When I used to work in the corporate world as an employee, I did not hesitate to take a sick day when I had a cold. I enjoyed my time off on weekends. I took every moment of vacation time available to me.

However, things changed when I went out on my own:

After I left the corporate world and started my own business, I became the marketing person, the bookkeeper, the social media expert and every other position needed to run my business.  In the beginning, everything was great. As time went on, however, I started to feel overwhelmed.

Knowing that feeling overwhelmed all the time wasn’t doing anything for me or my business, I had to accept the fact that I could not do everything that needed to be done to grow my business, and I needed to take time off to relax and refresh in order to run my business more effectively.

Setting some boundaries, giving myself time off and starting outsourcing tasks:

The most powerful decision I made was this: I decided to do what I was best at and put all my focus into that area of my business.  In my business, I cook, create recipes, teach, and network. Those are not only the things I’m good at, but also things I am passionate and get excited about.

Anything that didn’t fall into one of those categories got outsourced. I have outsourced my business’ marketing and social media, my bookkeeping/tax, and video editing, as those are all tasks I have no interest in and do not do well anyway.

Finally able to nail down a schedule that works for me:

I created a schedule that works for me and keeps me on track.  Having one agenda/calendar where I schedule both professional and personal time, so nothing overlaps and I don’t end up double booked or overextended has been HUGE for me.  I found that I like to work in the morning because it’s when I am the most productive. Knowing this allows me some balancing options, and I have chosen to leave my evenings open to be with my family.  If I have the opportunity to attend an evening event, I limit it to two nights a week, and keep the remaining evenings reserved for me and my family time.  On weekends, I may do some work, but it is always intentional and scheduled into my agenda ahead of time.

So what do I do with the extra time outsourcing gives me?

And I started taking vacations and time off or away from my business.  It is very important to me to take a couple of weeks off without thinking about my business and just relaxing.

Sure, that means prep work with my business partners ahead of time. And yes, I’m never 100% out of the office. Any work time that needs to happen while I travel is intentionally planned out and noted in my agenda to provide me with balance.

But taking time off for me and my life outside of my business, gives me time to give my mind a rest.  It means unplugging from social media. It means connecting with my family on a personal level, spending time together having deeper conversations, eating as a family and doing things together.  When I am back to work I feel refreshed, rested and my mind is clear to start again.

It’s a powerful feeling. There is no doubt in my mind that this time away makes me more productive in the long run that I would be without it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Think outsourcing might be the next move for you, but not sure what you could outsource? Know that you need time back, but can’t figure out where to begin? Check out the replay of our Fempire LIVE with guest contributor, Anne-Marie Gabrini of K+A Personal Concierge, where she gives us 5 Things We Can Outsource in our Day-to-Day Lives.