When I started my business I became very strict with myself about what I did and when. As time has gone by these good habits seem to have disappeared and a more lackadaisical approach to my day has crept in. Like many business owners I find that I work, circa 60 hours plus per week. There is just never enough time in the day!
I was trying to explain this to my Osteopath yesterday (I had a migraine for 5 days and needed to get rid of it and my neck felt knotty. I was also becoming cantankerous.) and stated that being self-employed meant that you are always on the go and thinking about the business. He was very kind and said
“I see. So what you are saying is that your clients are important, your business is important but you are not. In which case why are you here?”
Now try to follow that! I will be honest; I found it very difficult to answer the question. I know I am important to my business. After all, without me, there is no business! My clients are also very important and I never want to let them down. So where in this equation do I come?
A + B = C
(Me and my business) + Clients = Paying my bills
The simple fact is, if I take me out of the equation there will be no happy clients, no happy bill payments and no happy me. I am going to have to take care of me. I therefore need to give myself an ultimatum. Treat myself as the most important asset my business has. The only way I can do this is to treat myself as a client. Schedule time for my new client, look after them as I would a paying client and treat me the say way I treat my clients. Gone are the 60+ hours per week, gone are the working through lunch and graze on any food lying around the office, gone are the working on Saturdays to catch myself up.
I have a canny plan. I will start work at 9am, I will have a 10 minute break at 11am and lunch at 1pm. In the afternoon I will take a break at 3pm for 10 minutes and leave the office at 6pm. I will forsake a Saturday working schedule. From now on Saturday’s are for hobbies and meeting friends and family. I may even go home early on a Friday once a month. This is going to be very hard for me to do, I love my job, I love my clients and I like my lifestyle but I know that something has to give and my health is important and I need to take care of that as well.