Allowing Yourself Time Off in Business

03 Sep 2018
ByKate Cherry

As we close out the summer, are you giving yourself a bit of a hard time for not doing everything you wanted to get done over the summer when you took time out for you? I did, and I think it’s OK to say that, but you need to know when not to listen to yourself.

I’ve been self employed for 5 years, and I left my job 4 years ago.

In my employed role, I felt fully entitled to my time off and to shut down, no problem at all, bring it on!

However, as a self-employed owner of two (part time) businesses and Mum of two I somehow felt I couldn’t have the same relationship with the new boss.

I left my job for specific family reasons and couldn’t be happier today. But when I reflect back my then boss constantly thanked me for my work, validated me, trusted me with key pieces of work, motivated me to reach higher and frequently gave me increased accountability with our clients. She was a great leader and I am forever grateful for the opportunities she gave me. I am also very proud of what I achieved in that part of my life.

So, who was with this new boss I’d ended up with? Who does she think she is? Taking all my time and invading my thoughts constantly?

Like Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada! What’s that all about?

“I don’t care that you’re trying to go to sleep, I need you to make notes for me NOW!!!”

As women we put ourselves on a pedestal. We ARE the benchmark. Our expectation of our achievements can go through the roof!

I teach, train and empower men and women to become better versions of themselves and build a financial future, and I support women in business to connect with like-minded people and grow their client bases. But the one asset that we all have which is non-refundable and non-transferable is Time. We all have 24 hours which we are all already using, and we won’t get any of it back.It'll still be there when you come back

The old nugget that “it’ll still be there when you come back” is true. We know all the time management tools – but can you really truly say that the Urgent and Important section of your to do list is really that urgent and important?? You may have client deadlines, but who says you have to get that project done before you go away? Who says you have to get that last thing done before shutting down for the day? Who says you have to find one more client before the weekend? We do. And boy are we a harsh boss when it doesn’t go to plan!

I used to have a one to one with my boss once a month and half yearly reviews – somehow now I get that every day – in my head.

As my husband kindly reminded me on our way back from a weekend away – where I hadn’t managed to open my laptop that I’d snuck into my bags – So what that I hadn’t done a bit more work? I deserved the break, I do an amazing job and I work really hard.

So, I’ve sacked the “old new boss”, trading her in for a kinder, more compassionate version, who will still challenge me and still expects the work ethic I’m proud of. But we need to collectively stop paying so much attention to what we are not getting done, and write a big fat list of all the things we DO get done in the day. No, they weren’t necessarily on our to do list in the morning, but if they move you one step towards your goal then well done! Pat yourself on the back, reward yourself.

Be where you are

You are worthy. You deserve the holiday, the night out, the afternoon off, the weekend with no emails. And yes, you may have vision and lofty goals like me, but you’re no use to anyone if you haven’t had a rest or a long break in a while. Or if you’re always hanging off your phone and social media. We need to sleep for our bodies to repair. I believe we also need to have a break for our minds and souls to repair.

Happy holidays and have a great September!

Kate Cherry

Regional Director of the Athena Network Bedfordshire www.theathenanetwork.com/katecherry

Independent Consultant and Area Manager with Arbonne www.katecherry.arbonne.com

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