Slowly but surely over the last few years, I’ve been outsourcing more and more of the BTS work in my biz.
I legit went from working 60+ hours a week to around 25-ish hours a week.
But here’s the thing….
Being a digital nomad and living that #LaptopLifestyle is def the dream…
But since your “office” is literally whatever room you are sitting in that day, it can be hard to step away and take the breather your mind is begging for.
In the first post in the “Take back your week” series, I shared my best tips for being hella productive when you are working (you can find that here)
So now it’s time to balance the scales and talk about the #1 problem that plagues entrepreneurs everywhere…
How to stop obsessively thinking about your biz when you’re not working!
P.S. This post is just as much a reminder for me as it is for you. So I truly hope you will find it helpful!
Ready to fight the head noise, and get back to enjoying life outside of being a business owner?
If you struggle with a busy mind, find something that challenges you to use your hands and brain for something else.
A few months ago I took up embroidery just to give my hands and brain something to do while I was cooped up due to Corona.
Not into grandma crafts?
Take up birding, whittling, gardening, fixing up used lawnmowers off Craigslist. Learn a new instrument or even a new language!
Taking a brain break doesn’t always mean vegging out in front of the TV (though it def can if that’s what your body is calling for that day).
It can be simply switching gears and working hard on a new thing!
You’re talking to someone who had’t read a fiction book in actual ages.
Every book I picked up in the last few years had been strictly business!
Which is great – I’ve learned all the things.
But constantly consuming biz related stuff is the surest way to make me obsess over my biz.
So I asked my friends and family for book suggestions that had nothing to do with business, or even real life (A.K.A fiction) and honestly got some fabulous reads recommended to me!
I know myself to well that if I tried to download and read those books on my phone, I’d prob end up getting distracted and scrolling the ‘gram where my feed is full of…you guessed it…business related stuff.
So instead, I got a kindle to force myself to focus my mind on one thing.
Cozying up with a good book!
If you can’t stop thinking about it, write it down where you know you’ll be able to come back to it later.
Getting it out of your mind and “on paper” is super helpful for making room for other non-work thoughts.
I use it for both life and biz, and it’s the perfect place to keep all my ideas and reminders in one easy to access place.
That way, if I wake up in the middle of the night and think “Gah! I forgot to email the photographer back!” rather than lay there stewing about it (or getting out bed to grab my computer) I can quickly put it on my list knowing I’ll see it in the morning, and then drift back off into dream land.
You can read more about why a paper planner/note-taker is not jam, and why I went digital in: Why you need to ditch the physical planner and get a project management system ASAP.
And a little look into how I use Asana to organize my life and business here.
We’ve all heard how meditating can help us slow our racing thoughts… ♀️
But if you’re like me and have yet to master the art of sitting still, you might throw in a little movement to make it easier to stay present!
Walking, jogging, yoga, swimming, the gym, whatever!
Find something to engage your body while you try to disengage your mind.
Then, when you feel your mind tugging you back in the direction of your biz or any of the worries of life, just think about what you are physically doing, focusing on the movements you are making, and how that feels to your feet, hands, and body!
This is not your gradeschool diary, just a simple place to come suss out all your thoughts in one place and see that some of the things that are taking up mental space aren’t as important as they seem.
This could be mentally listing out things like:
What you’re grateful for
Challenges you’ve overcome in the past or small wins you have experienced lately
Dreaming about what you’ll do when you’ve met those business goals (not thinking about the how of getting there, but rather what you envision it being like once you do).
If you’re the type to pray, you could use your journaling as a form of prayer too.
This doesn’t need to take very long at all.
5 mins tops whenever you’re feeling a little flustered! Or even starting or ending your day this way.
Since you probs have your phone handy, it would be easy to add a little “journal” space to the same place you take notes or keep reminders.
But if being on your phone is just asking to wind up in your inbox or checking those DM’s rather than what you came to do, journaling is one occasion where good old fashioned pen and paper really would be recommended.
(Plus, a perfect excuse to treat yo’self to a pretty notebook and fancy pen!) ♀️
If you’re still having trouble turning off your racing thoughts about your biz, you might use this time to ask yourself what it is you’re really worried about?
Let’s be honest.
The worries we have about our business usually revolve around finances, right?
(Because you’d really like to be able to eat this month.) ♀️
And as much as you’re probably dreading what you’ll find, it can actually be super helpful to sit and walk through all the numbers. So pull out that spreadsheet, or Quickbooks or wherever it is you do your finances-tracking thing.
(This is why solid book keeping is so important, btw!)
Because rather than thinking theoretically about your finances like, “Oh no! This month’s launch was a total flop and I didn’t come even close to my revenue goals! I’m ruined!” a quick look at your finance numbers can let you know whether you actually need to start panicking or if things aren’t quite so bad after all.
Think of it like scheduling a worry break for yourself.
Rather than playing those scary what if’s on a loop in the back of your mind, and allowing those thoughts to cloud all your other activities, you can relax knowing you have met those fears face-to-face and are ready with a few tricks up your sleeve if really does hit the fan.
(But it probably won’t.)
What’s the first thing that you do when you wake up?
Or right before you go to bed?
Check your inbox? Open Insta? (A.K.A the business comparison playground…)
What does your mind (or your actual hands) automatically reach for when you do find yourself with a quiet moment?
Or when you are doing something that is second nature like eating and driving and that you can pretty much do on auto-pilot?
Make an effort to become more aware of your subconscious thoughts and habits, and if you don’t love what you see, look for habits and thoughts you do love to replace them with!
Something I noticed myself doing was the second I opened my eyes in the morning, I’d automatically reach for my phone and look at the list of things I had to do that day.
I’d see this hugeeee long list and think “Oh my gosh! I need to get going!” basically starting out every day the same…by hurriedly trying to tackle all the things!
Deep down I knew that having a solid morning routine was actually pretty important for starting the day off right, and almost nothing on my to-do was ever actually the emergency I made it out to be.
But because my phone was right there, I’d end up getting distracted and immediately thinking about work.
So I started plugging my phone in in a different room, and now I use those first few moments of my day to do the things I actually enjoy.
Feeling stressed about your own business or your ability to succeed?
Champion someone else!
Chances are someone in your circle could use some encouragement. Or maybe there is some way you could physically support their biz!
(And not just by buying their thing, though that helps too!)
You’ve obviously got some sort of talent if you’ve gone off and built a whole business around whatever it is that you do.
Using those talents to lift up other people not only takes your mind off your own worries, but greatly boosts your confidence in your own abilities!
Looking for ways to help others in business and just life in general is a fabulous way to bring things into perspective, and center your thoughts on something much more inspiring and motivating than worry.
When you are busy helping others, your own things don’t feel quite so heavy. ❤️
Okie dokes! So those are my best tips for freeing up your mind to enjoy life outside of work!
But I know everyone is different!
So I’d love if you would share your fav ways to take a mental breather from your biz in the comments just in case other people reading this can relate!