5 Ways to Use Self-Care to Increase Productivity {plus 4 ridiculously easy ways to get "me time" on a busy schedule}

March 21, 2018

 

It’s no secret that in the hustle and bustle hubbub of modern day entrepreneurship, we’re often taught to wear our over-worked, over-saturated, maxed-out schedules as a badge of honor.

 

 

We’re constantly sold the idea that working ourselves into the ground is a necessary part of the “American dream”, that putting career before everything is the only way to make it big and if we’re taking time for ourselves, we just don’t want it as bad as the next guy.

 

 

While owning and running a business that aligns with our passions, purpose and vision for life is a calling we should count ourselves blessed to pursue, the price of "the hustle" has been known to take it’s toll on our health, happiness and general sanity...unless we have the right tools in our arsenal to ensure both our businesses and our bodies are being looked after.

 

 

So, with all this work, work, work and days that seem to somehow be getting shorter, what strategies can we implement to get more done without phoning in a favor to the Big Man upstairs and asking him if we could pretty, pretty please have just five more hours in the day? 

 

 

Enter self-care. *gasp* I know what you may be thinking...

 

 

”Hold the freaking phone Renee, you’re asking me to add ANOTHER thing to my day and expecting that to help with my already overloaded schedule?”

 

 

I know it sounds counterintuitive but hear me out before you grab the pitch forks and torches and strong-arm me off the scene.

 

 

Self-care can and does make us more productive human beings, between 12% - 20% more productive on average according to recent studies. And get this, you’re an entrepreneur, so we ALREADY know you’re a motivated person, just imagine what results you could see if people working towards someone ELSE’S vision are getting those kinds of numbers.

 

 

Here are just five of the ways regular self-care helps us CRUSH our goals: 

 

 

1) IT FORCES US TO SCHEDULE & ACCOMPLISH

We all know the feeling of looking at the “to-do” list and thinking: “Wow, this is...I’m going back to bed”. If we expect to fit “me time” into our already packed days, there’s no way it’s getting done without some serious scheduling. The good news? Time blocking and putting REAL appointments into our calendars does this funny little thing to our brains. It makes the reality of what we need to get done tangible and assigns it specific parameters. The human psyche loves specificity, it gives us a clear path to follow and makes us feel motivated to GET SHIT DONE. Keller Williams Realty, voted both the #1 training company and the happiest place to work in the US last year, has a little saying that I've always found to be true when it comes to scheduling: “All work expands to fill the time allowed”. Our brains are great at figuring out when we aren’t sincere about something, which means if you give yourself a day to get something done, it'll probably take you all day to do it. If you give yourself two hours to get something done because you have a massage scheduled at 2:30 damn it and it will not be missed, it’ll take two hours. When we set boundaries on our time, our daily tasks don’t have the opportunity to linger; we send a clear message to our cells to kick it into high gear and PERFORM to meet the demand.

 

 

2) IT MAKES US MORE FOCUSED & CREATIVE

As a creative entrepreneur, I know first hand the struggles of brain-no-workie syndrome. When we press our brains and bodies to the max with no time for recentering, we lose our ability to:

 

  • Focus on the task at hand: Ever found yourself needing to finish that one stuuuuuuupid sentence in that email but suddenly you’ve forgotten how to speak because you have 27 other thoughts all fighting for precedence in your brain? {*cue you throwing your laptop across the room while laughing maniacally into your 14th cup of coffee*}

  • Think creatively about our work: This not only applies to professions like mine where creative thinking is LIT.ER.ALLY my job but to all entrepreneurial endeavors when it comes to creative problem solving, improving processes, evaluating and responding appropriately to the emotions we see from our clients and coworkers, etc.

 

To bring the full force of your mental awesomeness to the scene, it is mandatory to create moments of restoration for your spirit.   

 

 

3) IT WARDS OFF BURN OUT & SLOPPY WORK PERFORMANCE

Ever had one of those days where you knew in your soul you were kiiiiiiind of phoning it in? Maybe you’ve been working 12 hour days for a month and just didn’t have the mental fortitude to be fully present that day or maybe you didn’t get great sleep the night before or maybe you tripped on your way into the office and slipped your coffee all over yourself and decided right then and there it was going to be THE WORST day. Phoning it in is a dead giveaway that something is off with your self-care routine. When we feel rested, taken care of and mentally and emotionally fulfilled, we allow the space in our lives to be fully present and to show up as our best selves...EVEN when life throws curveballs at us. A person who regularly commits to self-care practices could easily look at the coffee dripping down their nice work clothes as a funny conversation starter for the day. Self-care wires us for optimism, and optimism manifests forward progress.

 

 

4) IT MAKES FULL PICTURE HEALTH A PRIORITY

Not only does self-care prevent us from throwing in the towel or producing sub par work, it creates sustainable longevity in our professional lives. When we take the time to care for our mental, emotional and physical state, we free up energy - energy we can assign to accomplishing our goals, broadening our vision, streamlining our methods or building our relationships {both personal and professional}. In this way, our relationship with self-care is cyclical: the more we commit to caring for ourselves, the more energy we have at our disposal to invest or give away as we see fit. 

 

 

5) IT AMPLIFIES GRATITUDE & SQUELCHES RESENTMENT

When we don’t make ourselves a priority, it’s not just our bottom line that suffers - we can all remember days we snapped at a loved one, missed an opportunity to lift up a team member or spoke more curtly to a client than we normally would. Making time for our mental health - no matter how small and simple the activity may be - breeds gratitude: gratitude for life, gratitude for the opportunities we have in business, gratitude for the people around us that make it all possible, the list goes on. It’s an impossibility to be grateful and resentful at the same time. When we’re in a state of gratitude, we actively look for the positives, we explore new ways to understand others, we treat people well, we seek to provide value, we come to conversations ready to serve....and so on and so forth. I don’t know about you, but I see a few ways that list could lead a person to make better business decisions, to show up at the office feeling blessed and ready to rock, and to attract the kind of clients and team members that will propel their business forward. 

 

 

 

If this list hit home with you and you’re looking to implement more self-care into your life, we recommend focusing on little things you can do often rather than taking a three month sabbatical to hole up in the Alaskan wilderness and then coming back to your same schedule and habits. Here are a few ridiculously easy ways you can do that:

 

 

1.

Make a list of 30 things you like to do just because they make you happy.

Don’t go for the moon here, we’re talking things as simple as “Take a walk”, “Read” or “Call my sister”; you want these things to be small and easily accomplishable. Once your list is crafted, make a point to do at least three things on the list every day - or work your way up from one thing a day if that seems like too much.

{Credit to Laura Doyle on this one, it’s totally saved my life!}

 

2.

Get outside.

Trees, plants, flowers, rocks and earth make us happier humans. It’s science people, quit trapping yourself inside a box all day and GET NATURED ALREADY.  

 

3.

Put your phone away when you don’t actually need it.

Allow room in your life for being present and self reflection, it’s pretty rad. {Not to mention our brains actually NEED time away from the 24/7 stimulation of screens to decompress}.

 

4.

Practice mindful breathing.

Emphasis on mindful, otherwise you’d have this one down on the daily. We take a shockingly minuscule amount of time to actually focus on how our bodies feel throughout the day. Find small chunks of time here and there to get into a zen head space: close your eyes and focus on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Note how your body is feeling and thank it for all the hard work it does for you every gosh darn day {that's an MVP right there!}.

 

Want more entrepreneurial advice, tips and tricks to accelerate your business?

 

Sign up for our email list here.

 

{We only send the good stuff.} 

 

 

Please reload

FEATURED POSTS

Why I Chose Wix As My Website Platform

February 28, 2019

1/10
Please reload

RECENT POSTS
Please reload

ARCHIVE