Switching Off When You’re Self-Employed


Working for yourself can mean that’s all you do. Seriously, your to-do list never really ends and, if you’re anything like me, it’ll take some extra effort to fully switch off in the evenings and at weekends.

However, if you don’t take time out for yourself and relax, you can end up in a right pickle. Take it from someone who frequently falls into the habit of working non-stop and burning out.

In fact, I have put off writing this post because I am soo bad at this. But, I thought I’d share my tips anyway to prove, if I can do it even some of the time, everyone can.

Carve out time in your schedule.

Most business owners I know - including myself - plan and schedule in tasks they have to do for work, whether this is on a digital calendar, diary or Trello board.

So, if you want to make time for you, the first thing you’ve gotta do is put it in your diary. I mean, it may seem a bit militant to tell yourself when to relax, but - like with everything - if it’s not on your schedule, it simply won’t get done.

Many people work for themselves to break free from office hours, but setting boundaries seriously helps you switch off when you have allocated hours to work and allocated hours to chill.

Plan fun things to do.

It’s all well and good having time to relax on a weekend or during the evening. But, if you’ve got nothing planned, you may find yourself opening up that laptop whilst watching pointless TV.

I’m not saying that you have to always have super fun and expensive things to do every single night, but have an evening routine that you truly enjoy; plan to watch a specific show with a partner or friend, treat yourself to a bath - there’s so many things to do other than scroll Instagram and eventually through your emails.

One thing I love doing is catching up with my friends on a Friday night. Even though we’re all knackered, if we make the effort to meet on a Friday evening, it feels like we’ve had an extra weekend day. If I don’t meet with them, Friday nights usually involve me slumped on the sofa, thumbing through social media with one eye open.

This leads me onto my next point...

Rest productively.

Now, I’m a huge believer in that the words ‘rest’ and ‘productive’ should never be paired together. But, I couldn’t find a better phrase to explain what I mean.

Sure, it’s okay to veg out every once and a while, but when you spend your spare time doing meaningful things, you can feel a lot more motivated when you return to your desk.

Go for a walk, get baking, read that book you’ve been meaning to read, do some crafts. Whatever you love doing.

Recently, for me this has been swimming and crocheting. I also find cleaning my house really refreshing, but each to their own!

Final word - it’s about changing your mindset.

There’s no quick-fix way of making time for yourself when you work for yourself. And, you will have times where your business does come first. But, it’s important to realise the value in taking time out to spend with yourself, your partner, your friends and family. Burnout is a real thing and it sucks when it happens.

Please share your tips below on how you switch off, even if you’re not self-employed, we could all do with a break from graft culture…