If I had a penny for every time I’d opened up my MacBook, opened up the Pages app and sat for absolutely ages pondering how to start a new blog post, I’d probably be able to buy an overpriced Freddo. Perhaps it’s the colder mornings or the fact that my routine has been thrown up in the air but I’m certainly experiencing a slump of some sort recently. To put it frankly, I’ve been worrying myself stupid about (relatively) meaningless to-do lists, stuffed full of things that I should-do-but-frankly-don’t-have-for and employing a ‘reward yourself afterwards’ scheme whereby I never reap the bloody rewards. I get through about 70% of my to-do lists – the important bits are checked – and then tell myself I’ll do it later with little to no effect. The slump is real, you guys.
And I got to thinking: why am I working myself into the ground when in 5 years’ time, this probably won’t even matter? Perhaps it’s time to take my foot off the pedal, even by just a fraction. Here’s how I’m planning to hit reset:
1. Strip back to basics
What I found when I had a moment’s peace to evaluate exactly why I was so stressed, it was because I was trying to juggle so much. A full set of clients – meaning 18-hour days – trying to see my friends enough, hang out with my boyfriend, get errands done, get his errands done, be a good puppy Mama, work out, help out around the house, read books, read blogs, game, watch my shows on Netflix and Crunchyroll, be a taxi for Papa as we share a car, stress about not maintaining my secondary business… It’s all too much.
Stripping things back to basics right now means devoting an evening per task or activity. Tonight – it’s Wednesday evening as I write this – I took a nap and watched some YouTube videos, made a little dinner with my sister. And I’m trying really hard not to add another thing to the mix. It’s tough, with social media a constant presence reminding you of your entire News Feed up to all kinds of great things and fretting about unanswered emails even though it’s 10.46pm right now, but it’s doable. You don’t have to do it all.
2. Get organised
I found it useful earlier to sit down with my diary and take stock of my weekly, monthly, even my daily plans. I work best with a paper diary and it’s good to take some time to consolidate all of your appointments and plans in one place. And once that’s all in, I found no qualms in moving things around, spreading plans and tasks out just to make time for myself. There aren’t any benefits to burning yourself out or not having enough time to indulge in the bubble baths I so adore. I took great pleasure, in fact, in moving as much as I could to one day so that I could enjoy an extra day of zero work; no working from 8am until 12am, no emails, no appointments, no errands. I shouldn’t have to compromise my happiness to get ahead of… who? Myself?
3. Take one long break
Whilst I appreciate this one is a little farfetched, even for me, if you can afford to – take a long break. Book a week away and truly throw caution to the wind. It’s making me feel a little nervous that I won’t be taking any ‘holiday’ until at least mid-January but it’s important to take breaks. And I guess that’s one thing I’ve neglected since working for myself: allowing myself a holiday. I’m going to implement a 24-day holiday calendar next year whereby I take annual leave… from my own business.
How do you recover from a slump? Leave me your tips below!