My mum recently told me her productivity tip for life "try and carve out some space in your busy life for 'Me Time'. You will be refreshed, and a better mum as a result." In business I am a yes lady, I like to be helpful and a real team player. I don't like to let people down or say no, so more often than not I will say yes and find a way of helping. The more I say yes though the more it takes away from the work I need to do.
Over the years I have learnt that in business to truly succeed you need to learn to say no. Value some time for yourself and get your own work done. Therefore in my working week I will have 'me time' in my diary for focused work to complete my projects.
When my mum mentioned the golden phrase 'me time' I thought to myself "have I continued this on as a parent?" and the answer was no!
Therefore over the last week I have intentionally started to focus on me. Happy mummy, happy baby, right? In my working week I would put 2 hour chunks in my diary for me and so this week these have been my focuses.
Pre-pregnancy I was the champion of sleeping. I prided myself in having at least 8 hours of sleep a night (usually more like 10) and would have regular naps and I loved it. In pregnancy my sleep was even more valuable to me, it was tiring work creating a human. I invested in a 12 foot pillow to aid my wondrous sleep further. When the baby came along, thankfully she was quite good at sleeping but her day, every day begins at the crack of dawn and now mine does too. A night where I have had 5 solid hours of sleep in a row is an immense victory.
So many people told me "sleep when baby sleeps" and I wasn't doing that. There would constantly be things around the house that needed attention and so I would get on with those. However last week I slept during the day when baby slept and it was glorious. I felt more alert, rested and less irritable.
I used to have a personal trainer (shout out to Steve), I would go three times a week before work and I loved exercise. I loved seeing the results and getting my body strong and healthy. Sadly the busyness of life took over and I stopped my sessions.
I work as a productivity coach and so often I hear how people become too busy to exercise and they are frustrated by it. After pregnancy my body feels weak and flabby and so I made a conscious effort to start to rebuild what I once had. I sadly can't do the PT sessions at the moment but I am working with what I do have. A TV and a baby. I found a work out where you can actually do exercise with your baby. She loves it and I am building up strength again. Win win.
I was sent this great piece of advice recently. "Always feed yourself before your children!” This relates to physical food in particular but crosses borders with mental and emotional nourishment. Especially as they turn into teenagers! It’s very difficult to find the energy to work, and run around after, and cook for, and reason with children and give them your best if you are running on empty because you’re hungry and tired. Take the 5 mins to grab a healthy snack or sandwich that will boost your energy levels and also hydrate with water. This small act will allow you to fire on all cylinders and juggle those many spinning plates far more effectively."
I took this on board and started to change my eating habits. I joined Slimming World because it is so easy to eat junk food when you have a baby biding for your attention. However, what's the point in sleeping well and doing exercise if I am only going to ruin it with unhealthy food choices?
I have realised that "Me Time" has to be a lifestyle choice. You need to be self focused in order to then be your very best for others. This principle works for the office and at home. Making sure you are happy and healthy will increase your productivity, you will be more alert and be able to be more realistic with where you are with things. By focusing on me, I can then be that "yes" person I like to be.