Doing something you love for work is one of the greatest privileges barriers as an entrepreneur. However, passion can turn to obsession when you find yourself unable to switch off and therefore teetering on the edge of entrepreneurial burnout.
Alexandria Maria is a recovered perfectionist, breakdown survivor, corporate escapee and now, an Empowerment Coach and Business Mentor. Her mission is to reignite the spark within thousands of women, to reconnect them with their true desires and make their dream life and career their reality.
Her coming home began following a breakdown she experienced in her corporate career as a broker. Her breakdown became her breakthrough, as she realized how unhappy she was with the life she had created. She ripped up the rule book, left her corporate job and decided to create her own path. She has since been featured on the BBC, Telegraph Luxury and more as an inspiring entrepreneur, in addition to being shortlisted for Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2019) & Start Up Business of The Year (2019), as well as taking part in Dragon’s Den.
But it’s hard right? How do you switch off from the thing that you love when it’s your responsibility? Here are Alexandria Maria’s top tips she has learnt in her 5 years as a female founder and as a business coach.
Be okay with your to-do list never being finished
Clients aiming for a perfection that doesn’t exist- which makes it super hard to switch off. One of these forms of perfection is trying to clear your entire to-do list. The reality is, if you have a growing business there is always going to be things constantly added to your to-do list.
Instead of learning how to clear a never-ending to-do list which, plot spoiler, is near impossible- the key is learning to be okay with not everything being done and prioritising what is truly important. This means breaking up with the narrative that everything is ‘urgent’- from this space we are constantly reacting rather than standing in power as a leader. Therefore, learn to be okay on Friday if you haven’t managed to clear everything off your to-do list- it’s not a reason to not take the weekend off.
Take a digital detox
The power of digital detoxing goes way beyond being able to declare smarmily to your social media followers that you went 24 hours without checking Instagram. We become addicted to the constant ping of our phone- whether it’s Whatsapp, Instagram or e-mails, and this can make it very hard for us to switch off.
A great way to truly allow yourself to switch off at the weekend is to simply switch off your phone. Use this time to reconnect to yourself- maybe go for a walk in nature (which is proven to lower stress), reignite a hobby that you haven’t done for a while or spend time with the people you love being fully present. This is also a powerful exercise in showing us again how reactive we are to our phones and how we can start to release the attachment.
Have clear boundaries
Having boundaries is super important as an entrepreneur. Make it clear to clients and customers that they won’t be receiving a response from you at weekends to ensure that you’re not being chased. This might mean setting out clear boundaries at the start of your relationship or having an auto response at weekends letting people know that you will get back to them on Monday.
Set your intentions
Going to your weekend with a clear intention of switching off and with a clear intention of where you want to be focusing energy, be it on friendships, on yourself or reconnecting to nature. Setting the intention and being able to come back to it during the weekend will ensure that you stay on track when you get tempted to get back into emails or ‘just finish’ that last piece of work off.
Taking time to switch off isn’t just an act of self-care for you, it is an act of care for your business. If you really must work on the weekends, ensure that you only work one day, so that you can have a full day off to restore. And if you’re still struggling, remember you’ll be much fresher come Monday to tackle the things that need doing after a proper break