The Lightbulb Podcast

Join Guernsey girl, Martine, for a weekly creative chat where she shares resources, actionable ideas and the occasional knowledge bomb (!) This podcast is for artists, makers and creative business owners interested in marketing, social media, business and technology. The Lightbulb Podcast is available to download and subscribe to in iTunes and other podcast directories.
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May 5, 2017

The one where I remind you to look after yourself.


Welcome to episode 43 of the Creative Me podcast. Today I'm talking about self-care for the self-employed.  

What I'm going to say today isn't anything new. You've heard this all before. But I think it's a really important reminder.

About Me

Let me tell you a bit about me because I think it'll put the reason for this podcast episode into context.

I work half of my week as a lecturer at our local further education college. My job is teaching teachers. I run our initial teacher training programme, and also I train my teaching colleagues to use technology in the classroom.

I work Monday all day, Tuesday afternoon and evening and Wednesday all day.

This means I have Tuesday morning (when I should be resting), as well as Thursday and Friday all day to work on my own business. If I'm honest, I've been working Saturday and Sunday too...

My husband pointed out to me that this is not OK. Hence the reason for this podcast episode.

Here are my top tips for looking after yourself when you are self-employed:

Schedule Rest Time

First up, it's controversial: schedule rest time. Don't work all weekend. Rest is different to sleeping, by the way!

Take Breaks

Schedule short breaks.

If you were working in an office environment, and working for someone other than yourself, you would absolutely make time for breaks: one in the morning, one in the afternoon (either side of a lunch break).

Go Outside

I tend to lose focus around 3 pm, so I walk the dog.

Movement is important, particularly if you sit at a computer all day. It helps focus too.

Plan Your Day Around Your Focus Levels

Planning your day around your most focused time is also a really good strategy for self-care because you maximise the time that you are working.

So, if like me you're way more focused and energetic in the morning, get the bulk of your work done. If you're more of a night owl, flip things round.

As long as you are scheduling breaks and rest time, this can work well.


Drink 2 litres of water a day.

Most of us work in a state of dehydration and dehydration is bad for you. It gives you headaches and can make you feel quite unwell.

If you really don't like drinking plain water infuse your water with fruit or herbs.

MIT Strategy

My final tip is essentially a productivity tip, but it relates to self-care because it's all about not placing too high an expectation on yourself.

Exercise the MIT ("most important task" strategy. Identify your most important task or tasks for the day (3 maximum) and work on these. 

You still need a trusted place for other to-do items (get them out of your head and onto paper or virtual paper). But your day plan should fit on a post-it note!

For the Weekend Side-Hustlers

Get up earlier, work during your commute or sacrifice some Netflix time in the week.

By doing this, you can reclaim so rest time at the weekend and be ready for the following week.

Let's Discuss

If you'd like to discuss this topic more, chat with me and a group of lovely people in The Lightbulb Club.

Achieve Inbox Zero

I'll be raising the price of my (currently free!) online course Achieve Inbox Zero on 1 June 2017. So If you've not done the course, get in there fast. Feel free to tell your friends too.