No. 144

Prioritizing Your Life

I had a near breakdown last week. The New Yorker in me came out with her full classy vocabulary of four letter words and expletives as if I were having a bad case of road rage on the New Jersey Turnpike at 5:30pm on a Friday evening.

It all came down to this: my boss is a bitch.

She overworks me, asks me to stay late every night and work on weekends. She means well, but she doesn’t believe in time off…or even just time spent doing something besides working. She’s incredibly single-minded.

We had a talk and decided things need to change.

My business is not my life, and I need to start running my business rather than let it run me.

I need to prioritize my life and dedicate time to my creativity and to those things that bring me delight. I’m tired of being a spectator in my life — I want to get out there and live it.

I want time to read and dance, to go to museums and hike, to get a facial or have a leisurely lunch, to ride a bicycle or wander around the farmer’s market…and to do all of that without feeling rushed, without the worries of managing a growing business at the forefront of my mind.

It starts with forgiveness.

Before I could schedule or prioritize anything, I needed to start by making amends with the business owner in me. She’s amazing and totally gets things accomplished, but she needs to ease up. I forgave her, forgave myself for the long hours, for the constant focus on business matters.

It’s completely natural for entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business to find the lines between work and life severely blurred. The long hours are sometimes a necessity when the business is growing. You sometimes have to sacrifice personal time to put systems into place that will in the long-term create a sustainable business, with a healthy personal life to match.

Prioritizing happens in threes.

In order to find a better balance in my life, I’ve started with threes: three business priorities for the week and three personal ones. Each of the personal priorities cover one of three key areas: play, creativity, and health.

This week:
Play – Finish reading an awesome fiction book I’ve been getting lost in.
Creativity – Attend a musical performance or art exhibit in the area (if the snow will allow it).
Health – Get to the gym two times besides my two trainer sessions (which may be once because of the snow).

Where are you starting this week?

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Credits

Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.