It’s necessary to create a vision, purpose & goals for your life. Then anything is possible. Oprah Winfrey
said it best – “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” Like Tony says, “Believe in yourself and take massive action.
How Does Downtime Fit into Your Grand Vision?
Yes, I said downtime which also means to rest, and is a vital part of our plan to take massive action. Because it gives us the energy and mindset we need to take our grand vision to the next level.
As Mom and entrepreneur ( Mompreneurs), from the time when we get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night, we are running. First getting the kids up, letting the dog out, fixing lunches, and getting everyone out the door on time. (Well, we need to talk about delegating later ????.) Then, every free minute afterward is dedicated to our own business or businesses until the next crisis. There never seems to be enough time for you, to just relax.
Your Time To Succeed
One of the key elements of “Time to Succeed” is taking time out, for yourself. I am stressing downtime first because most platforms seem to reward moms for overworking as if it’s a badge of honor. You are called supermoms and told you can “have it all”. What they really mean is you can have a business as long as you take care of the children, the dog, the hubby and have food on the table on time. Is this really healthy?
I truly believe you should give your mind and body the rest and relaxation it requires every day. We know that we are supermoms and we have a grand vision of ourselves. (” well deserved”), but we require rest and downtime just like everyone else.
Prioritize Getting Enough Sleep
Ironically, sleep is one of the most vital yet neglected parts of our lives. Believe me, when my children were much younger and I needed to work longer hours to get the business started, I must confess I regularly stayed up late to check more things off my to-do lists. Now I know, I should have worked smarter, not harder, and prioritized getting enough sleep.
Your body is amazing, but it still needs regular rest. You should ensure that you get the sleep you need each night. Because, when you get the sleep your body needs, you are more productive. But, more importantly, getting enough sleep helps to keep your body healthy. You are less likely to get sick when you get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. Sleep allows your body to rest and repair itself, which not only improves your overall health and quality of life but also benefits your work-essential functions like memory and alertness.
Even with that all of that, a good practice could be that just before going to bed, to give yourself time to wind down.
I give myself permission to work at a slower pace, watch a movie with the family or just write in my journal. Always remind yourself that rest and downtime are necessary and okay.
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn
What Does Downtime Look Like?
Well, downtime could be power naps, those 5 – 15 minute mini-rests, that can give you an energy boost. But regardless of the length of time, just relax, shut your eyes, and give yourself the freedom to actually fall asleep if needed. You earned it. I promise.
To get that power nap set up you could do some deep abdominal breathing technique that stimulates the vagus nerve and activates your relaxation response. It is also said to reduce your heart rate, blood pressure which in turn lowers your stress level.
As an entrepreneur and mom, you ought to schedule a sufficient amount of rest for optimal productivity. The amount is different for each of us and you ought to let your body see what circumstances it works best under.
No matter how busy you become, it’s important to take a break and please take that lunch break and leave the house. Even if you just go for a coffee or a walk, this helps tremendously to clear your head.
One of the biggest hurdles of working from home is getting your head clear to be productive without distractions, and the ability to turn work off when you are “out of the office.” A simple, but effective, technique is to go out in the morning to get coffee or run an errand so that when you get back, you are entering “your office.” Do the same at the end of the day— close up shop (your computer), go out, and come back “home.”
Building in Breaks When Necessary.
Your mind needs a breather several times a day. After these breaks, you will feel fresher, sharper, and you will be able to make wiser decisions.
In the words of Lucille Ball:
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in
line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
You can do this with an app on your computer or your phone. There are plenty that can help remind you to stand up and stretch. Some suggestions are Stand Up, BreakTime, and Time Out. But now most smartwatches and phones have these reminders built-in. Though it scares me to death when it vibes and thumps me, my smartphone is set to regularly remind me it’s time to stand up or walk around.
I even set up a time schedule on my phone for every hour of my day. More on that later.
I also build in major breaks when necessary. Like, taking my family on a vacation at least once a year.
You can really recharge your batteries and give your family quality time when you take a nice vacation. Also, these long periods of downtime help you to fully recover physically and mentally from your regular daily routine.
Isn’t this an indulgence?
Self-care is never an indulgence. Self-care is more of a discipline. You must have the right mindset and know your priorities. You also have respect and a great understanding of the family and people you choose to spend your time with.
Downtime is also a discipline because it’s not something you should do once in a while. Or after you get sick. It’s what you should do every day of the week or month.
It’s taking care of yourself in a way to restore balance. It’s you making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice.
When you truly commit to your Grand Vision and take care of yourself, you will actually be in a much stronger place to give of yourself to those around you.
You are now a focused Mompreneur, a happier parent, a more grateful spouse, a fully engaged business partner. Those who take care of themselves also have the energy to work with meaning and purpose toward a worthy goal. This means you are also the person most likely to make the world a better place for all of us.
Why do I feel Guilty?
Our culture tends to values achievement and adrenaline over rest, as well as people who are selfless, Dr. Carter says self-care is often erroneously seen as selfish or a luxury. She points to the “time is money” adage: “It serves a business owner to make a person’s value be equated with time spent on the job, and we’ve internalized this in a way that unfortunately means we feel guilty and bad when we rest.”
What if someone needs me? Is this a really good use of my time? Everyone else is crushing it right now, so I should be crushing it, too. If these thoughts are making their way into your rest time, turn them off. This type of thinking is born from the lie that says, Mom’s “can have it all” or should I say can “Do it all”. Remember: you are already there that’s why you work from home, but you need time to take care of yourself. In fact, you’re able to do more after a quick break.
You can’t be a great mom or a businesswoman if you don’t take the time to take care of yourself. And you know in your heart, that you will be a better all-around person if you focus on the things that will benefit your whole family.
So, I say, be a little selfish. While that sounds harsh, your business was started to fulfill something you felt passionate about. And it’s going to be the passion that’s going to allow you to care for your family years down the road. I will talk more about that later.
Now Take Time for Some Self-Reflection
This article is just one tip from the list of productive “take time to succeed” recommendations.
Many people feel that if they don’t give it all, they won’t have it all. And I am not saying don’t give your business everything you got! I’m just saying don’t burn yourself out before you get there. Because that’s where many entrepreneurial moms fail. They want to be all to everyone, except for themselves. Please reflect on the following questions about you and your time and see if you can come up with your own answers as well.
- How much sleep do my mind and body require each night? How many hours am I actually getting?
- How long can I work productively before I need a break? How often am I actually taking a break?
- What would happen if I consistently got enough sleep at night and took frequent breaks during the day?
- Is taking care of my health, really an indulgence?
- Many ask, When you don’t have time, how do you get the time, especially to rest?
My question is what is your main priority? Ans. The success of your business.
So, would it not be wise to Schedule it?
You schedule meetings, dinners, and workouts, but how often do you really schedule breaks? Sure, you might include a lunch break (though perhaps not), but do you actually make an intentional effort to block time out of your day for rest? When you put your downtime in your schedule, you are far more likely to honor it. You will get extra points if you make it a part of a daily routine.
I have a complete take on Taking Time to Succeed that will discuss many ways to get your time back and still prosper in your business and home life.
When you find time to succeed…You find time to be present “in” the moment.
4 thoughts on “A Grand Vision of Downtime to Make Life More Productive”
I greatly enjoyed reading your post about downtime. I do think as human beings (Moms, especially) we put so much pressure upon ourselves and we think that taking time to be kind to ourselves is cheating somehow. So, I really appreciate your article because it explains so eloquently that if we do not care for ourselves, we can never be really productive in our business. Thank you for sharing this great concept.
Thank you for being so positive, it made my heart feel good that I actually got my thought across. It’s encouraging to me to keep on writing and do as much research as possible. Thanks for the input and nice words.
I found this article to be very useful, as I always feel bad when I get sidetracked when I am working. I also feel bad that I could have done more in that day, do I really need to eat, and sleep is for the weak. After reading your article maybe me getting side tracked was my brain saying “hey, how about you take a little break form all this”.
I would always tell people when I worked as a bartender that I was tired and that I didn’t sleep enough. So after work I would stay up late to wind down from what I had been through that night. To get up in the morning to go to work, they also had me working some day over 12 hours a day. To come back the next morning, they would tell me did you get enough sleep. I had no time for my self or my family just work and I think that is what made my work ethic just go down.
I know work form home and I will be taking breaks more and not feel bad for them. I need breaks to be more productive with my time. I am so glad to know that now and won’t just work until I drop to sleep for a little bit to do it all over again.
Sorry, It took me so long to get back. That’s another issue. I will solve it later. But reading your comments, really motivated me and showed me that someone needed me. or at least my advice. Thanks so much for such a detailed comment.