I offer this up to all freelancers and new business builders. When I started freelancing, and again when I started my coaching business, I found that many weeks I was working through the evening and the weekends, clocking 50 or 60 hours each week. This is a perfect formula for burnout. So now I design my work week to be 35 to 45 hours. There are exceptions. For me, it is when I am speaking at or exhibiting at a conference, then between the last minute preparation and travel combined with the workshop itself, I can't help but put in 50 to 60 hours. But this is an exception, not the rule.
Every Sunday night, I get my calendar and plan my week. I like to call it designing my week. Once I have plugged in all of my coaching related activities (coaching, marketing. designing workshops, administrative tasks), I add up the number of hours. I try to keep it between 35 and 45. If I am over, I start giving myself time off. If I have to work on the weekend, I make sure I give myself a day off during the week. I am facilitating an all day workshop Sunday, April 9, so the following Tuesday I am spending the day at the Field Museum with a friend. Join me there. Meet me in front of Sue (the T-Rex).
By doing this, I rarely overwork and when I am working, I can give 100% since I am not pulling double shifts. We have to have time to revive, reboot and defrag. One of the biggest traps for small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers is not knowing when to schedule time off. Learn to say "no" and you will avoid burnout and actually look forward to those weekend work days. It makes it so much fun to play hooky during the week when everyone else is stuck at their job. Plus the museums and stores are so much easier to maneuver on the weekdays.
Try it. You'll like it.
And let me know if you will be joining me and Sue on the 11th.
Have a great weekend - whether you are working or relaxing.