Get a life!
You’re working too much.
People remind me of this all the time.
They tell me to take it easy. Take a break. Get some sleep.
The list goes on.
but I’ve always worked hard
I worked at least 30 hours a week while I was in school. Then 10-14 hour days in financial services was standard. Yet, no one ever told me I was overdoing it then.
So why do we face so much judgement when we work for ourselves?
Just like anyone in employment, if we don’t work, then we don’t eat.
how to get a life
I’ve stop trying to justify my work ethic to anybody. I work hard when I need to. And I take time off when I need to. I recognise how important rest is for recharging, sparking creativity and reducing stress levels.
I don’t want to be guilty of workism, a term used to describe when your entire identity is defined by your work. (Check out this podcast to learn more about it!)
Because I know that there is so much more to life! And I want to make time for all those things that are important to me.
Here’s how I do it….
1. live one life
Work is just one part of our lives. Each of us will have many other parts too – family, friends, school, gym, hobbies, etc.
But together, they form one life with different activities and priorities.
To make it easy for me to look after all of the things that are important to me, I use one calendar for everything. It includes work commitments, personal commitments and deadlines.
Having everything in one place makes it so much easier to see where I may be trying to do too much.
And it also lets me set boundaries.
Each week, there are activities in my calendar which are non-negotiable, meaning everything else will get scheduled around these activities. My non-negotiables are times I carve out for myself. They include sessions at the gym with my trainer, three times a week, and a couple hours at the nail salon every 2-3 weeks.
And unless I have an event, I no longer work past 9PM at night.
2. don’t be a slave to technology
According the The Guardian, the average person picks up their phone over 50 times and spends more than three hours on it daily. This doesn’t include time that you may also be sitting in front of a laptop, checking emails or surfing the web.
There is an expectation for us to always be online and always available.
And it can make it really difficult to turn off!
I try to limit this grasp that technology has on me.
First, I’ve disabled all notifications on my phone, except for WhatsApp. This reduces distractions and means that I only go into apps when I am interested in looking at them.
Second, when I do take a break, I remove all social media apps from my phone and leave my laptop at home. This decreases my dependency on technology and helps to reset the unhealthy habit of being always “on”.
Finally, I recently created a separate WhatsApp account for my business. WhatsApp has always been my primary mode of communication with the friends and family I have around the world, so I want to be accessible through it. But not to everyone, all the time.
By creating a separate account for my business number, I no longer notice nor feel the need to respond when clients or partners send messages out of hours. And I can continue to use my personal WhatsApp account without worrying about people seeing that I’m “online”.
3. choose wisely
With such limited time available to look after all these parts of our lives which are important to us, it’s so important to spend this time wisely.
Since becoming an entrepreneur, the people I choose to spend my time with has certainly changed. I prioritise people who nurture me rather than drain me and people whose company I genuinely enjoy. I spend time with a lot of people who understand the challenges of entrepreneurship. And I avoid those who are naysayers or who bring judgement and negativity with them.
I just don’t have time for bad vibes!
It’s also important that I spend my free time choosing activities that I enjoy, rather than any I feel obliged to do.
I go to the gym regularly because I find that it provides ongoing mental and physical benefits to me. I cook and bake often because I find it meditative. I also enjoying entertaining friends in my home. I can listen to music for hours, getting lost in the rhythm and the beat. All of these things help me to recharge.
make small changes
When you decide it’s time to get a life, don’t try to change too much, too soon. Old habits take time to break and new habits take time to form.
So just start with one thing!
Maybe you want to create some non-negotiable slots in your calendar. Or make changes to your dependence on technology. Or change who you spend your time with.
Start with one.
Whatver it is, allow time to experience success with that one thing, and then build upon that with something else.
over to you
What change would you like to make so that you can get a life? Let us know in the comments below.