Entrepreneurship

The Busy Bug + 4 Tips for Time Off

I want to challenge your perspective on something. You might not have time for rest. There are probably a million phone calls, a million emails, and a million projects you'll start when you get 10 free minutes. 

Think about it.

You get a text that says, "Can you shoot some last minute pictures of my kids?" or "Do you have time for lunch to talk about that picnic we need to plan?" 

Are any of those bad options? Should you say no to either if you happen to have an open hour and the ability to contribute? 

But on the inside you wilt just a little bit when someone has added what feels like another cinderblock to your load. If you cringed when you got that text, then it's time for you to set some boundaries. Not scary boundaries that make the people in your life feel afraid to ask you for a cup or sugar or a hug on a bad day, but the gentle kind of boundaries that let people know when you're at your max, or you've chosen to rest (even if you still have 3pm-4pm available). 

If you feel like the victim of people pulling on you, you need to get back into the driver's seat of your planner. Are any of us mad at the President for not joining us for coffee today? No. He's just got a job and he's doing it. If you're raising kids and straight up don't have time for that neighborhood garage sale, SAY SO. If you have photoshoots all week long and you're not sure you can squeeze one more in, SAY SO. 

Question: 

 When is your next day of rest? If you can't answer that, then I am praying for your sanity because I know it's being stretched. 

  • How can you do your best work if you're not rested? 

  • How can you keep on being kind to people if your rest tank is on empty?

  • How are you the best you when you have barely had time to sit alone for a minute?

This is right where I've been, friends. I have not taken a break from work since May of 2014. And people say owning a business is easy (?!). 

Fun Announcement:

So here's where I'm at currently. I have been carefully planning a month of rest since October of 2015. It is now June of 2016 and my month of rest starts in just 3 days. 

Thankfully, I didn't just arrive at the end of my rope and slam doors in the faces of people I really care about. That is not a healthy way to go about it (unless slamming a door is really necessary for you, I suppose). I kept my schedule free of weddings in July. I handed all my work tasks over to the two lovely women who work with me and have prepared to run the show.

I am planning to deactivate my Facebook, sign out of Instagram, put up my email vacation responder, and say "See ya later!" to my desk. 

I am sharing all this with you because I hope you do the same. Sometimes I see friends in destructive patterns of busy-ness and I wonder what will happen if they ever (God forbid) break an arm. Would you say, "I don't have time for this bone to go to the hospital"?!

I just watched my sweet, beloved Papa go home to be with Jesus. At the end of his life he wasn't fretting about all the things he didn't get done. Actually, the most-talked-about things we all shared at the funeral were memories of him sitting in a lawn chair, talking with my little brother in the driveway, and walking around the house singing, and eating Ramen on his TV tray watching Price is Right. 

Y'all. Let's stop inflicting busy on ourselves. It's not that important. 

Grace for busy seasons. Grace for moms chasing 3 toddlers and asking how this applies. Grace for someone who just started a business and can't see a break. Grace for someone who lost a job recently and is struggling every day to find a new one. But if you are just in a cycle of crazy, there is a way out, but it's going to take some intentional effort on your part. 

So (I'm no expert, but) here are my 3 steps for how to rest.

1. Choose a time.

It can be a week, a day, a few hours, or from 2:00-2:10 in the closet every Wednesday. But you are going to have to hold back the people who will not know that's your rest time and will immediately start placing requests on that day/time. Do. Not. Compromise.

2. Tell your people.

They will both help carry your tasks, care for your kids, answer your phone, cook your food or water your plants because I PROMISE they want to see you rest too. They will help you defend that time.

3. Make a rest list.

When you get to your rest day/time, you will have a list of things you've been "wanting to do" if you get a minute. The beauty of rest time is you can CHOOSE whether you feel like painting that flower pot, and because it's a rest day, you have the freedom to say yes or no to that restful project. 

4. Stay off social media.

When was the last time you hopped off a 30 minute scroll through Facebook and said, "I feel so rested!" No, people.

Results:

Once you've gracefully drawn a box around that time for yourself, and that is respectable and healthy, your friends and family will definitely respect it. 

The Lord WILL speak to you if you slow down enough to listen. I love you, I am for you, and if your eyes have glanced over these words, then friend, you've already been prayed for by me. I hope you find a time to take a breath, and I can't wait to be back in the saddle in August. See you then!

 

Lauren Carnes Photography

Lauren Carnes Photography

 

 

If Home Is Where The Work Is: Productivity

Tropical Storm Colin is upon us here in Tallahassee (cue the blanket, Gilmore Girls, & PJs), and yet I chose to write about productivity today. However, I'm accompanied by a mug full of french pressed coffee + a blueberry bagel. So how could things go wrong? 

If you work from home, most likely you are/have struggled in procrastination vs. productivity. Let's tip the scales in favor of the latter today. 

 

Wear Shoes

This sounds like a silly trick, but it really does work! When trying to beat a deadline and feeling lazy, throw on a pair of flats to make desk posture less informal. This can get rid of the urge to settle into the couch where you may get too comfortable, inviting procrastination. 

*Wearing your favorite sneakers while tidying the house can also boost energy and efficiency, encouraging your body to "get up and go".  

Clock Out

Have a "clock in + out" goal time each day. Set an alarm for you to be at your desk, and a 15 minute warning time that you need to be finishing up for the day. Having a schedule gives you freedom of mind to leave work at your desk and not feeling as if you have a constant list of emails, budgeting, ordering, or networking to do while you're cooking up food for your littles, or enjoying your evening from work. 

*The Laurel Avenue team uses an app called boomr which helps us track our productivity for the week and is a reminder to work hard, play hard. 

Visual Switch-up

Try to rearrange at least one thing on your desk each week. Move your mini cactus to the other side of your computer, put your chair on the opposite side of the desk, paint something with pretty colors that will add some cheer to your wall, or even turn on more lights than normal while you're working. Your office (or dining room table) can become mundane causing less motivation.

*A Harvard study proved flowers actually boost moods. Cut a wild floral branch, or get your favorite grocery store bundle for a nice pop. 

Familiar Faces

Get in touch with one familiar face a day. That one vendor crush you have on instagram, the trendy girl you see in your neighborhood walking her dog, or a longtime friend. Making a connection to someone you haven't talked to before builds up creativity and helps keep the social hour of a 'home' business in check. 

*People become beyond flattered when you instill positivity by reaching out and saying you like what they're doing with their style, business model, or even their breed of dog. What's not to love about some positivity? 

 

What does your best look like?

 

                                                           Xxo

         Kaley Wallace

         Kaley Wallace