A week ago I was laid out on the floor exhausted. Bone weary and soul sapped. I was quite shocked by this. I had carefully laid out my plan to the previous week for life and work. The boundaries were set, expectations aligned and meals planned! When you go into a big project, does it get any better than that?
Oh…and I finished 2 weeks ahead of my deadline because of this careful planning and extreme focus. Now I ask again, does it get any better than that???
I sure hope so. The physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that set in the week after almost shattered me. None of the work and effort had seemed worth it. I was not the best version of myself, let’s be honest, I was an extreme combination of Claire (Modern Family) and Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh). Can you even imagine living with THAT person for a week? It’s as exciting as you’re thinking….
Maybe that’s the ebb and flow of mompreneur. Maybe this is the life I’ve signed on for being a business owner.
I sure hope not. Here’s what I did wrong and the 3 tweaks I’ll make in the future to ensure a better mental-health state at the end of a project.
1. Community is vital – Connect with the 5 people who are closest to you during project mode. Whether it’s a vox chat, text message, phone call, coffee or dinner, make sure you CONNECT! During my project creation mode I decided to laser in and focus, which meant my only human contact was with my children whom I stay at home with. So, there I was, pouring out my brain and heart in a project and the ONLY interaction I had was with a teething one year old, spirited toddler, and blossoming 4 year old. WHAT?!? No wonder I was ready to throw in the towel and live in my bed for the next 5 years.
Lesson: Yes, it’s good to focus and cut off distractions. Identify the 5 people, must be able to hold an intelligent & encouraging or uplifting & giggle-provoking conversation, you will connect with during creation-project mode.
2. Your Tribe is fuel – Do not go radio silence with your tribe. If you have a FB Group or other forum, be present for 15 minutes a day during project mode. When you stay at home or work in a silo, like me, and you regularly connect with your tribe….and then you decide to go into radio silence mode for one week….your relational side will go into shock. I gave my people plenty of notice, they were supportive, and it was a bad call! For my personality, the way I connect with my tribe, I needed to stay connected a little bit.
Lesson: People become part of your life and your source of fuel when they’re involved in your everyday life. Channel their energy and relationships as motivation and encouragement during project mode, it’ll pump you up when you least expect it!
3. Personal Development is CRITICAL – I decided to apply a method I’d heard from an industry leader. During creation-project mode cut out all personal development as long as you have a coach. I do receive inspiration and ideas when I do my personal development, so this approach made a lot of sense so I didn’t “squirrel” the whole time I was supposed to be creating. Well. That was not the right move for me. I’d lost the third source I’ve come to rely on heavily for pouring into my head, heart and soul. There are key people I listen to weekly, if not daily, to motivate & encourage me.
Lesson: Be selective on what type of personal development you listen to during creation mode. Now I have 4 podcasts and 2 industry leaders videos I’ve selected for creation mode.
It’s no surprise I was Claire one moment and then Eeyore the next. As I picked myself up off the floor and tried to find the will to continue being a mompreneur (yes, it was that bad), I decided cutting out Facebook, emails, texts, voxes, and more was almost the right solution for a productive creation mode.
3 Tips for next time:
- I will have my 5 key people identified to connect with during my creation mode. Probably one a day so that I don’t get too distracted!
- My tribe…I will connect daily for a short amount of time. I enjoy those relationships, conversations, and checking in on their lives; taking one week off was a serious shock to the relational side of my soul.
- And last, but not least, I’ll continue personal development, just change who and what I’m taking in.
Here’s to hoping the extreme versions of Claire & Eeyore are gone until my kids hit puberty!