Ways I stay sane and run a business
I love being a small business owner. It’s great to have full control over my schedule and pursue my passion, building something that hopefully will be my lasting legacy. I wouldn’t change it for the world. However, at times being a small business owner can be bananas crazy. You have to wear so many hats, there are always a zillion balls in the air, and you’re ultimately responsible for making sure it doesn’t all come crashing down! For me, I’ve found my busy times come in waves - sometimes really close together waves. There will be slower times where I have a moment to catch my breath and come up for air, and there will be times when I’m pretty much only focused on getting my work done. This used to really stress me out, but now that I’m a little more used to the rhythm, I kind of like it. I thought I would share some of my tactics for making it through the crazy times without losing my sanity.
_Caspian reflects upon the joy of a tidy home. _
A clean house is a must.
I work from home, so this is doubly important, but it adds to my feeling of chaos 1000% if my surroundings are cluttered and dirty. Generally, I try to make sure everything in my home has a place, and regularly do Kon-Mari style purges to make sure everything is sparking joy, which super helps. When I find myself feeling really overwhelmed, taking 15 minutes to tidy my immediate area can really help me reset, and focus.
I don’t journal regularly, and I’m sure when I’m long gone anyone who finds these journals are going to be like ‘who was this psycho and how did she manage to survive for as long as she did?’ because I just use them for stress relief. I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling crazed, my mind is going a mile a minute, and sometimes just brain dumping all of that onto a page really helps me feel like I can focus and relax.
_A peek at my February calendar - I screenshotted this in the middle of January - it is so nice to be able to plan ahead. _
I recently started putting everything I need to do into Asana, and it has been a game. Changer. I can pull up a calendar view of all tasks assigned to me, and it’s been so helpful, in terms of knowing what I absolutely need to accomplish in a day, feeling like I have everything I need to do documented (so I don’t have to waste time worrying about it), and allows me to plan ahead.
Piggybacking off Asana,
I also have started batch working a little bit more, and it is honestly the best.
When I’m looking at my calendar view in Asana, I can match tasks that are in the same category (so I might have one day where I design a bunch of invitations, and then another day for assembly, etc), and best of all, it’s allowed me to stop using my email as a to-do list.
_Me, not checking my email. _
Stop using your email as a to-do list!
I have recently implemented a rule that I can only check my email when I’m prepared to take action on my email. So, if I read it, I have to respond to it or put whatever action is associated with it into Asana. I’ve started checking my email only once or twice a day (honestly some days I am more successful at this than others, but even with my lack of willpower, it’s still super helpful. Side note: did you know that checking your email triggers the same response in your brain as playing slot machines?) This has resulted in a couple of changes in my workflow. I feel like I’m more responsive and communicative to my clients, because I’m not just letting things linger for days on end, and I have freed up SO MUCH TIME, because I’m focusing on what is truly important for me to accomplish on any given day, and not letting email to-dos derail my productivity.
Sometimes the mountains you climb are in your mind, other times they’re literal mountains.
This can feel counterproductive because why would you want to take time away from working when there’s already so much to do?! And sometimes I’ll definitely skip a workout because I feel overwhelmed. But, I’ve found when I can remain disciplined, it’s really helpful, not only in managing any anxiety or stress I feel around my workload but also with my productivity. The best time for me to work out is in the middle of the day, and knowing I have a break coming up means I can really put my head down and knock stuff out in the morning, and I often return to my work with more energy, and in a better mood.
Cut myself a break.
I truly believe you can have it all, but not at the same time. I can be killing it at work, but maybe I’m not cooking healthy, delicious meals every night, or being a very present friend, or living up to all the high standards I set for myself. It’s okay. Sometimes it’s okay to be giving your all in one area of your life, and just getting by in the other areas. If it’s going on for too long, that’s probably indicative of a bigger problem, but the truth is, sometimes things get busy and something has to slide. On any given week, I might be trying to stay off my phone and read books, but after a super busy week maybe I just want to lay in bed and swan dive into instagram, and that’s not the worst thing in the world.
I hope that was helpful for anyone out there going through their own busy times! Leave a comment below and let me know your number one self-care tip when life gets crazy!