Me Time

A Behind the Seams Look

If you’ve followed me (or known me) for very long, you’ll quickly learn that I’m not one to let any grass grow under my feet.

I’m here, there, everywhere – and if I haven’t tried it yet, I’m bound to give it a swing sometime soon! (Just look at my plans for the year!)

But when it comes to business, as helpful as my go-getter attitude can be, it can also lead to some nasty burnout. Today I want to add to my Behind the Seams series a really important piece of the puzzle: Me Time.

I wanted to knock this subject out before we got too far into the Behind the Seams Series: I can imagine a fresh quilt business owner getting really excited about some of the posts I’ve got coming up and burning themselves out before they even get up and running…like I did. Throughout this post, you’ll see tips from myself and other industry professionals on how to find time to give yourself rest.

When I first got started into the quilting business, I was sailing! I was creating, testing, and releasing TWO patterns a month, not to mention blogging, Instagramming, Pinteresting, and Twittering myself to death. It wasn’t long before I just burnt out – I needed a rest before I even began.

I know how us entrepreneurs can get, which is why when we schedule our business time, we need to schedule our home time, our me time, our everything-else-time in INK. That’s why in my Business planning post I start with Me Time once all the unmovable events are in place, because if you don’t have it built into your schedule, it’ll never happen.

Own Your Business, Don’t Let it Own You

Sometimes I just do better if I confess my shortcomings and move forward to work with them (instead of insisting that I won’t fall that way again). When it comes to chiseling out time for myself, my home, and even my family I fall short. Every time. So, armed with that knowledge of myself, I work with myself and rather than abstractly saying “try better” I set up boundaries so that I will actually do better.

I mark out in ink when it’s a work day or house day to keep myself accountable.

Children are great with visual schedules. A consistent schedule is a building block for childhood success. Why wouldn’t it be for us big kids too? I indulge in the Quilter’s Planner (business expense!) each year and pack it out with every little detail. This helps to keep me in line and to hold everything floating around my brain on an average day.

As you can see above, I make it VERY clear what day is a house day and what day is a work day. I used to have to sharpie out the whole day on house day so that I didn’t just try to squeeze small business things (which then turned into big business things) in on those days. So, for all intents and purposes, RRD is closed on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.

What My Rest Schedule Looks Like

Everyone has different priorities, different life situations, different blessings and different curses. I’m not here to tell you what your priorities should be or how you should spend your time. I’m just here to remind you that you are important enough to set aside time for yourself. I hope that I can prove to you that you can run a healthy business and be a healthy individual. Here’s what works for me:

Family Time

A large majority of my day is spent with my daughter. We do everything together: running errands, playing, and just being a mom and her girl. At the end of each week day, I try my best to carve out time for my whole family to spend together. Once in a while I’ll have a deadline or something coming up, but I do my best to leave 1 hour for just my family and me. This is separate from dinner or anything else that needs doing.

I make it a priority to take at least one day off where I don’t even check emails or get on social media to spend with my husband. My daughter and I spend at least 1 hour a day together, uninterrupted time…not even my husband interrupts. We usually watch a show, shop or play around with her makeup. For me, ME time, isn’t really about me, I don’t just sit and watch TV, I don’t get on social media unless it’s for work, my ME time is my FAMILY time.

Sue O’very |

Unless (somehow) my house is spotless, the bills are paid, and my family is begging for time without me, I don’t work weekends. I spend Saturday with family, friends, or working on the house.

When my kids were young and during the summer, I’d hire a babysitter for the morning on Friday and had a standing date with my friends for coffee during the farmers market. Later when they were all in school, three other friends would come and paint with me one afternoon a month. I needed something different to look forward to as I ran my business from home.

Roseann Kermes | Rosebud’s Cottage

Sunday is Sabbath. If you have any Jewish or Christian background, you might know what I’m talking about. I’ve always thought I was resting on Sunday, but when I read The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, my views on Sabbath rest completely changed.

I don’t check emails, I don’t look at Instagram, I don’t really acknowledge that my business (or that pile of dirty laundry) exists on Sunday.

And it feels so good.

To fully rest on Sunday gives me the charge I need to make every hour count throughout the week.

I take off Sunday. I won’t answer email, I won’t do paperwork. I will sew, but I won’t write a pattern that day or do anything too mind intensive. I started this about 3 years ago and I am not sorry.

Beth Kerr Helfter | Eva Paige Quilt Designs

Create a Schedule Made for Reality

My deepest hope is that if you are a business owner or entrepreneur that you’ll take the time to schedule out time for yourself and your family. I’ve discovered the hard way that when I fail to do those small things from the get-go, that I pay for it long term. It results in a lot less productivity and a lot more stress.

I want to encourage you to keep all of this in mind as you make your plans and big dreams: Own your business, don’t let it own you.

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