Those of us charged with setting our own schedules every day are particularly prone to being workaholics (I’m looking at you, most small business owners).
Not having a boss, or colleagues to answer to can go one of two ways. Either you fall apart, or you become very, very organized. I’ve become something of an expert at the latter. I keep a tight planner, and organize my days and weeks into blocks of activity. I even build self reflection into my week, and hold myself accountable for any lapses in my schedule. When my twelve year old comes home overwhelmed with her workload (I know – why is that even a thing at her age?), I’m there for her with my many pearls of wisdom:
Cut it into chunks,
Tackle one thing at a time,
Order things from most to least urgent,
That’s right you heard me. Be kind to yourself. Take the breaks, you need them. Everyone does. I know I’m repeating myself. I have blogged before about why we all need breaks, and why schools need more recess, but it bears repeating.
We all make mistakes. This week, I decided that I didn’t need any breaks. I launched into a full scale battle against time, to get all my shirts printed and ready to heat set by Friday. Oh, and conquer all my other bits and bobs (technical term) on time as well.
On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I printed non-stop covering every spare bit of space in my house with shirts. Whenever I couldn’t print, I’d fill my time ordering bags, answering emails, doing the laundry (because this week we had two back to school nights and and a meeting with an architect in the evenings).
I felt very pleased with myself until Thursday afternoon, when I completely unravelled. I had not taken my own advice. My hands were sore, I had a headache, and I was starting to make mistakes with the shirts. So when my daughter came home, I went for a walk in the park with her, and then I sat and drank a cup of tea very, very slowly in silence. My brain thanked me profusely.
Now I’m back at work feeling much better, and guess what, the world didn’t fall apart, and I finished the rest of the shirts this morning.
Take the breaks people. Make other people take them too!