57 Creative Ways to Enjoy “ME Time”

Burning the candle at both ends consistently leaves you with only enough energy to operate at 50% or less.

The best way to prepare to perform at peak levels when it counts is to take time off on a regular basis to rest, refresh and renew your mind, body and spirit. This is what I like to refer to as “ME time.”

What is “ME Time”?

The way I like to define it for my clients is simply a period of time during which you relax by doing something you enjoy. If it meets these three criteria, you are successfully engaging in “ME Time.” The key is finding what works for you.

Last week we wanted to know how you are finding creative ways to carve out time from your busy entrepreneurial schedule and asked -

What is YOUR SINGLE BEST personal, and creative example of “ME time” that you use regularly, which allows you to completely step away from your business and recharge?

The exciting news is that we did get some very creative and motivating strategies, and some pretty wild ones too.

To see what suites your fancy, read on…

Below you will find 57 wonderful examples of how successful entrepreneurs are taking time off to refresh and renew. Each person understands the importance of self-care, and the impact on their ability to deliver results in business.

Of the options, I am not sure I am ready to try a technology-free weekend yet, like Ally Piper does (Tip #53), but was really intrigued by the many creative tips including the idea of sitting with friends in a Tipi, like Jan McCarthy (Tip #45), creating “Shells of Influence,” like Mona Anita Olsen (Tip #51) or even racing a Ferrari around a track at 150 miles per hour, like Mandy Williams (Tip #27)!

Our sincere gratitude to the 57 entrepreneurs who shared the creative ways they take “ME Time” away from their businesses. Openly providing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

If you would like to contribute to the next post and get some free PR, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to discover this week’s question and find out how you can get involved.  We’d love to have you on a future post!

Enjoy!

1. Go Walkies

I have a lovely dog who sits with me all day long in the office everyday. If I find I am struggling with a task or need a bit of time away I grab his lead and we go for a walk. Just 30 minutes out of the office can make a big difference to my motivation levels and the exercise does me good too.

Thanks to Sarah Moore of Singapore Baby

2. My Circle Time Is Not Optional

I am part of a monthly women’s circle led by Andrea Bendewald (www.myenchantedcircle.com) which is the way I take time out for ME. Going to my monthly circle is not optional. It gives me balance and connects me with myself. At the circle we meet with intention, share (or not share) what is happening in our world, and disconnect from responsibility (and from my blackberry). We use a talking stick to speak, and there is no discussion or cross talk. It is all about the share and the spirit.

Thanks to Cyndi Finkle of Sunday Night Dinner

3. ME Time Is Shower Time

Simple and mundane as it sounds, ME time for me is time under the warm shower after the kids are asleep. I find the warm shower refreshing and soothing. I always look forward to having that time for myself every night.

Thanks to Bola Ajumobi of Slimy Bookworm

4. Your Creative Peak Time

Add a “creative assessment” to your weekly review. Think back to all the things you’ve done over the previous week. What were the most creative tasks you did? What time were you working on them? How did it go? What is a painful slog or a breezy jaunt? Make a note and compare your results week to week. Keep a log.

I’m not a huge fan of mixing work with self-assessment – there’s too big a shift in mindset needed to critically assess your work more or less as you’re doing it. Still, keeping a log of activities can help you reflect back, perhaps in your weekly review. You might also get some use out of automated time tracking tools like Slife, which can tell you not only what you were working on at any given moment but, with a little interpretation, how focused you were.

Thanks to Jacqueline Gikow of ChelseaRainbow

5. Run For My Life!

34 years, 3 months and 7 days ago I began running! I have kept running every day since then to clear my head and have alone time to think. I run every morning sometime between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. for 3.5 miles. Even if I am sick I run, just a little slower. In good weather and bad, I run. I have developed business plans, written speeches and books, and solved problems during these morning jogs. Plus, I stay healthier and in great shape and my mind stays creative. Running has given me more confidence and an opportunity to believe I can do anything. It also has allowed me to learn to trust my gut. If something in my business is not working my gut feels it and during a run the solution emerges. I won’t start the day without a run as it guarantees that the rest of the day will be amazing.

Thanks to Vicki Donlan of VickiDonlan

6. Schedule “Me Time”

I put myself on my schedule for “Me Time”. When I want a Eula Day, I schedule it. I don’t schedule any conference calls, production meetings etc. I just take a Eula Day. It may be to go to the movies, go get a manicure and pedicure, have lunch with friends or go to a day spa etc. I just schedule it and put Eula’s Day to do whatever I want to do. Unplug and relax.

Thanks to Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

7. “Me Time” In Your Model Week

With what seems like too few hours in the day, develop and follow a “Model Week”. Many business owners face constant interruptions, causing inefficiency and ineffectiveness. To stay focused on the task and get it done on time, take control over your time. Carve out uninterrupted time for each critical task and allow “open time” to handle everything else. Also include “me time”. Assign a staff person to help keep you on track. Carving out “open time” will help take your mind off the business during your allotted “me time”. It may be easier to stay on track if you remember that having time off where you do nothing related to business can be a key to business success. It can give your mind and body the break it needs to be refreshed and enable you to do a better job when you return to work.

Thanks to Nancy Butler, CFP®, CDFA, CLTC of Above All Else, Success In Life And Business

8. Tai Chi Makes Me A Better Businesswoman

I began to explore tai chi after using it as an example of focusing on an individual task in my time management teleseminar series. There are always people practicing it in the Luxembourg Garden, my favorite garden in Paris. Earlier this year, I decided to try tai chi for myself and have not regretted that decision a single day since then!

First thing in the morning, I do my 15-minute A.M. Practice. It is invariably the most tranquil and rejuvenating part of my day, and it helps me deal with things more serenely during the day. If I have the energy, I will do a 45-minute session in the evening before bed as well. It is not as physically taxing as yoga (at least at my level), and I have no difficulty falling to sleep immediately afterward. Tai Chi really does soothe body and mind!

Thanks to Monique Y. Wells of Understanding Time Management

9. Hang With People Who Have Nothing To Do With Work!

This may not be politically correct, since I’m encouraging you to drink, but one of the best ways I recharge is my standing date to hang with friends at a local pub on Friday nights. These friends are in no way associated with my business, and probably don’t even have a complete understanding of what I do. But we sit around, talk about our weeks, the latest political fiasco, tell funny stories and drink a few pints. And before I know it, 4 hours have passed, and the work challenges that were worrying me when I walked in the door have completely disappeared. We may not solve any problems, but we certainly do support each other in our efforts and truly enjoy the down time.

Thanks to Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk of BBR Marketing

10. PB & Me

Aside from exercise every day, my “me time” is around 3pm when I normally am hitting the creative wall. I literally stop working, grab a fashion magazine and a jar of peanut butter and sit in the sun if summer, stand in the kitchen, sit in carpool line…wherever and thumb through at least 1/4 of the magazine while munching on a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter for a “me pick me up” everyday!

Thanks to Jill Mikols Etesse of SmartyShortz.com

11. Go Treasure Hunting And Find Yourself!

When I need to decompress from work, I go geocaching. This is a hobby in which people hide and seek little containers of pseudo-treasure; as with life, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts. Through geocaching I’ve discovered the most breath-taking scenery and out-of-the ways places right in my own back yard!

The reason it’s so grand for decompression (besides the obvious benefits of being outdoors, exercising, and being away from the desk) is that it requires focus. To find the “cache,” you need to be alert and thinking. This often takes your mind along paths it hasn’t gone for a while — so as well as the renewal benefit, you may find yourself thinking more creatively when you do get back to work!

Learn more at geocaching.com. See you out on the trails!

Thanks to Jeannette De Beauvoir of Customline Wordware

12. Torchin’ It

I took a class in lampworking at an art school near me last year, and I loved it so much, I bought a torch, gas and a huge assortment of glass rods. I set up a little studio in my greenhouse, and I make time each week to make lampworked glass beads. It’s instant gratification; much faster than pottery or knitting, and as a bonus, I get to make fantastic jewelry with the results. It’s a great way to unwind for a few hours, and reconnect to my creative roots in a very visible, hands-on way. Since I am a writer, it’s a nice balance to working with words all week!

Thanks to Celia Milton of CeliaMilton.com

13. It’s All About The Me-Time

I would say my most personal and creative way of re-energizing my body, is to take a two-hour nap. I find that in the past when I was skipping my naps, I would be exhausted and not very easy to get along with. I didn’t have any energy and I was just drained. So taking a nap is a part of my daily calendar of my to-do list. I specifically place me time under my section of personal chores. This has worked miracles with me having balance, and I also go to bed most of the time by 10p.m. Find a regime that works for you and do it consistently because again, it’s all about the me-time. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be any good to anyone else.

Thanks to LaTersa Blakely of Baby Diaper Cakes & Beyond by LaTersa

14. Do It Yourself

“My Time” involves creating things for others. Right now, I am creating presents for friends who live in the Midwest. These will be made of beach debris, because I live on the Oregon coast. That means I must collect it. I get to walk through forests or climb rocks to get to the sand and ocean and breathe exceptional air quality. If I’m lucky, the seals and sea lions are barking or hunting in the vicinity.

Thanks to Jennifer Little of Parents Teach Kids

15. Lunch With Honey

There are many ways that I utilize my “me time.” I take two 20-minute power naps per week, take my kids to ballet, swimming, and karate lessons, and socialize at various conferences/meet-ups like TechAviv, 140Conf, Hatchery, and NY Entrepreneur Week. Despite all these being great relaxants throughout my workweek, I most look forward to having lunch with my wife. Once a week, on my wife’s day off, I take a break from work, and we have a nice lunch at a restaurant of her choice. The quiet time is great, and we get to spend some quality time together without the distractions of work or kids.

Thanks to Ian Aronovich of GovernmentAuctions.org

16. ME Time = Whee Time

When you carve time out for yourself, make it as far from work as you can — literally and figuratively. If you can only spare minutes, get outside. Breathe some fresh air. Attend to the show Nature performs for you daily. Or, put on rock music and dance, wildly. If you can afford longer breaks, read an engrossing book, make toffee, call a beloved friend, paint a watercolor, watch reruns of “I Love Lucy.” Truly, you are never too busy to escape from business and busyness — if only for moments at a time.

Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

17. Meditation Takes You Away

I’ve found the best use of “me” time is to sit quietly by myself and clear my mind as much as possible of any thought. I do this for about 20 minutes in the morning before I start my day and I find I can’t live without it. I think any amount of time in quiet meditation is helpful, even 5 minutes. I used to think I had to be doing something like fitness, or a spa procedure, or a weekend getaway to take care of myself. Those things have their place; however, just sitting still can be the most invigorating act of all.

Thanks to Laura Connell of For Those About To Shop

18. This Is A Puzzling Answer.

Two or three years ago my wife rented a little movie about crossword puzzles; the people who work them; and the people who make them. I was fascinated; working the Washington Post puzzle the next morning (I didn’t do very well!). I went online and started searching, finding the LATimes and USA Today puzzles. Today I work the Times & USA in the morning; a local paper at lunch; and the Post at night. Some days I do really well; the next day might be terrible.

The point is….my mind completely tunes out the rest of the world. But I have one non-negotiable rule — never allow myself to get competitive. This is definitely ‘Me’ time and I do not want anything to interfere with the total relaxation I feel when I raise my eyes and look back into the real world.
p.s. I do them in INK!

Thanks to Randy Morrow of Keller Williams Realty–Divorce Specialist

19. Time For Me Please!

“Me time” is not easy to find for anyone regardless of their situation. We are all trying to juggle life and it is not easy to find 5 minutes to just sit, but if you can find a pocket or pockets of time during the day to do something to just decompress it will make a difference. For me, my “me time” is different times during the day, I don’t get my “me time” all at once (I don’t want to be selfish haha!) My first pocket of time comes after my boys have gone to school, and if they are not in school, then before they wake up, I watch a little morning news, then I check Facebook and personal email. I also take time after I have finished my work day before my boys get home to have some quiet time, and then I end the day with watching mindless tv!

Thanks to Michelle Morton of Meet MichelleM.

20. Keep Moving!

Exercise–without a doubt! Whether it’s swimming (like now since it’s summer when I hit the pool), hula hooping (I just discovered the weighted ones from my daughter), dancing, walking, biking, yoga…It is something that I can’t opt-out of easily without noticing very quickly the deleterious effects to my body and mind.

Also, I often get some of my best ideas when I’m in my body and out of my mind!

Thanks to Jean Compton of JeanCompton.com

21. My “ME” Time

When I get to the point where I am overwhelmed and need a much needed break, I take myself on a date! During the 12 or one o’clock hour, on a Friday, I check Fandango to see what new movie is playing and catch the matinée. Then I treat myself to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. When I am done, I am relaxed and rested, ready to do work with fresh eyes and revitalized mind. It feels good when you can just up and leave when you need a break.

Thanks to Mattie Stevenson of Above & Beyond Marketing And Event Management, LLC

22. Spa Queen Of The Universe

I am VERY grateful that I work a short distance from my home for those long days that can occur at times in the frenzy of the “E-world”…I have “ME” time on a weekly basis at “home base” in a property that has a spa, a 32 person hot tub and 6 swimming pools… My best “thinking” and “creativity” happens then. The fountain of youth is real in Sunny Florida!

Thanks to Barb Kyes of ActionCOACH Pinellas

23. Play Your Troubles Away!

I find that playing video games keeps my mind engrossed on something other than my business for a fun 30-60 minutes. This is VERY important for my creative juices, as it keeps my mind refreshed and ready to tackle on all my business challenges once my break time is over!

Thanks to Adarsh Menon of Winning Stack

24. Walk To Your Own Time!

To get recharged, just take a walk! I’ve found that a daily routine of taking a brief walk at lunchtime serves several purposes, including exercise, disconnecting from the day’s stress and a chance to just think. The thoughts while walking can range from upcoming vacation plans to creative problem solving for when you get back to the job in the afternoon. Breathe deeply, walk briskly, and enjoy your ME time!

Thanks to Artie Lynnworth of Author,

25. “Me Day” Boosts Productivity

My ultimate tip for “me time” is to book a “Me Day” once per month (or more). I teach seminars all over the world and inspire business women and moms to book a “me day”. This is where NOTHING can get in the way of whatever it is you like to do. Sometimes that may be sit in bed and watch TV all day, or it may mean a trip to the spa. Booking “me day” under an alias, can ensure that nothing will pop up that gets in the way of YOU!

Thanks to Bonnie Bruderer of VISS International (The Vision Board Training)

26. Zen And Me On My Day Off From Work. :-)

I absolutely love going to the gym. Sometimes, I won’t even take my cell phone with me. I’m alone with my concentration and as corny as it sounds, I become one with my body. It’s almost like I’m reconnecting with myself. After the workout, I feel amazing, I’ll take a long shower, make myself a healthy meal, sit down and either watch a movie (no television) and surf the Internet.

Thanks to Jim Dailakis of Aussie Comedian/Actor

27. Escaping in a Ferrari at 150+ Miles Per Hour

When I need “ME time” I escape to the race track, where track days are wonderful, and Ferrari Challenge race weekends are even better. Think of racing as a high-speed chess game. Lots of strategy. Lots of quick thinking. You have to be 100% focused, because the wrong move could result in damaging the car and possibly hurting yourself and others. Talk about a total escape … because I am focused on learning the track, improving my lap times, and racing to the best of my abilities, I cannot think about anything else. My day-to-day life, and its problems and responsibilities, do not fit inside my helmet.

Thanks to Mandy Williams, Aka Black of Red & Black Books

28. My #1 Tip For Ultimate Me Time

As a full-time working mom, entrepreneur and multiple business owner, the #1 thing I do to care for myself is I set the alarm to wake before my kids, and meditate for 10-15 minutes. It’s nothing complicated or difficult. I simply sit in an upright position, close my eyes, and focus on my breath. It’s natural for your mind to jump around, but the key is to gently bring your focus back to your breath. It helps to breathe through any physical pains or distractions and try to let them go. If you can manage to do this even semi-regularly (I try for 5x a week), it will transform your life and business and help you focus on ANYTHING that you want to achieve. It makes me an infinitely better, more balanced mom/person, and helps me stay focused on my top business and personal goals

Thanks to Natalie Nevares of Mommywise

29. “I Get Very Hot When I Need To Cool Down.”

For ME time, I have started taking Bikram Yoga, which was introduced to me by my wife. Bikram Yoga is a 90-minute yoga class in a 105 degree room. The intense heat allows you to stretch more deeply. The reason this is the best form of ME time is because once the door closes, I am blocked out of the outside world. No cell phones allowed to sneak a text message; no talking allowed so no unnecessary small talk; no children calling me like when I’m in my home office. It’s just me, the 26 postures, and a great deal of sweat. When done right, practitioners leave more energized than when they walked in. I love it!

Thanks to Omekongo Dibinga of UPstander International

30. Take A Swim To Clear The Head

Lap swim. I try to get into a pool for 45 minutes at least three times a week. I also enjoy other forms of exercise as “ME time,” but I find swimming to be the most relaxing and recharging. Of course, taking a break to grab a cup of coffee or lunch with a friend, colleague or maybe even a new contact is a great way to break away from the daily routine.

Thanks to John Boyd of Meeting Wave

31. Beach-Time, Me-Time

I’m a life coach, yoga instructor and mom of three. So, when I get some me-time my favorite thing to do is to go to the beach. I live in LA – about 5 miles from the beach, but rarely get there unless I plan a special outing. So, when I do, I pack some sparkling grape juice, my blanket, journal, and go find a sweet spot. I toast myself, my life, my family, and all the things I love and let the waves lap up and surround me with joy. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes I call a good girlfriend to chat. I tell them with a big smile that I took them to the beach with me. Always I enjoy!

Thanks to Julie Zeff of Vivid Living

32. Sweating To The Video Hits

My best tip for ‘Me Time': buy a “cross-trainer” exercise machine for your home, then
position it in front of your TV and video player. If you do this, you’re then able to watch TV shows and films on your DVD player while you simultaneously do your exercise workouts.

This is a great break for your mind and body at the same time, especially since many of us otherwise never take the time to watch the films or television shows that we love. By combining both, you’ll be enjoying working out more…and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone!

Thanks to Tom Churm of Countdown Timer

33. Last Person Alive Without A Smart Phone

My husband has been wanting to upgrade my 2004, strictly-for-emergencies, cell phone for years now. He tries to entice me with new apps, mentions how I can use a smart phone for business, reminds me that my old phone costs just as much monthly as a new phone would. But I need the ability to get away from the internet on a regular basis and truly be disconnected from the online world of emails and online chats. When my son and I go to the park or the beach, I am not that mom who is glued to my phone checking emails and Facebook – and I’m actually proud of that!

Thanks to Brina Bujkovsky of Personalized Christmas Gifts

34. Game On!

This may sound silly to some, but I regularly unplug from the responsibilities of both my “day job” and book promotional efforts and plug into my laptop for a game of Madden Football. For a period of almost a year, this became a nightly ritual before sleeping. Video game football really is a mindless game that requires little in the way of concentration, planning, and effort. I can lapse into a fantasy role of being a coach and GM, and allow my brain some ‘down time.’ (No pun intended).

My typical work day is 9 hours of planning, organizing, coaching, etc. and then I spend several hours each night on the computer learning about publicity, media, and promotional opportunities. My wife likes to fall asleep to the glow of my computer screen, so football is a relaxing way to end the day.

Thanks to Jason Coleman of Discovering Your Amazing Marriage

35. Tickle Your Funny Bone

Laughter is the number one ingredient in my ME time. At some point in my day I find time to watch one of the million hilarious videos posted on the internet. To keep it fresh, I subscribe to Stumbleupon.com, where they send me a new “funny’ everyday. I also keep a database of videos that friends have posted on Facebook and Twitter, so I can quickly tickle my funny bone anytime!

Thanks to Jennifer Lee of Coach Jenn Lee

36. Quiet Before The Storm

For years, I have gotten up before the rest of the family to start my day with quiet and coffee. I write in my journal, keeping a pad nearby for list-making. I can quietly and calmly organize my day, and enjoy my coffee before any kind of rush or craziness begins. In the warmer months, I actually do this on my deck facing my beautiful backyard, but wherever I am, it works and I start the day feeling organized and calm.

Thanks to Diana Fletcher of Diana Fletcher Life Coaching

37. Giddy-up!!

I’m an animal lover, but the thought of getting on a 1,000+ pound horse and cruising around did not appeal to me. Around age 5, my daughters had a different opinion and they began English Saddle Seat riding; which quickly led to competing in the sport. I asked a daughter what she wanted for her birthday, and she wanted the impossible – Mommy riding horse! After many failed attempts to change her mind, I found myself taking horse back riding lessons so that I could ‘ride’ on her birthday. And I realized that I too love riding horses! There is nothing else that can make me have a singular focus and provide great relaxation. I made a commitment to myself to ride a horse once a week and it is a great gift for my mind and body!

Thanks to Tiffany Dodson of Liberty Tax Service

38. Reading Is The Best For ME Time

My main tip for “ME” time: I take time every day or two to read for fun – not business reading. During the Spring, Summer, and Autumn, I sit outside in a park or at a cafe. I love to read about politics, I read good mysteries, and I read biographies. I also read The New Yorker and New York Magazine every week. For me, reading is extremely relaxing and joyful.

Thanks to Bettina Seidman of SEIDBET Associates Career Coaching

39. Music Hooks, Line, And Sinker.

I already have a list of my favorite trance/progressive music, but what recharges my creativity, drive, and mood is listening to the music that sinks its hooks into my “self” that I can roll with on the inside. It’s something nobody has to see to happen. You just close your eyes and let yourself go with the music, and the music, particularly with me, the trance/progressive can really lift me up. (I’m fairly certain there is a separate uplifting category for the genre). Just create a list for each mood you’re in and use it when you have to. The hardest part is that you have to find these tracks while you’re already in these moods for them to be effective, because that’s when you associate the music with the feeling and it behaves like a trigger. The more you do it, the faster you bounce back.

Thanks to David Majlak of DIRT-FTW

40. My “At Home Battery Chargers”

To regroup and balance, I stay out of my car and off the road, helping keep energy levels high. A hot tub before my workday begins is luxurious and beneficial, I start my day kicked down a couple of notches. Swimming laps gets me in shape and mellowed out. It’s a great source of contemplation time. I play music while I cook dinner. It’s relaxing/recharging and serves as a nice transition from workday to evening. Opera, reggae, rock — depends on what I need. You can’t beat relaxing on a gravity chair with headphones. At the end of the day while lying in bed, a meditative soundtrack does the trick. Making sure I get my 8 hours sleep is the best gift I can give myself – the ultimate in charging my batteries. Keeping balance in mind, body and spirit is key to success in life and in business.

Thanks to Mark Zaifman of Spiritus Financial Planning

41. I Did It!

When I’m overwhelmed by my To-Do List and the thought of meditating, going for a walk around the block or taking a 15 minute lunch break feels like another pressure, I create an “I Did It! List!” I stop what I’m doing, take a deep breath, focusing on the words, “Yes I Can” with my in-breath and exhale my stress, worry and tension. Then I write (right!) a list of the tasks before me in the past tense (wrote my 3 blog posts; completed my expense report; followed up on proposals I submitted; picked-up dry cleaning; took a bubble bath). Writing in the past tense serves two purposes — first and foremost I begin to feel that, “Yes, I can do this, I did it!” and I get very clear about what I trust I can complete. My “I Did It! List” provides a simple breather and gets momentum in high gear.

Thanks to Susyn Reeve of Self Esteem Experts

42. Spinning To Sanity

I have a ‘ME date’ every morning with my spin bike. I turn up some good music and symbolically cruise away from all the stress the previous day brought in order to start my new morning fresh. With the release of all those exercise endorphins how can I not walk into the office with a smile and positive attitude?

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation

43. Ride It Off

As a small business owner, I do not get that much “ME Time” as the working process never stops for me. However, I still feel the need for time when I can let all the worries fade away as well as take all that everyday stress off my shoulders. As I am a quite energetic and out-going person, I have tried once to take the time off to pay a visit to a Roller Coaster park. I was a big fan of those when I was a kid, but never had enough time and courage to try out all of the rides. I started visiting Roller Coaster parks around 2 years ago and ever since I think that it is one of the best ways for me to get away from it all and get the real “ME Time”. Not only do I shake the stress off my shoulders, but also go back in memories to my childhood and feel as a kid again.

Thanks to John White of BestEssayHelp

44. Set The Date! Plan The Event!

No matter how I plan to relax, I make sure that I PLAN to relax! My downtime is as important as a call with my biggest client – so I block out a specific time for “Me Time” on my online calendar.

It is simply too easy to disregard “Me Time” when another event comes up, so I make specific plans. My favorite adventure is to go to the Art Institute of Chicago and have a sushi lunch – with my cell phone turned off!

An afternoon off is a luxury I can definitely afford!

Thanks to Joy Wilder of Wilder Office Approach

45. I Circle With My Friends In A Tipi

As a multi-entrepreneur of Ladies Who Launch LA & OC and Back 2 Our Roots, I stay busy from morning to night; coaching, teaching, creating, writing, talking, mothering, friending, FBking, emailing, being a wife, and I like it. But I also like doing things that are just for me. And one place I can “slow life” and not think about the pressures of life or the deadlines involved with my work, is to circle with my friends in a tipi once a month. At the Enchanted Circle, led by Andrea Bendewald, we gather in a grounded space to refresh and renew our spirits.

Thanks to Jan McCarthy of Ladies Who Launch LA & OC

46. Dancing My Way To A More Productive, Joyful Life!

I never had a hobby until I was 50 and, consequently, devoted all of my waking moments to building my PR agency, taking care of my husband who died after a prolonged illness, and fulfilling myriad obligations to professional and civic organizations. I was burned out and uninspired by my own life. I found my way to ballroom dancing through the help of a coach. The time that I spend at the dance studio three times a week has helped me to “reclaim” my life. During my lessons I’m fully “present,” focused on executing every dance step and figure. To dance well, you must be fully present – mind, body and spirit. No thinking about work or deadlines. Today, I’m a competitive ballroom dancer. Six years ago I co-founded another PR agency, which is even more successful than my previous firm. In pursuing a lifelong dream of dancing like Ginger Rogers, I found my way to unimaginable JOY! My advice is to pursue your JOY and it will take you places you most want to be.

Thanks to Patrice Tanaka of CRT/tanaka

47. Start The Day Peacefully

I do not take time away from work. The morning is my “Me Time”. I start earlier. After a nice morning shower, I enter my meditation room. There is quiet soft music playing. I dim the lights & do a few gentle stretches and then sit for a few minutes relaxing & listening to the music and taking it in.

I then turn down the lights completely so that the room is completely dark & I sit for 90 minutes meditating. After a soft quiet ding from my alarm, & the music coming back on, I gently open my eyes. Very slowly I move and stretch my neck, arms & legs & slightly turn up the lights. When I leave the room, my mind, body & spirit are totally refreshed & I am ready to sit at my home desk & handle each matter, one at time in a very soft & calm manner.

I love how my day starts.

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

48. A Busy Mind Trumps All

I’ve learned long ago that if I am still mentally connected to the business, the value I get out of time for myself greatly decreases. So on especially busy weeks, I do 2 things before I start “me time” whatever it may be: a 5-minute meditation, and this mantra: “I am at my best for me, my family, and my business, when I take good care of myself.” That helps me be truly present and get the most out of anything I do.

Thanks to Claudine Motto of Vistal Norte

49. Word Mole Come Out The Hole

I like to stay busy until I fall asleep. When I need to take a break and recharge I play word mole on my Blackberry. This allows me to stay sharp even in down moments. I like the challenge and the way it makes you think impromptu.

Thanks to Derrick Hayes of WOE Enterprises

50. ME, Who’s That?

So, I wish I had the magic answer to this question, but in reality, I think this is probably the downfall of many an entrepreneur. Now add mom (x two) and wife to that title and the challenge multiplies. The truth is, I should probably read this post back over a few weeks from now to remind myself of this priority, but as with most entrepreneurs, my downtime typically involves my business.

So, if I had to share my best advice, it would be to take a break from your typical surroundings on occasion. Some of my best designing and business planning come when I visit my local coffee shop or even a park, and just give myself a little “me” business time.

Thanks to Amber Schaub of RuffleButts, Inc.

51. Shells Of Influence

I started the “Shells of Influence” when living in Montauk, New York after college. I found that beach walks provided me with clarity of thought and creativity. I needed to find a way to keep that influence in my life no matter where my travels took me. I started to have visitors sign seashells and write out their purpose or motivation in life on a shell each year when they came to visit. 7 years later, I still have these shells in shadow boxes in my house and now they are also in my office in a wooden bowl. Everyone comes to my office also signs a shell–noting his or her words to live by. When I get my “me” time, I often go through the shells, remembering the lessons learned from others and reminding myself of the dreams and clarity I noted on my beach walks in 2004 and each year since.

Thanks to Mona Anita Olsen of iMADdu (I make a difference, do you?)

52. My Choice Of “Me Time”

I recommend scheduling “me time” on a regular basis. My personal favorites are to share time with friends with dinner and a movie, or enjoy an overnight at my favorite island location. Both of these are total distractions from the day-to-day work environment. They represent removal from responsibility to others for a brief time period, and permission to experience total bliss. The personal joy of allowing myself to look forward to these occasions, as well as totally enjoying them, helps me stay in the mindset of gratitude and appreciation for myself and others.

Thanks to Shirlie Taylor of Business Success Dynamics

53. Technology Free Weekends

A month ago when my cell phone became an extension of my arm and couldn’t to put it down – even on my birthday – I realized it was time to institute regular technology free time in my schedule. My Smartphone is a critical tool in the mobile business lifestyle my husband and I have created, but I’ve found that I can easily be too connected. Even when using the phone personally after hours or on the weekends, if I saw a new email in my work account I HAD to check it right away. Now my weekends are designated “technology free.” Each Saturday morning my husband takes my phone, turns if off and hides it. I’ve noticed that when my phone is returned to me on Monday morning, I not only feel recharged and excited to get back to work but I’m more creative since I’ve had a break.

Thanks to Ally Piper of Marketing in Bloom

54. Cowboy, Take Me Away

When I’m seeing cross-eyed from staring at the computer for too long, I take a break and “cowgirl up”. Yes, my boyfriend is a cowboy by trade, and frequently when they need help on the ranch, I get to go along with him (and I even get paid, too!). I’ve been a horse crazy girl since I can remember, and there is nothing like the smell of a horse, the trees, the cattle, the wind, the sun, the heat, the rain…..I don’t care what it is, I’m there. Even though I’m working, it is still me time, because I love it so much.

Sometimes the days are long…..like 8-10 hours in the saddle, but honestly, there is nothing like working horseback and living the western lifestyle. It’s what keeps me young, in shape, and wears me out enough that sitting at my computer the next day seems like a vacation!

Thanks to Theresa Sheridan of Theresa Sheridan Designs

55. Waves Of Release

When I need to really think, clear my head, resolve an issue, or get away, my place of refuge is to sit on the beach and listen to the sound of the waves. I just clear my head of all thoughts and listen to the waves. Before long all the confusion, jumbled thoughts, or weighty issues have all melted away. Sometimes I close my eyes and listen to the sound of the waves, and other times I just stare out into the ocean and listen to the sound of the waves. Before long everything begins to resolve itself. Soon things that were muddled become crystal clear, issues that I could not figure out are resolved, and I have a new purpose and energy to go forward.

Whether I go alone or go with my wife, I just need that quiet time at the beach to recharge and refresh. It works every time I go.

Thanks to Lynndel Edgington of Eagle Research Associates, Inc.

56. Grab A Hot Choccie

When I’m feeling super tired, stressed and need a few moments to myself I hover over to one of my favourite places on earth. No, it’s not a grand hotel or high-priced spa (I’m too frugal for lavish treats), but a quick trip to my favourite coffee house. I just love a warm cup of yummy hot chocolate! Whilst sipping my hot choccie, I take time to think about life, business and everything in between. It gives me instant relief from my typical routine and is a quick, cheap and effective way to get some ME TIME and I’d highly recommend other business owners to do the same.

Thanks to Victoria Olubi of My Curls

57. Take Me To The River

As a professional organizer specializing in working with chronically disorganized clients, often my clients are overwhelmed and living with lots of chaos. I’m completely focused on their needs when we’re working. It is essential that I regularly recharge so that I have energy for them, my family, friends, business and self.

I spend time by the river almost daily. Sometimes I’ll sit on a bench, rock or in my car. Other times I might walk, write, or have a snack. Being by the water, watching the movement of the ripples, seeing animals move about and feeling the breeze and warm sun all lets me just be. It helps me to be present, focus on the beauty that’s around me, breathe and be grateful. It makes me feel connected to something larger, calms me and gives me energy to move ahead.

Thanks to Linda Samuels of Oh, So Organized!



Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your “Me Time” tips! We hope to hear from you again.

If you are new to the Question of the Week and would like to get involved, simply follow the link below to get started. We’d love to have you share your knowledge and experiences here too, and get a bit of PR in the process.

This week’s question is -

Biggest Risk – Best Payoff

Taking calculated risk is a large part of starting and growing a business, and it comes in many different shapes and sizes. If you are the type of person who cringes at the thought of taking chances, entrepreneurship will push you to stretch your wings from time to time. This week we’d love to hear your best story.

What is the SINGLE BIGGEST RISK you’ve taken in your business, and how did it really PAY OFF in a BIG WAY?

Why should I join the discussion?

Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.

How do I get involved?

Every Monday I will post a new Question of the Week. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your expertise to the table. Using the link below, please submit a one paragraph response before the deadline, and the following week I will share our community responses on my blog.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR RESPONSE

I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!

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4 Comments

  1. Posted August 15, 2011 at 9:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    What fantastic suggestions. I wrote many down and will use them for my next “Me Time” Blessings to all.

    Eula

    • Posted August 15, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your wonderful contribution this week, Eula! Yes, there are so many great ideas here, and many new things to try. :)

  2. Posted August 15, 2011 at 7:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Shannon, I have come to look forward to Mondays so I can see what people have written and gets ideas to apply to my own life.

    There are some brilliantly creative people out there. Thanks for bringing them together.

    • Posted August 15, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Randy! So glad you are finding these posts as valuable as I do. Imagine how exciting it is for me to see the amazing responses rolling in each week. :) Thanks again for adding your gems to the mix.

19 Trackbacks

  1. […] Psychologist Dr. Shannon Reece recommends using your ‘me’ time as a period of time in which you relax and do something you […]

  2. […] Regular “ME” Time – I often talk about the importance of taking “ME” time, because when your fuel tank is on empty, you are no good to anyone. Those who continuously burn […]

  3. […] If you are looking for some ideas of how to spend “Me Time” be sure to check out 57 Creative Ways to Enjoy “ME Time” […]

  4. […] If you are looking for some ideas of how to spend “Me Time” be sure to check out 57 Creative Ways to Enjoy “ME Time” […]

  5. […] Regular “ME” Time – I often talk about the importance of taking “ME” time, because when your fuel tank is on empty, you are no good to anyone. Those who continuously burn […]

  6. By Mobile Apps for Mobile Entrepreneurs on September 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

    […] can stay connected (though not on the weekends as I shared on Dr. Shannon Reece’s blog recently – I’m tip #53) and literally have my business at my […]

  7. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  8. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  9. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  10. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  11. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  12. By Small Business Path to Innovation on August 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

    […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  13. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business., You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  14. […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business? You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

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    […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business., You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  17. By Small Business Path to Innovation on August 18, 2011 at 4:30 am

    […] The importance of creative personal time. Want to be innovative and creative in your small business., You won’t get there by working all the time. Commitment is great–and important–but so is getting away sometimes to recharge your batteries. So how exactly do you do this and how does it feed into your business endeavors? Dr. Shannon Reece […]

  18. […] Dr. Shannon Reece: 57 Creative Ways to Enjoy “Me” Time. Mine is #17. […]

  19. By Inspired Life Advice: “Me Time” « Susyn Reeve on August 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

    […] was recently asked, by Dr. Shannon Reece, for creative advice about how to carve out “Me Time” in a busy schedule.  My response […]

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