It can be so hard to get carried away when you are right in the midst of everyday life. It can often feel like just taking even a second for yourself is impossible and you try and work your way through your never-ending to-do list. There is also the huge element of ‘Fear of Missing Out’, after all, who knows what will happen if you take your eye off the ball? There is also the element of becoming a martyr to our busy schedules, after all, if you don’t do it, who else will?
The truth is, regardless of what happens to us, life will continue to go on. The whole world won’t stop turning just because you take some time out, and the important things will still get done (just maybe not the way you like).
Time out is crucial
Time out may seem completely out of the question; however, it is extremely important. Quite often we get so stuck in the moment that it is very difficult to take in the whole bigger picture. Time out gives your mind and body a chance to recharge, it will give you a fresh perspective, a chance to reflect, and sometimes clarity.
I recently took a lot of time out, it wasn’t exactly planned the way it happened, but overall it is what happened. I still worked; I was still earning. However, I also managed to spend time with my family and also look after myself. I also found it gave me the space to look at my life and decide what is important, what is working, what isn’t important, and what isn’t working.
Without this time off, I probably wouldn’t have been able to reflect on my life the way I did. Sometimes to find the answer to a problem you need to remove yourself the problem. This is why it’s often easier to solve other people problems because you’re not so close to the root of the problem.
…but I have no time
Most people, who are directly employed, have an entitlement to holiday/ annual leave. This is because it is widely recognised that time away from the workplace is crucial for employees physical and mental health. However, when you are self-employed, there is no such legal requirement. Instead, it is expected that we will regulate our working arrangements.
For some this is quite easy, they ensure that they give themselves a good work/ life balance. However, it’s not so simple for others and it is very easy to slip into the habit of working more hours than you would if you were in an employed job. With no regulations in place, nobody questioning why you are still working, and unlimited hours available to work, why would you stop?
Even if you do take time out of work you need to think about how you spend the rest of your time. A lot of self-employed people have dependants or even other jobs. How do you ever get a minute to yourself if you are juggling a business, a full-time job, and childcare?
It can be easy to see why people burn out.
Boundaries and organisation are essential
Truth is, sometimes you have to be a bit ruthless. You have to learn how to say no, you have to learn how to put yourself first, you also have to learn how to manage your time effectively and plan. Once you can put firm boundaries and plans into place you will start to find that you have more time to focus on yourself.
I am not saying that you only look after yourself and start neglecting your other responsibilities. I am saying that there is an abundance of time available, and it is entirely possible to balance everything and still find time for yourself. You just need to think smart.