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It's August, that means summer is at it's peak in the UK, and it also means holidays. Well for most people anyway. We get a little pang of jealousy every time we get an automatic e-mail reply that says 'I'm out of office for the next 10 days enjoying myself and eating all the tapas, but I'll get back to you when I can'.

That's the thing about running your own business, it's wonderful in so many ways but not being able to take a real day off is one of the sacrifices we seem to have made along the way.

Us being totally un-glam on hols with mum and dad

It's not really something you do consciously, give up days off, it kind of creeps up on you when you realise you haven't had one in a long time and that tends to be when you're feeling pretty worn out and generally not great. Why do we leave it so long, up to the point where we're suffering before we switch off and log off? 

sun, sea, checking sales data...

The one question that comes up really frequently and we always struggle to come up with a good enough answer is 'how do you switch off when you leave the office?' The answer is usually the same, just that we don't really. Take this post, I'm writing it at 22:20 just because it's been on my mind and I've been meaning to get it into a post for a few weeks.

Girl boss / Workaholic / Unicorn

It's not all bad don't get me wrong, we love working that's one of the reasons we started our own business but we're starting to think the term 'workaholic' is a little more serious than people think, including us. Oh and yes of course we go abroad, but the problem is really getting out of the office mentally. It's a double edged sword, we love Spectrum so much we want to work all the time, but we're starting to realise that's not healthy and if we're not taking time out to relax we won't be the best business women we can be.

Sort of relaxing, at least there's a prosecco...

Anyway, we're definitely not ones to moan - OK maybe a little - but instead we've been working on some ways to effectively save some precious time and maybe even switch off a little bit and we wanted to share them with you.

Value your time!

You're already limited for free time to meet friends, work out, do some life admin, so 'me time' is probably last on the list, I know it is for us. So don't go giving it away to people who don't deserve it. We find that a lot of meetings can be done over the phone, we've limited our time to really important ones, or first time meetings to start a relationship, as we started to feel we were constantly in and out of meetings and not getting any work done, so we'd end up working late, skipping the gym, skipping lunch etc. just to catch up on e-mails. The same kind of thing applies to every day life when you feel obliged to do things, if it's not something you want to do remember you can politely decline.

This also applies to scrolling! Limit it, it doesn't matter what everyone else is doing.

You need what you need, don't judge yourself for it... 

Sometimes I need to rest, sometimes I need to go out and let go, sometimes I need to go shopping, sometimes I need to cuddle up next to the doggie, sometimes I need a hug, sometimes I need to watch rubbish TV all night, sometimes I need to work late to feel better, sometimes I need 3 coffees, sometimes I need 3 espresso martinis....it's all good....within reason of course, no one needs more than 3 coffees.

Don't have a 'who's busier' competition with your friends, just sack of something less important and make time to have fun.

Life's far too short to spend it all working, yes I know, rich coming from the self confessed laptop addict but when we do take time out and spending it with friends, it's when you realise how easy it is to forget to have fun. So have more of it! When you don't have time to have fun, that's when it's really not worth the graft you're putting in. Don't work to live, live to work. We still have fun we promise.

That feeling when you're ugly laughing and loving it.


Be present and enjoy it!

This is something we find really hard, we're working 6 months to a year in advance all the time so we're never really focused on the here and now. The sad thing about that is time goes even quicker than you realise and before you know it it's Friday again, and yes we all love the weekend but then you blink and it's Monday and the cycle starts again, so stop waiting for Friday and enjoy every day.

Remember you can't control everything, but everything happens for a reason, so letting go isn't like giving up! This little quote says a lot so I wanted to include it just because.

So anyway, I'm down to 4% and going to leave it there, but here's a little homework...

I'm determined to take my own advice tomorrow...