Last weekend, I enjoyed a kid-free weekend. I got a whole 36 hours without my kids doing my favorite thing :
…sitting on the beach,
… grooving to my music while the waves roar in the background,
… while watching the sun set over the ocean, and spotting the occasionally dolphin!
Beach therapy is just what the doctor prescribed because I’m a compulsive “doer”!
If you could see what the inside of my brain looks like, you would probably see a LIST! I am a neurotic list maker (I consider it a gift because I LOVE a good list!)
Ultimately, it’s because I am a “doer”. And please don’t misunderstand, I am not using this term in the sense of being ultra-productive. I have the compulsion to “do” regardless of how productive or not! Even by engaging in mental “doing” I feel like I am taking action. For example, anxiety and worrying gives me the sense of “doing” when really they are just distractors that fills my mind with busy thoughts.
Buddhists refer to this as Monkey Mind. Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly. We all have monkey minds, Buddha said, with dozens of monkeys all competing for attention. And fear is an especially loud monkey, pointing out everything that could go wrong and constantly sounding the alarm!
So stillness and silence is my daily practice of choice to calm my Monkey Mind! The monkeys are why it is necessary to put Mommy in time-out!
Do you schedule downtime?
As the Olympics are approaching, think about elite athletes who methodically schedule rest and recovery periods into their training schedule.
In order to function optimally, we sleep to rest our body and eat to recover our energy and so must we take time-outs for our mind and spirit.
As a Mom, I love using time-outs in my home! It is not seen as punishment (depending on who you ask!) I usually implement time-outs in my home to stop an unwanted behavior and calm our minds and focus our awareness on an alternate behavior, usually breathing. Taking effective time-outs will increase your productivity.
- Plan Your Time-Outs
A lot of the time, we are so busy planning our work day, that we forget about “how” to rest. Plan beforehand what you will do during your time-out so you feel restored and re-energized after your break and prepared for the next round of productive work. I usually engage in the opposite behavior, so if I’ve been sitting… I move. If my mind has been active… I do something quiet. During your time-outs, step away from the computer and move your body from its usual position and shift your attention to something else fun and lighthearted.
Eat lunch or a snack and get hydrated. Take a nap. Meditate, which is like exercise for your brain. Clean, since clutter is distracting. Read a book. Play a game of cards with co-workers. Take a short walk, allowing your brain to wander unstructured. Chat with a friend about the latest episode of your favorite TV show. Doodle. Do yoga. Garden. Daydream. Ask questions and listen for answers. Or do nothing! Whatever floats your boat and gets your mind off of work and doesn’t require much concentration, will serve you well.
Do anything except for work!
2. Adopt My 90 Minute Rule
Our human minds can focus on any given task for 90-120 minutes. Afterwards, a 20-30 minute break is required for us to get the renewal needed to perform our next task again. So, I split my day into 90 minute work sprints and work in small bursts with purpose and focus. So, instead of looking at my day as an 8 hour work day, I structure it into 90 minute blocks followed by 30 minute blocks. Then I assign a high priority task to each block. So if you’ve got 4 blocks, you will be able to have 4 tasks that you can get done every day much more easily.
3. Adopt My 90 Day Rule
90 day goals are so powerful. You gain incredible clarity as to what needs to be accomplished right now. You are more motivated to work on your goals since you only have 90 days. And every 90 days, you get the opportunity to hit the restart button.
Personally, I only schedule 3- 90 day plans throughout the year: January-March, May–July, September-November. I alternate these highly focused days of sales activities with 30 days of slower paced non-sales activities, or time-out activities. Within those 30 days, I am still engaged in the day to day running of my business, but instead of focusing on achieving my goals, I analyze and evaluate the last 90 days goals, then I strategize and plan for the next 90 days goals. And the most important part is I schedule a kid-free weekend where I can reboot my mind and press the reset button.
I believe the United States has become overworked, overstressed and overall an unhealthy society. In this fast-paced nation of workaholics, I have chosen to create my own rules for living MY life!!!
It is NOT selfish to take care of yourself, it’s sensible! It is NOT indulgent to make happiness a priority, it’s necessary!
Invest in yourself, so you will have more to give.
Moms typically give and give until there’s nothing left to give. Be the kind of caretaker you are to your kids and your pets and just focus it on you. Self-care is an act of survival!
We all need to be alone for a moment, in order to find out who you really are and what you really want out of life.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for… Put yourself in a time-out!
Want help focusing and managing your time, energy and business, so you have more time, energy and money to do what matters MOST? I’d love to help you… register for a FREE 30min Consultation NOW!
ABOUT Candace Jenkins-Espinet
As a busy Mom of twins and owner of JustaMompreneur.com, a multimedia platform designed to motivate, inspire and inform mothers, I juggle a million things each day and am on a quest to redefine the meaning of “Work/Life Balance”.
By utilizing my education in Psychology, my background as an elementary educator, over 10 years of business experience, and my parenting lessons, I bring other Mompreneneurs invaluable resources, tools and information I’ve acquired on how to work smarter, not harder – so we have more time to spend on what matters most…our family! This blog is focused on providing Mompreneurs with encouragement, support and resources as they travel the journey of motherhood and entrepreneurship. Join me as I discuss how to grow our businesses, how to turn ideas into actionable results, how to maintain our relationships, how to help others, and how to organize our lives and make it all work. You are not alone!