Four Ways to Calm an Overactive Business Mind. Four sanity-saving things I do to help me combat the stress of an overactive business brain.
Four Ways to Calm an Overactive Business Mind
I had initially titled this post: The Biggest Sacrifice of Blogging as a Business. If you asked me: “What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made as a business owner?”, I’d have an answer for you in a heartbeat.
The most significant thing I’ve sacrificed is a quiet mind.
Being a small business owner means my mind is nearly always thinking about my to-do list, ideas, social media, responding to emails, etc. Even when I don’t want to think of it, it creeps in.
In my traditional job, I left work Friday at 5 pm. I didn’t think about work once until Monday at 8 am. Sometimes, I miss that!
Do You Struggle with an Overactive Business Mind Too?
Since the flexibility and freedom working for myself allow still trumps all the cons, I started seeking out ways to combat what I call “Business Brain,” a mind that won’t stop thinking about work (and all the other things). An overactive brain is something with which women in general struggle.
Here are the main four sanity-saving ways I actively try to quiet my mind:
One: Force Yourself to Disconnect
The internet never sleeps. It’s a 24/7/365 operation. So when you run an online business, it starts to feel like you have to make yourself available at all times. Holy stressful. I now actively seek to disconnect from work. The following are the three ways you can help yourself to unplug.
Turn Off App Notifications
While I can’t bring myself to delete all my social media apps on my phone, I turned off notifications for them. Every. Single. One. Not only were all the notifications a distraction, but it was also killing my phone battery within hours.
If you work in the Chrome Browser, a lot of my blogging friends swear by the “Kill the newsfeed” app which turns off your Facebook newsfeed when you have it activated. I’m a Safari girl, but this app has me thinking about moving to Chrome.
Hide Your Phone
I move my phone to the bedroom and my laptop to my office when I start dinner. Out of sight, out of mind. “Hiding” my phone allows me to focus on my kids, household stuff like laundry and getting prepped for the next morning of getting the kids off to school. I pack their lunches and set out their clothes each night to help the mornings go more smoothly.
Set Office Hours
Setting standard business hours in which you respond to email and social media is ideal. I say that I’m available between 8:30am-3pm, which is the hours my kids are at school. Sometimes, I do respond outside of those hours, but then at least people know not to expect it.
Two: Work When Your Brain is at its Best
Working for yourself gives you the glorious freedom to work when your brain works best. For me, that means I try to work first thing in the morning. By mid-afternoon, I’m waning. Recently, I read that your mind is most creative when it’s tired. So I do the business stuff in the mornings and reserve my creating time for the afternoon and evenings.
Three: Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
Mediation has never appealed to me. I always pictured people sitting like Rafiki and chanting Om. If you’re a fan of practicing mindfulness, you know that my thinking was stereotypical and closed minded.
I’ve since come to think of practicing meditation and mindfulness as the adult version of a timeout. Sounds delightful, right? It is! I think this article does an excellent job of explaining what it means to practice mindfulness.
Since I’m a newbie to this art, I prefer it to be a guided process. I love my subscription to the Headspace App. (I saw my friend Michelle of Michelle Hickey Design recommend it. She always makes great recommendations, so I figured it was worth a try.)
I started with the free version of the app. I now have a subscription to the paid version of the Headspace because I’ve found it to be so helpful for calming my brain.
I’m currently working my way through the creativity sessions during the day. My favorite, though, is the Headspace sleep sessions because they help me quiet my busy mind so I can fall asleep fast.
I like to wear headphones when I use the Headspace app to help me entirely focus on the session.
Four: Make Healthy Living a Priority
A burnt out version of yourself is no good for anyone. When you’re tired and not feeling your best, your brain isn’t at its best either. Basic healthy living things like drinking a ton of water (with fresh-squeezed lemon juice), clean eating, and daily activity genuinely do wonders for your productivity levels in all other areas of your life. A few things I’m focusing on right now:
Drink More Water
I’m obsessed with my 32 oz Hydr-8 water jug. I carry it everywhere and drink 2-3 of them per day. I juice half a lemon into the mug, then fill it to the brim with water.
Smoothies for Breakfast
My friend Ashley got me hooked on the Body Love book and the Fab Four Smoothie recipes in it. I’m not much of a breakfast person, but I’ve had one every single morning for several weeks. I feel great, I’m way less tired, and I’ve already lost a few pounds too!
30+ Minutes of Daily Activity
I love Jessica Smith workout DVDs. I’m halfway through her most recent program which alternates cardio and strength based workouts. I love how much variety is in this series. The Barre-style, Yoga Flow and HIIT workouts are especially fabulous.
I also wear a Fitbit (I currently have the Ionic) to help motivate me to get off my booty and laptop and get up and walk my dogs or even just do some housework. So many of my friends wear them too which means we can connect and start FitBit challenges which I find extra motivating.
Take a Mental Health Day
Owning a business means you pretty much never take an actual day off. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t do a single thing for my business on any given day. I decided I need to take at least one day a month to relax. Hitting up the spa for a facial and mani/pedi is my all-time favorite way to spend “me time.”
Hold on. Let me overthink about it.
Tell me: How do you combat a brain that won’t shut off? Sound off in the comments!