In: Creativity, Productivity, Success,
Even though it feels about as mythical as a goddamn unicorn, it's a thing.
I know most of us would feel more comfortable using a keyboard full of hypodermic needles than, you know, actually relaxing, but in my experience over the last decade running my own business, there are few things I find more essential.
You are not a machine. You are not a slave. And you certainly didn't start a business so you could sit inside a dimly lit room for 80 hours a week grunting in front of your laptop, microwaving Hot Pockets, and feeling guilty for doing anything else besides BEING PRODUCTIVE, PRODUCTIVE, PRODUCTIVE! Goodness, I hate that word.
Being too busy for yourself is a fool's errand, and let me tell you what—you don't ever “let up.”
You might think you're just going through a busy period, or convince yourself you've just got to make it through to the other side, or that this is what hustle is all about *cue Gary Vaynerchuk video*, but if there was ever a phrase that rings true, it's: We are what we repeatedly do. And you do not want to become a giant walking, talking Pepperoni Hot Pocket.
That said, having the discipline to relax is easier said than done, which is why I work hard to build in safeguards for myself to make sure that I'm not a naughty girl, overextending myself left and right and forward and backward and upside down and probably most definitely in the cowgirl position (which looks awkward when you're riding your computer, you guys).
One of those safeguards includes periods of time when I gently refuse new client work. Push pause on projects. Say no to everything and everyone by default. (By the way, this is hard as hell but so, so, sexy.)
Do you know how liberating it is to wake up and know that the day is entirely yours? That you have every single one of those twenty-four hours to indulge in whatever your brain desires? That the only person's agenda you're on is yours? It's life-changing. When your brain is constantly in go-go-go mode, it stops looking for creative solutions and starts looking for the quickest solution.
But when you give yourself the headspace to wander with your thoughts, you get your humanity back.
Remember, business is about doing you, too. What are you hungry to make? Where’s your appetite leading you?
Having the headspace to think about what you want isn't indulgent—it's imperative.
Because sometimes the things that make the most business sense, aren't about business at all.