Accredited associate coach and professional speaker, facilitator and trainer Renée Giarrusso answers a question on how to switch off.
Q: Running my own business I find I can never switch off? What are some of the things you see that work?
Switching off is a challenge for many, especially when running your own business, as you are usually immersed deeply within it and most of the time over-passionate.
Being a business owner for 11 years, I empathise with you and many others facing this challenge, as it is an obtainable one, but not a sustainable one.
All in all, it comes down to having what I call a circuit breaker. When you get home or wherever you go when you finish your day, what is the compelling thing or reason that breaks your state to just be and detach your head space and energy from the work day?
This could be your partner, your children, a sport, hobby or simply what you do to relax. This is the thing that helps you switch off and ‘defrag’ from the day. For me it’s cooking a meal, it doesn’t matter what time I walk in, this relaxes me and helps me unwind. For many of my friends it’s their children and being present with and for them. Maybe it is playing a sport, hitting the gym or going to yoga. It’s that time-out zone that breaks your state.
Another thing I do that has really helped me is to write a list of everything on my mind as I get home. Many clients and friends I know do this and it took me a while to build this as a discipline. I do a lot of my writing for my business at night, so this helps me to flush out and capture ideas on paper or Evernote so I can let them go until the next day. Anything that comes up for me late at night I write down also, so I don’t go to bed trying to remember them or have the 3am committee visiting me!
Another tip is to do what I call a cyber cleanse. This is where you have a designated time OFF all devices including your phone, laptop, text and all social-media platforms. It may be the entire night or from when you walk in the front door until after dinner or the kids are asleep. This helps you to be present and in the moment. I suggest to some of my clients to leave their phones in the car where they can.
I also believe work-life balance is a myth and work-life blend is the way to go. When we think of balance, many of us visualise scales where one side is usually higher than the other. Trying to balance home life can often make us feel guilty about work and vice versa. I’ve introduced a discipline where I take one week off per quarter opposed to a big holiday once a year. This means, as a business owner, I get a break every three months with little stress, as preparing to go away for five days is doable and doesn’t take too much organisation.
Everything in moderation and you need to find what works for you. Look at the cost to your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing if you don’t recharge and reset for each day.
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