I took the weekend off.
That sounds like a very anticlimactic statement, but the thing is, I haven’t done that (like REALLY done that) since I started this journey as a digital entrepreneur. After three years of pretty much constant connection to my work, I felt a break was necessary. Not just any break, but a delete-all-my-apps and put-my-phone-away-for-three-days break.
In this industry, unplugging is more necessary than ever. After all, as professional bloggers/creators/influencers the ever present demands of our job
can be are mentally exhausting (anyone in this industry can vouch). That said, unplugging feels nearly impossible to arrange. The most difficult balance I have ever been tasked to find is the one between personal time and work time as a professional creative.
My business is the internet. My livelihood is directly linked to my audience. My brain is constantly working on new ideas, new projects, further education, and future plans. I have a constant stream of communication coming in from many people I know (and don’t know). Additionally, I feel an obligation to maintain a human connection with my community, and in a timely manner, too. Even “vacations” are usually a good amount of “work”, when your job is to create digital content. The “To-Do” list of an entrepreneur is one that never ends. The hustle never stops. 24/7- there is work to be done.
Since working 24/7 isn’t healthy for anyone, the trickiest part has been finding a comfortable medium. Admittedly, I have not been great at it.
Let’s be real. I have three kids- two of which who are highly dependent on me. I also manage our household and all that comes with running a family. For three years I have simply managed to squeeze in work here and there, all day, in between being the snack waitress, the maid, the nurse, and the disciplinarian. Once Tyler comes home, I cram in what I can and hope I can get my inbox down to a two digit number (at least) before passing out.
Not as glamorous as you imagined, eh?
(WHAT? You mean you aren’t sitting around getting pampered while opening free swag from brands?!)
Nevertheless, I realized last week that I had to take a real life RESET. It’s ok to love my job and AND set better boundaries. It’s ok to set my email out-of-office-assistant, just like I would in a corporate job. It’s ok to tell brands and colleagues that I have office hours.
However, since I AM a working mom and I DON’T have the unicorn privilege of being a full time present mom AND a full time working woman, I still do have to switch back and forth between roles and I always will. The important take away here, is that it’s ok to take breaks. Full stop.
Here’s what I learned.
My audience didn’t vanish. Three days away didn’t kill my value or presence on the internet. I didn’t lose a dime in income.
My brain actually has the capacity to be a hell of a lot more creative when I am not constantly occupying it with a variety of timelines and newsfeeds. My short term memory was even better.
Having no social media or email apps on my phone was freeing beyond description. The deep subconscious knowledge that my phone wouldn’t be notifying me of anything and that there wasn’t anything to “check” was an amazing feeling.
Playing cards with Grayson and not feeling rushed to get a contract signed, or holding Charlie and watching Masha & Bear without the anxiety of a buzzing phone- was glorious. I took photos and videos of the kids and *gasp* JUST SAVED THEM. It was interesting, refreshing, and cleansing. 10/10 would recommend to all entrepreneurs.
Listen. This is still my full time job. It’s still a thriving business that I am extremely proud of, and it’s still a huge part of my family’s livelihood. BUT. None of that means I can’t take breaks, and I can’t wait for the next one.