Put yourself first. Yes, you.
Simple, yet powerful, right? Those of us in the promotional products industry know how draining the grind can be, especially during this busy travel season many of us on the supplier side have just experienced. My distributor friends, who are just now wrapping up the back-to-school push and are already focused on holiday sales, know what I’m talking about, too.
You are selling. You are facilitating orders. You are traveling. You are running meetings. You are a parent. You are a friend. You are a relative. You are everything!
And truth be told, you probably need a break. The good news is, it'll make you better at your job when you return.
In this fast-paced world we live in, and especially in this busy industry that requires so much, it is too easy to lose sight of yourself, your needs and the fact that you matter. We go at breakneck speeds to close deals, and to execute everything life throws at us. We are so busy taking care of everything and everyone else that we forget to do the most important thing, the thing that allows all of those plates to keep spinning – taking care of ourselves.
This may seem odd coming from a guy who some know for creating a personal brand on social media, but I am often way too guilty of putting me last.
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It was recently brought to my attention that I had not taken a day for just myself in over six months. Now, I’d taken a few vacation days for taking care of my kids, for visiting family, and for spending time with close friends. But truly those were all focused on them and their experiences, happiness and well-being.
As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It took a loved one pointing out to me that my cup was bone dry to even realize how spent I actually felt. Initially I was in denial, but when I sat back and reflected on that conversation, I knew that they were right.
I actually had not had a taken a “me day” in forever, and it was long overdue. I’m proud to say that I made full use of last week’s vacation to recharge myself and refill my cup.
That doesn’t mean I spent it alone in some yoga pose chanting self affirmations. But I did what I wanted: I spent quality time with my kids. And we did fun kid stuff. Of course they enjoyed it, because we went to an amusement park. But because I left all my work concerns behind and allowed myself to truly unwind and just enjoy the time with them, it was the perfect way to refresh myself after a busy summer. It's what I needed.
A full week off is great, but you can fill your own cup in even less time than that. Take the day off – I don’t mean a Saturday or Sunday filled with the usual house work or hustle to games and recitals – but an honest off day during the regular workweek, and disconnect.
No work calls, no emails, no social media; just spend time doing something you love. It could be family time. But it could also be a guilt-free spa day, or sleeping in and taking yourself to lunch and a movie. Maybe it’s just laying in bed all day doing nothing.
Whatever it is, you owe it to yourself. And because it will make you better once you’ve done it, you honestly owe it to your clients and colleagues, too.
Never lose sight of yourself, who you are, the things you enjoy and care about. After all, there is just one you.
No matter how much we may want to clone ourselves to be even more productive, that’s not happening. The good news is that refreshing yourself is a productivity hack of the highest order.
As hard as it may be, make a promise to yourself that you will take time for yourself. I challenge you to mark it on the calendar – maybe even make it a monthly or quarterly routine.
More importantly, I challenge you to be honest with yourself about your empty cup, before someone else notices first.
Pospisil, MAS, is a national account manager at supplier Hirsch, ranked as the No. 12 supplier on the 2023 PPAI 100. He made his debut on the PPAI #Online18 list of the industry’s best follows on social media in 2023.
Written by Josh Pospisil, MAS
Published with permission from PPAI