We have previously discussed how radical self-care for sex coaches is vital to our careers. The nature of this work involves energy exchange and providing support in multiple ways to our clients. We know we can’t give from an empty cup, and practicing self-care ensures that we have the capacity to give what is needed from us.
A less romantic and more concrete aspect of self-care is time management. While it’s not always fun, it is preventative and creates a foundation for all other forms of self-care. The combination of a running your own business and working as a helping professional makes time management a vital skill for sex coaches.
This year, so many of us were thrown into the work-from-home-life with no warning. More of us than ever now understand the challenges and perks of this work style. Everyone’s working life as a sex coach will vary, but there are things you can do to alleviate the potential downfalls of running your business from home.
One of the ways to alleviate potential overwhelm is the idea of getting things on “paper” and out of your head. I think of it almost as a meditative practice. Plugging in my obligations, tasks, and due dates into various programs in order to keep them from fogging up my brain feels freeing. As I schedule in my upcoming meeting, I know I will be reminded of it and the thought of it leaves my mind until then, freeing up brain space and lessening my overall stress.
There are so many apps and programs out there to assist you in this. Find one (or a few) that you love and stick to it! Personally I use one program for my calendar, and one for tasks. I load all recurring obligations at the beginning of the month, and then include random events as they are scheduled. The app sends me notifications 30 minutes prior, and I can easily view it anytime. For my tasks, I organize them into category lists and include due dates. I’m sent reminders for these, as well.
Utilizing these different programs is what prevents my mind from constantly going over everything I need to get done, and all the places I have to be. Preemptive organization can do wonders for stress and overwhelm, and leave space in your energy to devote to clients.
Establishing routine is another key element of time management. Everyone’s routine will look different, the important piece is having a routine that feels good. The specific segments of your routine will reflect your energy throughout the day.
In order to make a routine work for you, you must practice some self reflection and mindfulness. Start noticing when your energy gets low, and when it’s really up. What lights you up and gets you moving? What fills you with joy? Use this information to adjust your routine. For example, I used to practice yoga in the mornings shortly after waking up, and exercise in the evenings. I started noticing that I felt too energized to get that sweet zen feeling from yoga in the morning, and I felt way too groggy to get that buzz from my workout in the evening. I decided to swap them in my routine and voila! Desired results achieved.
This is how cultivating the skill of time management lays a foundation for thriving in your career. It’s more than calendars and tasks, it’s creating a safe container for yourself much like we do for clients.
Creating a Balance
On the flip side of meticulous scheduling and planning, it’s equally as important to prioritize rest. At the heart of managing time lies an effort to create balance. For practicing sex coaches, our job relies on our ability to create safe and clean containers for our clients. This means we have to pay attention to our energy.
Time management is energy management.
I recommend intentionally scheduling rest time. Naps, an hour of reading, or meditation in the middle of the day are all applicable. Whatever you have found truly relaxes you, make sure your schedule includes time for that. Create intentional space between meetings, client sessions and your various trainings to rest and recharge. When it’s “penciled in,” we’re less likely to feel guilty for spending time that way.
Two very common problems with working from home are being sedentary and a lack of separation from work. Basically, we sit for too long and feel like we’re constantly working. One way to remedy this is to schedule some sort of body movement at the end of our work day. It can be anything as long as it gets you up and moving for a while. This can help create the sense of ending your work day, and it gets your body moving.
Managing your time is an act of setting and enforcing boundaries with yourself and your career.
The goal of time management is to create a homeostasis for your working life. Rather than high ups (working yourself into overwhelm), and low downs (not getting anything done), we strive to cultivate our life in a way that is designed for us to thrive.
Time management is a skill and habit. This means it can come more naturally to some of us than others. I encourage you to be gentle with yourself regardless. It’s easy to fall into shame cycles when you try to build new habits—and shame cycles are completely counterproductive.
If you know for a fact you are not the type to wake up before the sun and go for an hour long run before work, don’t push yourself to do that! Try different things that feel good and functional to you, until you find something that clicks.
Managing time is something that makes us feel in control of our lives, helps us be more productive, and prevents burnout and overwhelm. It’s a necessary skill, but when it’s taken to extremes can lead to shame. Be easy and gentle with yourself, always. Your efforts will benefit both you and your clients.