It was the dawn of new day and I was rushing to work to prepare my documents for a highly important meeting. I had spent the night before reviewing all the potential questions this client could ask. The butterflies in my tummy had affected my beauty sleep, but this didn’t matter because I was going to have an amazing day, or so I thought.
I left my house just in time for the meeting and guess what I run into? TRAFFIC!
Actually, describing that event as traffic does not justify the situation; it was more like the one we call GO-SLOW. As a typical Lagosian, my first reaction was to beep the horn of my car to alert the driver in front of me that he needed to use his magical powers to get his car off the road as I had somewhere to be.
After my technique didn’t work and I was sure I had enough time to make my meeting I became calm and began to observe the scenery, which became morning banter to me.
Every driver around seemed so tense, I watched how each tried to fit into the tiny space made available and how they made hand gestures to the next driver if he dared to go in front of their car. Guys, this was first thing in the morning. Just before 8am!
As I watched the facial expressions and body languages of people on the road, all I could ask myself was: what are we all struggling for?
As if that was not enough confirmation that I needed to write an article on living a little, I went on social media later that day to find that the lovely Toke Makinwa, who is known for her work ethic, had been hospitalised from stress and illness and was encouraging people to rest more and create a balance.
We have just 40 days till the start of another year and some of us have been under a lot of pressure to achieve one or two more goals before 2017. There is a certain pressure to work harder than ever. We are in a season where you evaluate all you achieved during the year.
This month I’d like for us to focus on living a little. I am talking about resting and most importantly finding that work-life balance. And no, this article is in no way for the lazy man. I mean you have been resting all year haven’t you? This is for the hard workers, the go getters, the ones who go to bed last and are up first.
Finding a balance is so important. As we enter a month of celebration, we must remember that it is okay to rest sometimes, it is okay to re-prioritize and move some responsibilities to the coming year. It is okay to not over work ourselves, it is okay to take the days as they come.
Taking time off things that stress you or take a toll and deciding to focus on yourself and rest is not always the easiest thing to do – especially when it feels like everyone wants your attention, the boss, the spouse, the kids, the friends and even the dog! And before you know it, you’ve spent another 24 hours on everyone but yourself.
Hard work is great and I’m an advocate for it. But, sometimes a balanced life can lead you faster to your goals, why? Because a relaxed mind has more room for thoughts and tasks.
Do you ever take time away from everything and just focus on your needs? If you don’t you should make this time available even if it is 30 minutes a day.
During my time at SWEC I was privileged to meet Mrs Tara Durotoye. While she spoke I tried to understand how someone could do everything at once. Be a wife, mother, trailblazer, mentor…I mean everything! I’ll never forget asking her a question and how she replied saying: ”Debbie, there is always time” and those words stuck me!
As a new entrepreneur it always feels like 24 hours is just not enough, but you have to consciously avoid getting swallowed by the things that come with running a business.
Mrs Tara discussed reading books as part of her “me time” so you already know that I had to try it out. So what do I do? 40 minutes before bed every day, I ensure I read a book. You should try it and share your thoughts
In the past month I’ve read books that have assisted my journey as an entrepreneur. One is Arese Ugwu’s Smart Money Woman book, yes! I am now a smart money woman, I can tell you all about Zuri too!
So, rather than spending your time before bed on phone calls or social media, invest in yourself. Have a routine that you stick by; this will also ensure that you are well rested before the next morning
You must also learn a thing or two about boundaries. You cannot be that person sending work emails while you’re out with your friends or at a wedding. Whether at work or at home, train yourself to be fully engaged and concentrated on your current activity. You must know what your job is and what isn’t and stop taking up responsibilities all because you want to hear thank you.
My next article will give detailed tips on how to ease stress, and find your work-life balance as an entrepreneur.