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Prioritizing Rest in a World Where Productivity Reigns

When you love what you do, it can be so freaking hard to turn your brain off. Saying no is next to impossible, because not only are you doing what you love — you’re getting PAID for it! How great is that?!

It’s pretty freaking great.

But! (There’s always a but.) I also know from personal experience that neglecting rest can lead to burnout, anxiety, and other health issues. Here’s how you can make sure that rest is a priority in your life — and still show up the way you want to as a mom, AND have a blast running your business.

Moms, let’s talk about you first.

Let me guess. Right now, you can hear two of your kids bickering about who gets the good Barbie. You need to remember to wheel out the garbage tomorrow morning and are debating just doing it now so you don’t forget. You’re low-key stressing about how you’re going to afford to buy back-to-school clothes this year so you REALLY need to get some stuff done. Oh, and you’re pretty sure the kid who’s sitting quietly in a corner is drawing on her arms.

Yep. I feel ya. It’s chaos.

The number one thing that works for me?

Make work buckets and kid buckets.

If you have time without the kids, you have two options: work, or take a nap. DO. NOT. SCROLL your phone. DO. NOT. TIDY their messes. The scrolling will make you even more tired and tidying, well, that never ends. You can tidy when the kids are around — that way you’re not elbowing them out of the way so you can type up “one last email.”

And when you’re with the kids, you’re with the kids. Baking cookies. Vacuuming. Driving. Watching the game. You don’t have to be playing a board game with them, but you’re there. Notifications are off and you’re okay, because you know that there’s nothing that can’t wait for a few hours.

Oh, and if your kids are little-little (like, under 5), please know that it will get SO MUCH EASIER, so soon. Hang in there! Even when you’re spinning, you’re not wasting time. You’re learning, and it’s going to pay off.

Now we’ve got mamas out of the way — let’s talk about EVERYONE.

Tip #1 :: Loop a day of rest into your weekly cycle

Daily Habits

Humans operate on cycles — daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly. The longer the cycle, the harder it is to remember to keep the habit. Daily habits are pretty easy to stay on top of, whether they’re good or bad. Weekly habits are not too shabby either. Monthly habits, ehhhhhh… they’re doable but get a little tricky. Quarterly or yearly habits? It’s a complete gamble.

Where can you squeeze moments of luxury and spaciousness into your day? Maybe it’s a slow cup of chai in the morning… maybe it’s a super juicy stretch on the hour… or maybe it’s turning off all of your electronics at 8pm. Make ’em happen and SAVOUR those moments while you’re in ’em.

Those habits, I’m okay at. They look different every day but I do take a few mindful moments on the daily. The thing that REALLY keeps me standing though?

Weekly Habits

My favourite weekly habit? A mandatory Do-Nothing Day — yep, every single week; and nope, it’s not impossible. I’ve been doing it for years.

I will. not. touch my work on Sundays (no matter how badly I want to). There’s nothing that can’t wait a day.

Plus, taking a day away from it all every single week will supercharge your creativity and productivity like nothing else. (Feels a bit weird to be selling the fact that you’ll be extra productive when we’re talking about not worrying so dang much about productivity, but… I get it. It’s a big deal.)

It doesn’t matter if you take your Do-Nothing Day on a Wednesday or a Sunday, just make sure it happens every single week!

👉 Put it on your calendar. Don’t book anything social, and don’t use it to run errands. Pretend you’re stuck in a big ol’ Canadian blizzard and you’re snowed in. 🤣 And, pro tip: try to get someone else to feed you if possible!

👉 Choose some of your favourite chill activities: movies, books, artwork just for fun, meditating, going hiking… anything that calms you. And if you’re anything like me, you’re going to catch yourself thinking, “Dang, I’m such a lazy butt” once or twice. You are NOT lazy because you’re taking a rest, so shut that right down.

👉 Keep your phone as far away as possible. Do not spend half your day scrolling — that’s really not resting.

👉 If you start to feel bored, know that that’s a GOOD thing! It means you’re well on your way to getting recharged (yay!) and it also means that some juicy ideas are right around the corner. Have a notebook handy, because this is where you become a genius.

Got it? Got it. Revel. Savour. Enjoy. You 👏 freakin’ 👏 deserve 👏 it. 👏

Tip #1 :: Schedule your week around mental health

This may be easier said than done, but as an entrepreneur you should have some control over your schedule. Be intentional about what you’re scheduling on which days, so you can take the best care of your mental health. This shit right here? This is why you’re your own boss. Take advantage of it.

I won’t schedule a meeting on a Monday, because I don’t want the Sunday Scaries. I adore people, but it’s a lot of work for me to be “on” for a day of meetings right off of the weekend. I ease in on Monday and hit the ground running on Tuesday, when everybody is in go-mode.

Last year, I took almost every Wednesday off. It was awesome. I’m hoping to get back to it sooner than later, but even in a season where I have to be at my desk, I’m making sure that Wednesday is an easier day in between my always-chaotic Tuesdays & Thursdays.

I also pop in on the weekends (sometimes). But there is also a rule that weekends are for Fun Work — puttering with my systems or taking courses. Weekends are not for client work and they’re definitely not for admin or inbox management.

Reflect on your relationship with productivity.

Pssst… busting out a pen & paper and percolating on these questions are a GREAT activity for your next Do-Nothing Day.

Reflection Questions / Journaling Prompts

  1. What is your relationship with patience? (Or maybe, impatience) Does it serve you?
  2. Do you identify as a hard worker? What do you make that mean?
  3. What are you in a hurry to get done? What do you think is on the other side of getting it done? Is that actually true?
  4. Where can you incorporate a little more slow, luxurious energy into your life in this season?
  5. How often do you carve out space for yourself? To be in your own energy, to pause, to reflect, to rest?

Whew! I feel better even just THINKING about all of this rest. 🤣 Seriously though, this is the stuff that gets you through the hard times. You can’t fill your tank in one gigantic vacation per year — rest is a habit, just like everything else. Good luck… and I’m off to revel in some deliciously leisurely plant watering!

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When you love what you do, it can be so freaking hard to turn your brain off. Saying no is next to impossible, because not only are you doing what you love — you’re getting PAID for it! How great is that?! It’s pretty freaking great. But! (There’s always a but.) I also know from […]

I'm Doreen, and I know what it's like to scour blogs for the answers to my (many, many) questions. Much like yourself, I'm a scrappy, curious business owner.

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