I don’t know about you guys but I find it at times quite hard to regain any sort of work/life balance. When you work from home and it’s your own business there’s no divide so to speak between a working day and the weekend. You feel as though you can never switch off because there are a hundred and one balls juggling in the air and they all need attention. BUT I’ve decided to really try to work smarter rather than just all 24/7. As all good entrepreneurs know staying focused and productive is key – and allows you to make the most of work time and down time too. Here are some things that have helped me out:
Delegate times to look at your email
If I kept my inbox open permanently I would do nothing all day. The constant bombardment of emails and info is super distracting, so I schedule times where I dip in and out of emails. One of the reasons I rise so early is that hour between 5:00 and 6:00am before heading off to yoga is the time (with a hot lemon in water tea) where I wade through all the stuff that has come in overnight and clear the inbox so when I come back from yoga I’m starting a fresh. I’ll then check in at lunch time and then again at the end of the day.
I don’t know about you but I cannot work around clutter. I have to have a clean desk and surroundings that feel calm and beautiful. It helps my mind I feel.
Have scheduled breaks
You can’t work 16 hours a day without taking breaks. For me that’s making flat whites for the team (I always do the coffee and tea run!), and taking the M’s for a quick afternoon whizz around the park. It helps focus I find.
Have a notebook by your side
Thoughts pop into my heads all day every day linked to what I’m working on and sometimes not. Anything that pops in I’ll write down and then reflect on them later – it means I don’t give them my full attention until I am completely ready.
This is a no brainer but staying hydrated, sleeping well, exercising and eating healthy food really does help mental focus. When I was on my crazy designing 250 products in 5-week deadline stage I eat terribly. Take outs or whatever I found in the fridge or cupboard. I felt sluggish and bloated the whole time –yuk!
I got tendinitis in my hand, my limbs cramped up it was tough. Now I know that I’m never again going to be designing that many products in that short a time frame but I came out of it pretty screwed up. I couldn’t relax on the weekends – I’m still too wired to have proper 2 day off weekends which is something I have to work on more and more, but I’ve started doing ‘me’ kind of things. Like yoga, having a massage – relaxing stuff that I’m hoping very soon will make me enjoy weekends for what they are and not keep feeling like I’ve got to work. To be productive you’ve got to be focused and to be focused you need some down time. Learning that the hard way!