Archive for balance

5 Reasons You Need to Schedule a Personal Day

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

About 2 months ago I asked for November 7th off, as I was intending for it to be the first day of my launch. When I decided to push back the course to a later date I decided, screw it… I could always use a personal day.

While I might have pushed back my course launch I still had plenty to keep me busy, like finally watching Zootopia… that movie was pretty deep if you haven’t seen it, preparing for two webinars, working on my launch strategy, going grocery shopping, making probably the worst pot roast I’ve ever cooked, calling various companies in anticipation of my move next month and drinking a beer before 5:00 pm while I frantically created graphics in Canva to promote above-mentioned webinar.

While that is a lot of randomness, it was really what I needed.

In my adult career, I think this is the first time I’ve ever scheduled a day off of work just for my mental health and personal well-being. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve taken mental health days but it was normally a choice I made 2 snooze buttons in the morning of or 3 Jameson shots in the night before.

We all need time off. 5 Reasons to schedule a personal day. Click To Tweet

I am the type of person who hates to miss work…Actually let me restate that, I feel guilty missing work, even when I am legitimately sick I feel guilty. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my time in elementary school striving for the year-end “perfect attendance award” whatever it is, I feel a knot in my stomach when I call in.

But sometimes we all need to spend a weekday in bed watching cartoons, catching up on sleep and just checking in with ourselves.

So let me tell you about my day:

6:30 am Tried my hand at witchcraft by trying to control my neighbors barking dog with my mind. Turns out I’m not “charmed.”

10:00 am Woke up watched Secrets and Lies while wrapping up some social media stuff and scheduled unautomated bill payments and started moving over my accounts to my soon to be new address.

11:00 am Made bacon, egg and cheese tacos while replaying a few modules of Launch Your Signature Course, doing laundry and washing dishes.

2:00 pm Grocery shopping, like an actual adult with a list, stuck to the list, grocery shopping!

3:00 pm Unloaded groceries, cut veggies and put my pot roast in the slow cooker.

3:30 pm Frantically worked on a powerpoint for a webinar emailed back and forth with my webinar partner ironing out the details.

5:00 pm I decided, “You know what this work session needs? Amy Pohler and Tina Fey,” so I put on Sisters while I caught up on emails and created graphics for the webinar marketing.

7:30 pm Made a plate and ate while watching part of that day’s Young and The Restless episode.

7:50 pm Hopped in the shower… so fresh and so clean clean.

8:15 pm Packed my gym bag and folded the above-mentioned clothes while watching Jane the Virgin.

9:00 pm Scheduled a week’s worth of social media, including webinar marketing. Approved and responded to blog comments.

10:00 pm Knocked some things off my Todoist and scheduled some things. Updated launch calendar based on notes I made when reviewing LYSC this morning

10:30 pm I took Benadryl as my allergies revolted against me around 9:45, brushed my teeth and sat down to get drowsy during the new episode of American Dad.

Here are 5 reasons you should schedule a mental health day.

So You Don’t Have To Hide

As I mentioned above, while this is the first time I’ve taken a personal day, but it is the first time I’ve taken a planned and approved personal day. (I feel totally okay admitting this since I’ve never called in at my current job LOL.)

If you’ve ever taken a cough, cough sick day you may have experienced that moment of fear (or adrenaline rush, depending on what you’re into) on the way to your impromptu manicure or picking up your favorite barbecue that you might run into your boss or a tattle-telling coworker.

When you plan your personal day ahead of time you can strut your stuff, check into Facebook at the mall, take a picture of yourself eating pizza in your pajamas at 2 pm. and post it to Instagram. It’s okay because it’s your day.

So You Don’t Crash

We are constantly going. Regardless what is going on in your life there is always 10 more things to do. You might be a mom with little one’s running around, playdates and birthday parties, you might be a side hustler trying to navigate having a day job and working all night as well (me), you might have a 9-6 followed by gym, then an array of social activities, including weekends filled with weddings, bridal and baby showers (me again). Whatever it is there is a good chance your weekends are as packed as your work week (Assuming you’re lucky enough to work a traditional set schedule). My weekend was full of social obligations and tasks, I’m not complaining but having an extra day, allowed me to get groceries, create a lot more content and just recharge. Sometimes two days aren’t enough to get everything done and let you recharge the way weekends are meant to.

Because We All Need Breaks

I have a rule, that I am pretty strict on. I don’t do work Thursday nights. I don’t even open my computer between the hours of 7-10 if I’m at home. Yes, I am almost always constantly connected to something in relation to the blog but this is the time I leave for myself to watch some of my favorite shows, catch up with my Shondaland buddy and play with my adopted nephew. While I normally take Thursday night’s off from my blog. I still go to my day job. A personal day, lets you decide how to spend that time. It isn’t that necessary balance of, “I’m off from this, but not from that,” if you don’t want to be.

When was the last time you took a day off? What was the reason? Let me guess… You had an out of town wedding to attend? A doctor’s appointment? You promised to help your sister move? Chances are you were either doing something for someone else or you were doing something that wasn’t exactly relaxing.

Because Sleeping In On a Weekday Just Feels Better Than a Weekend

Let’s be real, I know a lot of you are on that, up by 6 a.m. trail, and good for you! Seriously, I mean it, that’s not me. If I wake up early it has to be for 1 of 3 reasons, a mindless activity- like working out,  mindful activity like meditation, or excitement like that first day of school feeling I get when I’m going on a trip. That being said, most of my weekends start earlier than my body would prefer. I either try to make Saturday morning Zumba or have to hit the road for an out of town event or am trying to catch a live webinar in a different time zone. On the off chance, I can just sleep in, one of my delightful neighbors isn’t having it (did I mention how excited I am to move next month?).  Something about being able to sleep in a little and just starts the day naturally at the time your body wants to is just nice. Maybe it sounds bad but I knew that no one was going to call and guilt me into going to lunch or ask me to meet them at the mall to help them pick out an outfit for a first date. I don’t mind doing that stuff but a day when most of the people in my life are at work and I can just focus on me time is needed.

To Reset

A few months ago I took what I called a blogging break, but it was more of a refocus. In the post I shared about it I mentioned that no matter how much you love something or someone, sometimes you will get frustrated with it.

I actually love my day job, it really overlaps with the things I do in my own business. I work with this amazing, loud and funny group of dorks (I say that myself included) but with a brain full of copywriting ideas, new SEO rules, Google changes, and clients with ever-changing needs, sometimes you need to step back and just get out of your head. Stop thinking about it. Go have a day where you feed birds at a pond, take your guitar to a park, binge watch Mad Men on Netflix or just write whatever comes to you. It’s kind of like that old writer’s block tip that tells you to stop working on the thing that’s got you stumped for a while and focus on something else.

When I walked into work this morning I was in a great mood (which is impressive considering it was election day and my neighbor’s dog woke me up at 2:30 in the morning howling at a thunderstorm).

I was able to start my week off without that Monday morning feeling and just with this amazing feeling that is hard to explain. I started my day with it yesterday and went to bed with it last night. It’s like that first bite of pizza or that first glass of wine during Grey’s Anatomy, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

So I have a challenge for you.

If you work a job outside of the home go look at your hours and see if you have any vacation hours left, then schedule a day off before the end of the year. Not to prepare for Thanksgiving or go Christmas shopping but to take care of you. If you work from home, find one day where you can clear your calendar, move things around and then just get out of the house and do something you haven’t done in a while.

Join me and Angela Ford from AngelaJFord.com for a free webinar next Tuesday at 7:30 CST/  8:30 EST.

Cut the Crap! Learn How To Identify The Excuses That Are Stopping You From Achieving Success.

We will be discussing:

Tips for planning your work sessions.

Steps you should take to get more done faster.

The mindset shift you need for success.

Whether you need to become a morning person to be successful.

How to celebrate your success.

You can save your seat here.

So tell me in the comments:

When was the last time you took a personal day?

What does your ideal personal day look like?

How do you self-care?

How I Stopped Blogger Burnout While Staying Productive

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

During the summer I posted a blog titled, I Love blogging …Really I Do. If you haven’t had the chance to read it basically I was talking about my decision to cut back on my posting schedule and focus on other things.  

This was probably the best thing I could have done for myself, my blog and my business. I was dealing with a lot in my personal life and really wanted to focus on creating and launching my course The Balanced Side Hustle, updating my free email course and just making sure I was doing my best and providing the best to my readers instead of pumping out 2 subpar posts a week just to be able to say I did.

I was a little nervous to hit “publish” on that post because I felt like I was bearing my soul and we all know the internet isn’t always kind. My words were met with so much love and support, I was so glad I wrote that post. I was even happier that I took the time to work on other content because, as I may have mentioned 1,000 times already, I am launching my course November 7th!

The Paradox of Choice

I was stuck in a rut for a while. I would sit down to write and just have no desire to get anything done. I would sit down and have so many ideas and so much to do I would do nothing. I’ve been sort of fascinated with The Paradox of Choice lately.

If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a theory from psychologist Barry Schwartz, that says, because we have so many choices as Americans we are actually more stressed out and overwhelmed. That we are more likely to fall into depression because the amount of choices can leave us paralyzed and unmotivated.

I realized this can happen in blogging and goal getting. There are so many things we want to do. We want to publish 3 blog posts a week, write for other websites, do consulting, start an online course, update our old Pinterest graphics, engage on social media, schedule a twitter chat and we look at all the list of ideas and tasks and don’t know where to start. You’re paralyzed by options and choices. So I sat back and made a choice, “I want to get this course launched by the end of the year.”

Okay sounds like another option to stress me out?

It would be, but I made a choice to pick that task and figure out what I needed to do to make it happen.

If I wanted to do a proper launch for this course and provide my best content then I need to:

  • Cut back on the amount of posts I’m doing
  • Outsource some of the more mundane tasks
  • Figure out whose information I would follow for which sections of the launch
  • Set times and deadlines for certain aspects of the launch.

Deciding that this was my main focus and the other things would take a back seat to this was game changing.

Breaking down that list of overwhelming desires for my business was like an “Ah Ha” moment.

My friend Ashley Jordan from Saving Money In Your Twenties always says, “You can have everything you want, but you can’t have everything,” while Ashley is talking about budgeting, this applies to life. You can have all the parts of your business but you can’t have them all at once.

Think of the larger scale, trying to add a podcast, videos and create a course all at once by yourself is insane.

Think of some of your favorite bloggers and business professionals. They didn’t appear online one day with social media accounts on each platform, doing videos, blog posts, podcasts, courses and offering consulting services all at once. They started at one point and slowly built on it.

It’s not stopping, it’s refocusing

I think the reason people never overcome overwhelm is because they think stepping back means stopping. No! It means stepping back looking at the big picture and then figuring out where you need to shift your focus for things to happen.

I didn’t say, “Oh I’m feeling burnt out, better pack it up.” I said, “I am spinning my wheels, something needs to change.”

I knew if I wanted to launch this course I would need to shift my focus on it and put other things on hold or scale them back.

I didn’t logout of WordPress for 3 months and say “Bye Felicia.” That isn’t a break, in my opinion, that’s quitting.

Getting Help Helps

Mariah Coz and Meghan Menz recently did a podcast about why people buy online courses. They didn’t say this but it sort of connected to The Paradox of Choice, people purchase courses, or services because there are so many ways to do everything that instead of picking through them all it’s nice to have someone say, here just take this path for certain things. It’s not about giving up control it’s about making the choice to pick a path, stop wasting time and getting to where you want to be.  

I mean come on, I’m not launching a course about time management and life balance as a side hustler because there isn’t any content out there. I’m launching my course because I remember searching for answers on the matter and feeling more lost then I was when I started. Before I developed my system I was just spinning circles, trying to listen to all of this advice. Here is the thing with my program, it tells you how I figure out balancing my blog and this thing we call life and it helps you develop a system that works for you. We are all different, we have different priorities, different goals and different definitions of success so a blog post that says, “Do this and everything will be better,” isn’t exactly accurate. There is no one size fits all to life.

Webinar

Action From Distractions

I wanted to invite you all to my webinar, Actions From Distractions October 16th at 1:00 PM CST.  If you can’t make the live webinar be sure to still sign up so you can view the webinar.

I will be addressing distractions and time management issues my readers have shared with me and giving a sneak peek into my course! Sign up here.  I hope to see you there!

5 Times You’ll Be Happy You Said No

I don’t know about you but I like when people like me. Okay, I know that doesn’t exactly make me a special unicorn. I think most people have a biological desire to be liked or at least accepted. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, well except for when it causes you to overextend yourself in the never ending task to be a people pleaser.

Let me share with you a quote I’ve had to remind myself constantly throughout the course of my life, “You can please some of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

The second you realize you can’t make everyone happy the happier you will be.

It is perfectly fine to do things with the hope of helping put a smile on someone else’s face but you have to make sure doing so isn’t putting a stop to your goals or stopping your needs from being met.

So how do you decided when to say no? Here are 5 times you should always give yourself permission to say no.

When The Request Makes You Uncomfortable

When they say, “Life happens out of your comfort zone they don’t mean put up with stuff you shouldn’t. This is a particularly complicated one because you everyone has different comfort zones. Someone might ask you to swing by their pot dealers house with the same carefree attitude they might use to ask you to hand them a napkin. A coworker might ask you to clock them back in when they have to take a long lunch and you might not be comfortable with that. Someone may ask to borrow money and you are strongly against lending money to friends. A brand might ask you to write a blog post for a product you don’t actually enjoy. The best way to know when to say know is to know your own values and be clear about what makes you uncomfortable.

When You Don’t Have The Time

We all have a lot on our plates, it’s the way of the world. We are constantly being pulled on or stimulated so sometimes for your own sanity you have to say no. This is very important if you are trying to build a blog/business or side hustle. You can’t say yes to everyone who asks if you’d like to write on their site (especially if they don’t pay). You can’t babysit your friend’s kid if you have a webinar tomorrow to rehearse for and a date tonight. Don’t overextend yourself.  

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Make sure you have your cup taken care of before trying to fill everyone else’s. If you have to say no to someone to make sure you are taken care of never feel bad for that.

Because I’m really feeling the analogies today, here is another, it’s like when you’re flying in a plane, they tell you in the case of an emergency to put your mask on before helping anyone else put on their mask.  How can you be useful to anyone else if you’re sitting there gasping for air?

When You Feel Taken Advantage Of

There is a fine line between doing a friendly favor and being someone’s doormat. “Hey can you give me the number of a residential realtor at your firm” is very different than “Hey will you list my house for me and take a lower fee than you normally would, since we are friends?”

Not everyone asking  you for outlandish favors realizes how much they are asking of you. Often times you will be so good at something or make something look so easy they will assume that is isn’t time-consuming or complicated. I have had people I know in real life ask me about starting a blog and while I don’t mind sharing a few blog posts that helped me or telling them who I host with (Site Ground FTW), or which WordPress plugins I use for certain things but it took me over a month to create the original version of AllTheThingsIDo.com and am constantly spending time to update it as well so, “No, I won’t build your website for you.” I’ll answer a few questions for you, point you in the direction of my favorite tools and courses but people get paid for that sort of thing.

When It Will Cost You

Just like being taken advantage of you should feel free to say no if saying, yes will cost you. If you need to stay home and write some freelance posts for a little extra income perhaps don’t agree to help your friend move that day.  

If you are low on funds and someone asks you for a ride but they never offer you gas money tell them the truth, “I’m trying to save my gas until payday. I’m sorry, I can’t.” They will either offer you gas money or understand.

There are times when you will suffer fiscal loss, time loss, or health loss if you say yes to certain things and you need to recognize those times and know when to say no.

When You Just Don’t Want To

I know what you’re thinking okay it’s one thing to say no to someone when you have a legitimate reason not to go to something but you can’t tell your friends, “I don’t feel like it.” Guess what? You totally can and chances are they do it to you from time to time too, they just make up an excuse.

But guess what else, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone and sometimes, watching Netflix and ordering pizza will be more appealing than going to Sunday Funday with friends and that’s okay. You don’t want to be the friend who always says no and never wants to do anything fun but when you want to save money or have me time you are totally entitled to it.

Never feel bad for saying no. There is a difference between being a selfish, heartless, self-serving bastard that only thinks about themselves and being a badass boss who knows that life is about taking and giving and you need balance or you might go crazy. The truth of the matter is when you’re open and honest about saying no most people will get it and if they don’t boo on them! 

Saying yes is easy but realizing your needs and standing up for yourself can be hard, just remember it’s your right.

Have their been any times you’re glad you said no? Any times you wanted to, didn’t and wish you had? Tell me in the comments!