by Sarah McClymont owner and creator of Wink Designs
I see it all the time in the dance and fitness industry, business owners, studio owners, competitors and students trying to keep the balance between work life, family and still making time to train. Coming home after a busy day at work can leave us pretty much exhausted. Our partner or kids want our attention, the dinner needs to be made, the washing put away!! Some days it just feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day to fit everything in. Have you ever felt like you are constantly battling life and you just want to give up your business and get a stress free job? Well you are not alone! Every business owner and career driven individual has been through this. The trick is simple: stop being busy keeping up with life, and make yourself busy enjoying life!
Easier said than done? Here are my tips:
Relax and switch off, some people find meditation and yoga helps, others may find a simple walk in the park, gym session or reading a good book can help, but whatever your choice, it is important to fit this into your life. Never say you don’t have time! You could have a million thoughts running through your head and a never ending to do list, but after some switch off time you will feel refocused and relaxed. It's surprising how some time out to re-focus can change the way you look at everything. This may sound like common sense but how many of you actually take time out regularly? Thinking that you can work hard now and relax on holiday next month is not enough. By the time you switch off on holiday, it’s time to come back. And how many of you suffer illnesses as soon as you take time to relax because you haven’t allowed your body any recovery time? Taking time to relax and switch off should be incorporated into your daily and weekly routine. Enjoy this time, it is not a chore!
Allow yourself to be inspired. Taking time out of your busy schedule and clearing your head on a regular basis will not only clear your thoughts, but will also allow you to be inspired. When you enjoy your work and feel calm, you are working to your best ability. Have you ever spent all day running around working but feel you have achieved nothing? When in the right frame of mind, you can achieve so much more in half the time! Being inspired is when you come up with your best ideas. You could have 10 ideas on how you would like to improve things within your business or career, but often it is that one amazing idea that makes the biggest difference. Creating a new clothing range for Wink is my favourite part of my business. As a fashion designer by trade, I love creating fun unique styles. I can spend weeks playing around with new ideas and new designs. But the best ideas take 10 minutes. Once you have your idea it is easy to transform this idea into something amazing. It’s the same for any creative outlet, writing a story, finishing a report or even choreographing a new routine for your performance or class. If your creative juices aren’t flowing take time out, relax, play with the kids, go for a drink with your closest friend, go to the gym, read your book! It won’t happen every time but when you are feeling happy, the ideas just flow.
Switch off your phone and spend quality time with loved ones. In a world run by smart phones and social media this is something we all struggle with. My daughter was jumping all over me demanding my attention and playing up like all kids do. I turned off my phone and took her for a walk. We talked, I listened, which is something I often forget to do. Listen, it’s simple, but how many of us truly listen properly? I found her childish discussions really interesting. I loved how she saw the world and how she would stop at every corner in amazement, ‘look mummy!’ I listened stopped and looked, It was amazing what you notice when you switch off. Sometimes the most simple things are the most beautiful. A simple flower or sun set. We laughed bonded, and when we got back she smiled hugged me and said she had the best day ever. Really? We only went for a walk, and it cost nothing but all she wanted was my full attention. When I got back my to do list was pretty much the same as before I left and even though it was late in the day, I got everything done in no time. I was relaxed, focused and happy.
Prioritise the important things. We are never going to have enough time to get everything done, so accept this with a smile. Think about what is important and what tasks will make the biggest difference to your life. Is emptying your inbox really going to take your business or career to the next level? Write a list of everything you need to do, this is a great way of relieving stress. Now re-order everything into four piles. 1/ what has to be done, 2/ what needs to be done, 3/ what can wait, and 4/ what you would get the most enjoyment out of doing. Ok so complete tasks 1 and 4 and forget the rest. Ok now go back to tasks 2 and 3 and you will be surprised how much calmer you will feel. This is how I prioritise every day and it works!! When we are calm and happy we work 10 times faster. FACT! How can you truly focus when a millions things are running around your head? Learn to love your work. Learn to love not working. Keep the two separate and you will be guaranteed to achieve much more!
Stay Focused and forget your competition. If you are a fitness enthusiast, you may have heard that rest is equally as important as training. Have you applied for too many competitions this year? Have you set yourself too many goals? That’s great, work hard enjoy it, but take time out. Only stay focused on the goals that are important. A well thought out freshly inspired routine has much more impact. Stay focused on your own goals, worrying about your competition will only put a downer on your creative flow. After all, once your routine is decided, the stress seems to go a little and you can enjoy practising and working at it to make it even more awesome. You will wake up excited to train and that is when we are at our best. So if you are not feeling it one day. Stop and go do something fun!
If this was your last day on earth, how would you fill it? Live each day as it was your last is the best way to look at life. Have you ever had a clear out, looked at old pictures or heard a song from your past that has brought back amazing memories? How did it make you feel? When you are older you may give anything to cuddle your child again and hear their laughter, you will look back at photos of how awesome your body looked, how young you were, how flexible you used to be. You’ll miss your old friends that you hardly see now and for the loved ones that have moved on. This is why we should make the most of each day now! Enjoy life, live in the now and be inspired. Watch your success grow and enjoy every minute!