Twice a year for about five or six years, I did the burn out dance. And it was tragic. I would really work myself into a frenzy, physically and emotionally depleted and EVERY single time I wondered…
How did I get here? Then I wised up.
I know how I got there. I put myself there by overbooking.
The questions then changed over the past two years when this happened.
How did I allow myself to get here? That’s where I was going wrong.
I’ve made it a BIG point over the past year to not say yes to too much because I know it does no good. I can’t function well while serving others and I end up very, very sick every single time. When I get sick, I can’t do my job well…and yes, we ALL get sick but regular sick versus burned out and sick are two different things. At least when I’m regular sick I’ve been resting, eating well, staying hydrated and taking care of myself. When I am burnt-out sick, I’m barely…BARELY hanging on by a thread. I don’t go there anymore.
So last week started about a 9 day streak for me of lots of traveling, sessions, weddings, office work, culling, editing, blogging, email and workshop prep & finalization.
It is NOT typical for me to book more than two sessions a week; occasionally I’ll pull three, but I know that it’s important for me to have some flexibility with my clients (especially those coming to the Outer Banks because the weather is so wild here!) and also just so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I need to be a boss who treats her staff well, and I’m included within that. I was FAR too cruel of a boss for too long who never, ever gave herself a break but I saw the disconnection in my ability to work better during the times of overdoing it and finally got a handle on that and changed things for the better!
I’m right in the thick of the craziness and still have at least four more days of it this week…so what am I going to do to maintain self-care, running the business and taking care of my family!? Here are the following things that are mandatory for those rare crazy, busy weeks:
1. SLEEP – Even when I should get up early and get stuff done, if I need to sleep an hour past when I regularly get up…I will definitely take the extra sleep. I also try not to stay up past 10pm because I know I need to get as much sleep as I can, even if that means letting Ellie (night owl!) fall asleep with me just so I can get them to settle down faster.
2. THIEVES – We started using essential oils this year after the car accident and we fell in love! I will say we’re not really using them around the clock to the capacity of some other people, but we do use and love them. Thieves has been a HUGE joy to have while Cammy starts school and to use as a cleaner in the house as well. We diffuse it daily during the busy weeks (and most days since Cammy started school) and have rollers we apply twice a day.
3. EAT WELL & STAY HYDRATED – I tended to dehydrate on those busy weeks and what a way to make yourself completely worse! I am a huge water drinker and when I am not hydrated, I feel it. I’m sore and I’m WAY more tired. We also noticed that during busy weeks, we were eating poorly. We were more likely to get carryout food (mexican, pizza) because we were too tired to cook. Because of this, we didn’t eat healthy AND we spent more money but with our $40 monthly “out-to-eat” limit now with Dave Ramsey, we don’t want to go that route at all.
4. WRITE OUT YOUR OFFICE WORK SCHEDULE – Flying by the “I’ll get it done when I can” just doesn’t work well. In fact, whenever I talk about how to balance life and business I say, “ohhhhh my friends PLEASE don’t depend on this being your system!” This is how mom business owners (and any business owner for that matter) really tend to fall behind. They use the “luxury of an entrepreneur” excuse to say they can pop into the office whenever they feel like it, but that’s NOT a good thing. Assigning work hours and tasks accordingly for me as a mom with three little ones, no daycare, one in Kindergarten and three dance classes is my lifeline. It means I have to be smart about my schedule. I also take entrepreneurship really seriously and believe in treating it with respect…so if I book a session, I’ll book a corresponding edit session as well that I’m required to show up for versus, “nahhhh, I think Netflix is a better decision tonight”. Do I need to rest and relax, too? YES – but I need to stay on top of things so I don’t fall crazy behind. It’s not a burden; it’s a BLESSING to write out a work schedule for yourself for the week!
5. EMERGEN-C – I will definitely take one of these every other day during the busy week just to get a healthy little boost of vitamin C in case I start getting a little of a cold or just feeling a little exhausted.
6. LIFEFLOW LISTS – I’ll never stop speaking the glorious truth of these things! As we speak, Mike is at the kitchen counter updating our Lifeflow List for tomorrow, Tuesday October 3, so that after today’s Hatteras wedding, we are ready to jump back into the tasks that need to be taken care of tomorrow. He’ll glance at the weekly, monthly and yearly lists in the left side of the folder, see if anything applies to this week of our lives, and then add it accordingly. Then tomorrow when we wake up, our list will be ready and waiting. No fighting, no miscommunication, no “well, I thought you paid that bill!?” – just organization and keeping our family on track when we need it most. We simply wouldn’t be able to have these busy weeks even occur, meaning making less money and serving less clients, if we didn’t have these lists! Available in our shop, and if you head to our Pinterest board *here*, there’s a discount code for the two most shopped bundles! 🙂
Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!🙂