy and ready. I keep a water bottle with me everywhere I go....in the car...at my desk etc... Make sure to sit down and eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner. This allows for an already planned break in your day.
4. PLAN IN ADVANCE
- Plan a small (or large) vacation to look forward to or keep you motivated. I usually schedule these when I think I will most need them (ie, after a long wedding weekend). DO NOT bring work related stuff on your vacation. Leave the computer at home, do not answer WORK related emails (lets be real...I won't be leaving my phone at home on most of my vacations).
- Whether it is with friends, family or other networking groups. Not only is it helpful to network for business but it creates great bonds with other like minded people. Plan to go for coffee or lunch so that you can both take a break and not chat about work.
All of these things keep me motivated and refueled for the up coming work days. It is challenging to consciously take a break but it is much needed. Not only to yourself but also for your clients. They deserve you at 100%.