It happened again yesterday.
All of the planned projects, plus unexpected curve-balls, were mounting as we ticked off the days toward the end of the year when our company takes a break – full stop – for 10 days.
I could feel my breath speeding up. I could feel my shoulders creeping towards my ears. I could feel my patience with my kids diminish as my irritation level increased.
I felt like I had way too much to do and way not enough time to do it in.
But I had a workout scheduled that day. And, when I asked my body what she needed, she said she needed to move.
(With Mike’s illness and my being the primary parent and primary breadwinner of late, something had to give, and it was exercising. But with Mike’s health improving and his being able to be with the girls more, my body has been craving movement.)
I really wanted to cancel. I felt like everything I had on my list was way more important than moving my body. I was very much in the loop of “every waking moment while I have childcare must be spent working because I have so much to do.”
I know this particular loop well. I know that when I get into this place, not only do I not feel my best, I also don’t do my best work (nor am I particularly pleasant to be around).
Thankfully, I remembered something.
I’ve been trying out a new mantra over the last few months:
I even made a short video for you about it.
In the moment, I never think that tending to the needs of my body when I have a lot of work on my plate is a good idea.
But I’ve developed the practice of doing it even though my monkey mind thinks it’s a bad idea.
Yesterday, just like every other day, it worked.
I went to my workout. I moved my body, just as she’d asked.
I felt amazing afterward. I was positive. I was energized. I had tremendous mental clarity.
I sat down at my desk, got my work done, and enjoyed doing it.
I had a set of video scripts to edit and insert case studies into. While I thought that task would take me the whole day (and it very well may have if I hadn’t heeded my mantra), it only took half of the day and I was able to check some other items off the list, too.
It’s the weirdest thing, but whenever I prioritize what my body needs, I save time. And I get more done.
Logically, it seems that when I take time away from work to take care of my body, I will get less done because I have less time to work.
But the opposite is true.
I get more done in less time because I’ve taken care of what matters most first.
(You don’t have to lose your health or have someone close to you lose theirs in order to realize how you really have nothing when your health goes…and I’ve had the inconvenient privilege of standing by my husband as he’s battled with this very thing over the last 8 months.)
Body first, business second.
When I live this way, not only does my body get what she needs, my business does, too. It takes discipline to avert my inner drill sergeant who wants me to work, work, work, work, work every single time, but every single time I drown out the drill sergeant and turn up the volume on my body, it works.
(By the way, taking care of my body first doesn’t always mean a workout. It might mean a nap, making a nourishing meal in the middle of the day, going to the osteopath, or lying down on the floor for 15 minutes.)
When I put my body first and my business second, I save time. I take care of my health. I’m happier. And I get more done.
I hope you’ll consider giving it a go, too. Your body and your business will thank you.
How could you put your body first and your business second? What happens in your life when you practice this? What happens when you don’t? Let me know in the comments!
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