When you think of self-care, do you envision yourself in a lush bath robe lathered in a face mask sipping from an over-sized glass of wine? Do you have as strong of an image when you think of self-care for your job? Often we think of self-care as something that is for our personal wellness only but when we extend the self-care approach to our career we can see more productivity, balance and success. The type of success that leads to new clients, promotions and career growth. Professional self-care is even more important if you work in a high stress industry. As event planners we are often featured as one of the top 5 most stressful professions (amongst firefighter, military personnel, police officer, airline pilot) but whatever your profession we have collected some tips on incorporating self-care into your job, because work is stressful for all of us. Warning:
Self-care, just like your career path, is not a one-size-fits-all journey. The responsibility is on you to pick & choose, tweak & refine your self-care practices to make sure they not just work for you but are sustainable over time, which likely means they will evolve along with you and your career. Be vulnerable and observant with yourself when setting up systems. Make sure that the things you are doing are truly of benefit to you. If sitting still in hot liquid makes you uncomfortable, you wouldn’t force yourself into an Epsom salt bath just because someone told you it was good self-care, right? You’d go on a run, do some yoga, dance, eat your favorite foods, call your bestie… It’s vital that you find the approach to self-care that’s right for what you need and use the below solely as inspiration to set up your own habits and practices.
Fill your cup first…
Are you in the habit of checking your emails in bed as soon as you turn off the alarm? While we appreciate your work ethic here, it’s time to check in on whether this is really serving your overall productivity over the course of the day. Consider, holding on all “work” items until you have set up your day for success by first ‘filling your cup’ with your personal non-negotiables, the things you want to make sure you do every day for yourself. This can be larger tasks like a 60 minute workout or smaller habits liking putting on your face SPF but set them up as a morning routine. Something you can repeat every day to ensure that before you dive into the meat of your work, you have taken care of you. Some examples to get your ideas flowing: *Exercise *Meditation *Shower / Get ready for the day *Journal *Breakfast *Prep lunch *Education *Read *Tidy up *Walk your dog *Get kids ready *Do the dishes *Fill up your water bottle *Do something for Joy – dance, sing, play *Study a new language *Get outside *Set intentions/affirmations for your day
The bonus here is that before you have started to work, you can reflect on all of the things you have already accomplished in the day and focus more intentionally on your work without the personal distractions.
Be diligent with your schedule
Whether you use a physical planner or a digital calendar, take it seriously. Make sure every appointment and meeting gets logged. Include reminders for tasks to keep you on track. Schedule out each day for when you’re working, handling family tasks, taking care of yourself personally, sleeping, etc. Have a plan for every moment of your day. You can, and should, be flexible as things will always change but start off with a strong foundation for how you are going to tackle the day.
Using a digital calendar like iCal or Google Calendar has extra benefits in that you can share certain portions of your schedule with others. When asked how she manages her business schedule as a CEO or multiple business, Lauren Conrad (LC) once said she gives her close friends access to her calendar so they can easily see when she has open time and try to plan something social then.
Find boxes to check
Take time at the beginning and end of each day to refine your to do list. You can use a Project Management software like Asana or Monday or you can go old-school with paper and pen but pick something you can maintain and adapt with continually. Our preference is a digital project management platform as you can easily add, remove and shifts things around and most have accompanying apps so your list is always at your fingertips.
To do lists are crucial so you can see everything on your plate and prioritize accordingly. More than that, you get to check things off the list. A gratifying and important part of completing any task is claiming it as done, finished, finito.
Consider including daily recurring tasks to your to do list that help you progress to greater efficiencies. For example, every morning spend 5 minutes organizing your technologies (clean up your desktop folders, close out of open documents, etc) or check your business social media to respond to all comments/messages.
Use time blocking systems
There are various methods of time blocking that can increase productivity and efficiencies by keeping you focused for periods of time paired with breaks or task variation. Consider blocking out your day for work on various projects or working hard for 90 minutes and then taking a 15-30 minute break.
Other ideas are to turn off all notification for at least one long block of work time every day. Use this time to do your writing or high-detail projects that require uninterrupted focus.
Get really comfortable with how to maximize your time and systems that help you work best. Notice points of burnout when 5 minute projects are taking 30 minutes and choose to take a time out. Take a break, reset and come back to it when you can do your best work.
In fast-paced jobs, it is easy to run from task to projects to 5 hours a sleep and back to your computer. But you are missing the moments of pause where you get to reflect on what you have done and where you are going. You are missing those moments where powerful ideas pop in to your head or your Angel voice talks your Devil voice out of sending a snarky email response.
When you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, take pause…go on a walk…lie on the ground…go grab an ice cream and let yourself just be for a moment. Let the brain flow naturally into a bit more calm until the solutions flow right to you.
Take time at the end of every day to write down a few things you are grateful for, spend 5 minutes a day thinking about the process you will take that will get you to your career goals or do a 5-minute daily review at your desk at the end of the day. Set up habits that give you clarity and perspective.
The best systems are the ones that are going to work from you. So take some time to get curious and playful in your professional self-care. Set yourself with ongoing systems to create efficiencies but don’t be afraid to update them. Create consistency in your day that evolves overtime and watch your career and overall well-being thrive. Now get started…which self-care practice are you going to try first?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jenna Thompson
Jenna is a mountain based Yogi with a love for veggie focused foods. When she's not in Warrior Pose you can find her spending time with her Avalanche Rescue Dog Luna with a Matcha Latte in hand!