For the past few weeks, I had been feeling out of my element. Tired, mood swings and longing for time alone. I had to take a moment to step back to find out where this was coming from and I had a realization.
I have been going non-stop for the past seven months.
Granted, I’ve been working hard for a reason. From hosting a huge professional conference in the heart of Madrid in November with over 120 attendees and 20 speakers to launching the first online course for LMDES, teaching others how to move abroad and grow professionally. Not only that but I've had some amazing speaking opportunities with institutions like Syracuse University and with brands like HubDot. As well as the chance to securing amazing press opportunities like the TEDx talk I’ll be giving in a few weeks and another huge surprise that will also be coming out shortly.
On top of work, a lot of travel has been in the mix as well, from being in Madrid at least once a month to other trips as well.
Now, let me be clear in saying that I am beyond grateful and I wouldn't give up these opportunities for the world but they don't just happen. It takes lots of hard work, effort, time and dedication and they also come with a cost.
If you aren’t careful, when you’re building and growing your own business… it can lead to burnout.
Now, as someone who is always focused on self-care, I'm sure you're probably thinking... but how can you burn out? But it's something that can sneak up on you without even realizing it.
Sometimes it’s hard to say no to opportunities that many people would love to have, but if at the end of the day you can’t be your best self, it’s just not worth it.
I’m going to share three ways to come to terms with why choosing not to do it all will benefit you in the long run.
We Have Endless Ideas But You Can’t Tackle Them All At Once
Creative entrepreneurs wear many hats and endless passions and projects going on at the same time. Although it’s important to keep your skill sets and ideas diversified, you also need to remember that you can’t tackle it all at once.
When you learn to focus and hone in on doing one project at a time and doing it well, you’ll find that its success will come that much easier and without feeling as if you’re not getting enough sleep in the process.
Taking the time to plan out each quarter (3-month intervals) and create an overarching theme for what you want to accomplish will benefit you in the long run.
You’ll be able to remember what the big goal is and work hard towards that, while still dealing with all of the other reactive work that you have to do during that time frame.
Self-Care Is Just As Important as Business Growth
There are some people that believe that hustle is key and we always have to be “on our grind” but I’ll be the first to say that I am not one of those people. When you are constantly working and don’t have any sense of boundaries, it will be very hard to be fully present for yourself, clients, team members and people that are close to you.
When you do things like getting enough sleep, taking care of your body and making space to do things that you love, you’re then able to create a sense of balance that leads you to be the best version of yourself.
There comes a time when it's easy to feel as if you always need to be working but when that happens, you’ll realize that other parts of your life are falling to the wayside.
So I challenge you to take a couple of days to disconnect from social media or spend an afternoon doing something you love. Create a routine that brings you joy and more than anything, remember that you need to put yourself first in order to create meaningful change in the lives of others.
Change The Way You Think: Essentialism Is Key
Essentialism. This is a term coined by the author Greg McKeown and I would recommend reading his book as it will change the way you think about what is truly necessary for life and work.
In the first few pages of his book he notes,
Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.
And of course, if you think about it…
How often do you say yes out of guilt or commit yourself to something you don’t really want to be doing?
How often do you find yourself, doing reactive work… replying and contributing to others and feeling overwhelmed instead of doing the things that you know will matter most and that will create true impact?
After reading this book, I came to a realization that less is truly more. When we make the choice to say “no” to the things that won’t help us reach our bigger vision (whatever that may be in life or work) then we start finding the time, energy and space that we have now created, that allows us to be our best self.
So, this week I dare you to take a step back and take a good look at where all of your energy has been going.
Is it being divided up into a million small projects that aren’t aligned with the bigger picture? Are you spending your time with people that don’t share your same values? Have you been feeling depleted and overworked?
Take 5 minutes to write out where you are now vs. where you want to be and what are 3 things that you can be doing today to get you a step closer to realizing we can’t do it all but to dedicate time to what truly matters.