It's the main reason why I work for myself now. I just could not deal with the clocking in/clocking out bullsh*t or the timed breaks, or the limited holidays any longer.
Working for myself means I make the rules. Oh yes I am the boss! And I love it!
I know that there's a better way to work, a more efficient way to work, a way that doesn't limit my income or take away from my freedom.
Which is why I feel physically ill when I speak to self-employed women who are still working as if they work for 'the man'.
I'm sure you've seen the memes and reels that joke at the idea that someone quits there 9-5 job to work less and start a business and end up working 90 hour weeks.
And then of course the old saying (excuse) "if you love what you do you never work a day" I mean yeah I love what I do but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy switching off zoom after a meeting and pissing off to the gym for myself.
It doesn't have to be this way. And if this is what you are experiencing now then please stop and take stock. It's time to review your business and see what changes you can make now. Don't say it will be better when, or you will have more time when.... if you don't address it now it will never change or improve! We create our future now!
I've had to do this myself for my business. I found myself working on projects that I didn't really enjoy and they were super time consuming and not all that profitable. Do you do anything like that? If so, it's time to say goodbye.
If there's something that doesn't fulfil you or serve you in any way then cut ties with it so you can focus on what does.
Recently a client of mine decided to cut a whole section of her business out. It was profitable she just decided that it not longer fulfilled her and aligned with what she wanted for the future.
Another client of mine had been working tirelessly on a project that was basically FREE content for her audience. It was supposed to help her grow and nurture her audience but it was just draining her and leaving her feeling unappreciated. So she stopped.
Just because you think you 'should' do something or continue to do something doesn't mean you have to.
As a self-confessed perfectionist it's very important that I use the 80/20 rule. I'm not sure if my understanding of it is the same as others but this is how it was explained to me and I certainly find it helpful.
→ It will take you 20% of your time to complete a task to 80%.
→ It will take you 80% of your time to complete the remaining 20% (if ever at all).
→ Is there really any point in trying to complete the remaining 20%?
Come on fellow perfectionists! Just say it. No!
When I work on something for clients I send them what I consider to be 80% of the way there. And I let them review what I've done and send me the changes and adjustments they want. You know why? Because even if I did spend the extra 80% of my time getting it to where I thought it was at 100% there would always still be a couple of notes from my clients.
This is mostly only relevant to me now if I'm developing visuals for brands. But I use the 80/20 rule for my own promo work too. And anything else I need to do in my personal life. Regular quick tidy ups are a lot easier than a deep clean for example.
Use this rule and free up some of your time. Time is so precious and it's usually the biggest excuse we have for not doing something we want to do!
Spending hours and hours perfecting a programme before your launch it, or shooting the same video over and over for social media is only going to drain you and overwhelm you.
Trying to work an 8 hour day (and often more), and keep a fridge stocked, cook food, keep a house clean, laundry done, raise children if you have them (I don't), exercise, meditate, walk the dog, be a supportive partner, friend, daughter, sister and maybe even sit down with a hot beverage for 5 minutes is pretty difficult. I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. And well done you if you manage all that without breaking a sweat.
We are conditioned to think we need to put in a "full days work" to earn our pay. But we are self employed now ladies. We are the boss. No one is going to say boo if you go for a shower after catching up with your emails at 10.30am or 12pm for that matter.
I'm not saying to just procrastinate on your work and switch on Netflix at midday. That will likely only lead to work snowballing and more stress and overwhelm.
What I'm saying is....allow yourself less time in your day for work.
Okay hear me out.
They say in traditional jobs, employers are lucky if they get an hour and a half of actual focused work from an employee in an 8 hour day. (This just makes me sad by the way.)
If you give yourself less time to complete your work (and use the 80/20 rule) there will less room in the time window to get distracted and scroll through Instagram or Facebook. Or read through someone's blog article, as valuable and entertaining as it may be. 😏 And less time to be a perfectionist! We can focus better and be more efficient in shorter stints of time.
It's amazing how more effective a couple of 2 hour blocks of time can be versus a full 8 -12 hour day. Or even a couple of 1 hour blocks.
If you work with people one-on-one for appointments or you provide LIVE online trainings. Make sure you set an upper limit for this client facing time. The other parts of your business are work too. Not just your in person appointments. Don't fill your days with appointments so that you need to do your accounts and marketing at night.
If having less in person/appointment time will mean you won't earn enough money, then you need to raise your prices! Your hourly rates needs to take into account all the other time you put into your business.
You business is going to grow and change as you do. Allow it to do so.
You will grow and change as your business does. Allow yourself to do so.
Don't wait for things to improve on their own and for free time to just manifest from nowhere. Make decisions, take action, don't try and be perfect, change the way you look at your work day and always prioritise what gives you joy!