From Hot Mess to Less Stress
We experienced a scorching hot week here in Denver last week, with temperatures in the upper 90s. So far, it’s our hottest week of the year on record (and let’s hope it stays that way!).
On Wednesday, when temps crept past the century mark, I realized that I was sweating through my shirt while I was working at my computer. Attractive, I know. I kept fantasizing about taking a break and about going somewhere cooler (perhaps to the movie theater!), but I resisted. After all, there’s so much to do… right?
So, I pushed myself to keep on keepin’ on. Eventually I finished my project, but I was a headache-y and cranky hot mess.
What was the point of pushing myself so hard, you ask? Well, I was working to meet a self-imposed deadline because my perception was that I had no other time built into my schedule to work on it. As it turned out, however, the next day opened up (as it often does) thanks to a couple of cancellations.
I could have stretched my project out over the course of two days instead of one, AND I would have had plenty of time to take a well-deserved break. So, to answer your question, I have no idea!
This week, as I’m looking at my jam-packed calendar and wondering how I’m going to make it through the rest of the month in one piece, I’m also trying to remain mindfully aware of the fact that it’s so important to take time away from the “grind” for a well-deserved break.
If it's scorching hot outside, is it OK to take in a midday matinee? Can I leave my desk at 3 and head to the pool? Also, can I do these things without feeling guilty AND without feeling as though I need to work at night or on the weekend to make up for lost time?
The answer, of course, is “yes” to all of the above. However, I think it’s those guilty feelings that keep me chained to my desk.
When I first started my business and had very little to show for my entrepreneurial efforts, I felt incredibly guilty when I penciled in a little “me time.” I often worried that I wasn’t seeing any ROI because I wasn’t working hard enough. So, I pushed myself to stay busy, even when I didn’t really have much going on.
Clearly, I’m still struggling with this issue a bit. But here's what I know deep down to be true:
Working all the time does not make you more productive, and it sure as hell doesn’t make you more successful. In fact, as counterintuitive as it may sound, you get a lot more done when you limit the amount of time that you’re working.
It’s SO important to schedule in a little down time. That’s when the creative juices flow and the batteries recharge. Remember, one simply cannot give from an empty vessel. Are we really doing our best work when we’re tired and hot and cranky?! I, for one, am not.
Also, there’s a magic to going with the flow. When I look at my jam-packed schedule, I know that a zillion things can and will change over the next week or so. I have found that the universe always seems to provide us with plenty of time to finish the most important tasks. I refuse to make myself crazy over the things I can’t control!
Friends, let’s start enjoying Summer before it’s too late. Let’s stop making ourselves crazy over our jam-packed schedules, and let’s stop feeling guilty about taking time away from our desks and this sweltering heat! Are you with me??
In the meantime, if you need to stand in front of an open freezer in your bra and underwear, I’m not judging. Do what you need to do, mama!