My ‘Being Self Employed’ Journal #3 ~ Taking Regular Breaks to Recharge & Refocus…

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Hello!   It's Sunday morning {still, just!} and I have woken up in the Lake District this morning, having had a whole day off the blog yesterday.  There are rare occasions that draw me away entirely from my commitment to Love My Dress, but my Grandpa's 90th Birthday is definitely one of them 🙂

We lost Grandma back in March this year, so this particular birthday was a really special time for us all to get together, spend happy times with each other, celebrate and forget about everything else for a while.

Forget being the operative word there. 

And as I was sat last night tucking into my delicious Morecambe Bay sea bass, I realised how very important it is to completely switch off every once in a while. I have got so wrapped up in work these past few weeks and I can't tell you the number of occasions I have stayed up late trying to cram in as much as I can before my fatigue finally beats me and my head nods forward heavily at my desk {this seems to happen more and more these days!}. When it gets to that point, my productivity is so low anywhere, there really is little point trying to fight the tiredness just to fit in a bit more work – a final spell-check maybe, an email here or there.  Mistakes will occur as my focus is poor. So really, what is the point?

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2011, My little Sister Camilla, at her home yesterday in Kendal


The choice to walk away from a secure job and work for yourself is often arrived at following some pretty deep level of life reassessment arriving in the conslusion that working for yourself will somehow offer a much better work/life balance. And yet as small business owners with young families, the search for a healthy work/life balance continues to elude us as. Almost all of the time.

We all know what the pressure feels like to have to work all day, every day, to be unable to truly switch off and channel our energies onto something non-business related for a few, let alone 24 hours – to give our family and friends the attention we know they so very much deserve.  And yet, at least I am finding, making the effort to do so is so incredibly important to help maintain my own sanity and well being – never mind the satisfaction of my Husband and children for actually having their Mother to themselves for once.

If there is one BIG lesson I have learned in my adventures in self-employment so far, it is that sometimes, work just HAS to wait, no matter what is going on or how urgent your to-do list is. The world will not stop turning.  The work will be there when I am good, ready and well rested enough to return to it.

Talking of taking a rest…

Learnora Rose

That's my youngest little girl Leanora Rose above, snapped resting in the shade today.

I hope you all have a lovely rest today, whatever you are up to – I'm off to have a lovely Sunday afternoon with my Grandpa, family and children.

Much love,

Annabel xXx


Also see:-
My 'Being Self Employed' Journal #1 ~ Working From Home

My 'Being Self Employed' Journal #2 ~ The Trouble With Twitter



Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

14 thoughts on “My ‘Being Self Employed’ Journal #3 ~ Taking Regular Breaks to Recharge & Refocus…

  1. Fantastic post and completely true. It is very hard to find a good work/life balance in a small business and so important to make time to recharge the batteries and spend time with loved ones. Have a lovely Sunday! x

  2. I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend – it sounds like you have. I feel so busy at the moment trying to juggle everything that Nick and I can’t even manage to eat breakfast on a Sunday together, now that feels miserable. Here’s to making more time for our loved ones xXx

  3. Great post Annabel!
    I am taking the plunge into full time after going through a life reassessment too. I’ve realised that some things are just worth taking the risk on and that I want to be doing something I love all the time.
    I don’t want to look back when I’m old and grey and have any regrets about just going for it.
    Have a lovely day off! xx

  4. Great and timely post Alison. It’s very important for us self-employed to remember to take breaks once in a while. Of course you worry about productivity and meeting deadlines especially if you are newly self-employed, but we have to remind ourselves that we would be useless both to ourselves and our clients if we burn out.
    I think you come back even more enthused and invigorated when you take a break and produce better and more efficient work.
    Looking forward to the LMD Soirée next month!

  5. A well timed post for me. Alas, as a luxury cake designer sometimes the work won’t wait. A wedding or event can’t be postponed because the cake lady was too tired to finish the cake. The other aspects of my job can though and this is where I heed your words. After doing two all-nighters this week to ensure the cakes go out on time, I realise that I need to prioritise work more strictly to be able to actually make it to my bed each and every night.
    Today my husband has enforced a full and complete day off. I really need it but I know that I’m still working in my head. I shall read again your wise words and try to make them oust the thoughts of my business so I can relax completely today. Have a great time with your family.

  6. I completely agree with you, but at the moment it would be lovely to even have an evening off work.
    I work at the day job sometimes from 9-7 standing on my own on the shop floor as it pays the bills. I then come home and try and twitter and add to Facebook whilst making dinner and designing a little, and then in-between all of this for the last week or so have been helping the boyfriend to complete his website designs.
    I am really lucky to get on so well with the boyfriend and we are each others support but I am definatley feeling a little strained lately. I usually stay up til 1-2 helping him and then back to the day job but it is nothing compared to the many sleepless nights he has had.
    Anyway at the end of this week we are going to visit my mum for two nights (who I haven’t seen since January) and I am so ready for the break and really excited to see her.
    I always read your blog and find you so inspiring and you do all of this with little ones too! XxX (sorry for the rambling-just nice to know it’s not just me)

  7. Excellent post and so true!
    It’s so hard to switch off from work sometimes. I say to myself, I’m having today off (like today) and half an hour later I realise I’m actually working without realising it. So far in my “day off” today I have hung curtains in the studio (newly decorated, it looks so pretty!), created two mood boards for a photoshoot, sorted through emails and updated my diary. However I’m off on holiday for two weeks in a month or so and I’m making sure its a proper holiday! Fingers crossed my plan works 😉 XxxX
    Ps. Your little girl is gorgeous, I bet thats a photo you’ll look back on and forever smile about, happy memories Xxx

  8. I have deep admiration for women who decide to take the risk and step out of a secure career to place family as a priority, and also be successful at something they love. This is truly aspirational as I’m going through a difficult couple weeks at work, and I can only pray I can be so lucky in the near future.

  9. I’m going to put this post on my fridge to remind me.
    I too balance being a mum ( to a gorgeous 15month old daughter) and being a businesswoman, a wife, a family member and a friend. I find balancing those roles increasingly hard. Today for example I had my husband and daughter with me as I prepared a stand I’m exhibiting at next week- so often the 2 worlds collide or work takes priority.
    Being self employed makes you feel you can’t ever switch off, or you shouldn’t have free time as there is something that could be done for the business instead.
    But understanding that without family and friends, and a life, none of it means very much- is so important.
    Thank you for reminding me and giving me permission to occasionally down tools and immerse myself in life once more !
    I hope you had a super celebration.

  10. Ah yes I’m finding it’s all work no life at the moment. I’m lucky if I have time to sleep! One day I’m hoping to outsource things, like web design, so I can have some of the life stuff!

  11. Totally agree with everything, having breaks probably also makes our work better when we go back too! A clear head, fresh creativity and renewed energy will always beat tired and weary!
    Hope you had a lovely weekend,
    Chloe x

  12. Lovely post and couldn’t agree more. Sometimes rest is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your business.
    Hope you had a lovely weekend, x
    P.S. Leanora Rose is super cute!

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