What is it about owning your own business that makes us think we should work ALL the time? Always be on call-- someone has a question, and feel guilty about sitting down at the end of the night to catch up on the last This is Us, etc. Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling I'm not the only one that feels so guilty for unplugging and not living and breathing my business.
What ends up happening, is I am constantly in 'work brain' and feel that constant pulling of my to-do list back to my desk. But then I feel guilty for missing out of spending down-time with Emerson & Michael. The laundry and housework starts building up, which also takes space in my brain, I have the hardest time being productive in a messy environment, and I'm not able to give anything in my life the full attention that it needs.
We should, in no way, ever feel guilty about our work hours having a beginning and ending time. In order to do something really well, we have to be able to get other things done as well. Trust me, I've tried doing this 'work until all the list is crossed off' thing, and let me tell you, there is ALWAYS more to be added to that list. (Now, there will be busier seasons, where your office hours may be extended, and that's okay- but that should not be you're entire life!)
I didn't come to this conclusion the easy way. Let me tell you, I never come to conclusions the easy way. It seems I always have to learn the hard way. ;) But, I'm tired of being burnt out, anxious, and stressed because I don't have enough time. One of my main desires is to do less and be more present and intentional with my time and my family, and working ALL the time is not the way to accomplish that.
I've started having set and hard boundaries with my business- which will look different for different seasons- but I will only be working on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am until 12pm, when Emerson is at school. With her switching schools, she is going from 5 full days to 3 half days, and I am going to be using her school time as my work time, and her home time, and the time we can do things together, read about fairies, make dinner together, and even fold that pile of laundry that has been sitting in the clean basket for way too long. At this season in my business, I am expecting to actually be more productive by limited my working hours so I can truly focus on one thing at a time. I am still able to answer emails, edit, and blog without being a slave to my to-do list. My clients are given my cell phone number, so if it's urgent, they know how to get ahold of me.
One of the key benefits to owning my own business is that I get to set up my work hours- I am not having to answer to someone else who wants me in front of my computer for the sake of my salary. I'm saying goodbye to the guilt of that and knowing that I will be blessed by putting my family first- even though I do love this job so much- my family comes first. If you struggle with this as well, I hope this helps put some perspective on things and you're able to unplug and enjoy your family as well.
Ashley Eiban is a wedding and portrait photographer based in Central Virginia. Serving Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke, and surrounding areas. Currently booking a limited number of weddings and portrait sessions for 2017. Available for travel world-wide.
Ashley is a firm believer in chasing your dreams and doing what you love! Ashley is passionate about capturing moments as they authentically happen to ensure a successful session that gives you time to enjoy each other and savor the wedding day moments. Contact me today for additional information!