For 30 years, Sabrina Cadini excelled and won awards as an event and wedding designer and planner. She pushed herself hard. Too hard. Before she knew it, Cadini was in the throes of entrepreneurial burnout.
“Owning a business is very rewarding, but it also brings big responsibilities,” she said. “There are challenges, disappointments, failures. When you add the fact that you always put your work, your profession in front of everything else — yourself, family, friends — things become even harder. They can negatively impact your life — and your health.”
Cadini talked with social media consultant Madalyn Sklar about how work-life balance can help create a healthy, productive life on and off the job.
A specialist on Twitter, Sklar asked why work-life balance is important for entrepreneurs who tweet.
“Twitter is the perfect platform to connect and engage, thanks to its brevity,” Cadini said. “With 280 characters, you can chat with anyone at any time. However, this can cause stress if you don’t know how to set limits.
“You should be more mindful with your time and make sure you set a realistic time frame when you’re on Twitter listening, engaging, asking and responding,” she said. “Your brand or company counts on you. Take care of yourself before everything else. For me, life comes first. Then work can get done.”
Cadini said that, besides setting boundaries with clients, balance starts in the body.
“Entrepreneurs lead incredibly busy lives,” Sklar said. “You have to learn to juggle work-life balance with social media, including Twitter.
“Make time for tweeting, but also make time for you,” she said. “Don’t stress yourself with Twitter’s fast pace. Sometimes we need to slow down.”
Cadini offered daily self-care principles for social media users as a foundation for work-life balance:
- Eat more healthy, whole and natural foods that provide the right energy and sharpness to work – and drink your water.
- Sleep at least seven to eight hours every night. This is when your brain regenerates and gets rid of the toxins we accumulate during the day. You’ll be more focused and productive the next day. You can accomplish more in less time. That constant boost you need from coffee might be a sign of chronic sleep deprivation. Catching up on the weekend, unfortunately, won’t fix it.
- Exercise and be active every day. When you move, happy hormones are released, and you increase blood flow to your body and your brain. Exercise is not only to look good. It provides far more health benefits that can improve your business performance and results.
- Take care of yourself every day, even if just for a few minutes. Always take breaks during your workday.
“Self-care involves habits and strategies for a healthy lifestyle and stress management,” Cadini said. “It’s not just a luxury day at the spa or a shopping spree as many people think.
“Stop feeling guilty for practicing self-care,” she said. “It’s necessary to your body and mind to thrive and function optimally. It’s not a sign of weakness or laziness.”
Besides eating healthy and getting enough sleep, Sklar urged those in a rush to slow down and “focus on what brings you joy. Take time to relax. Twitter will be there waiting for you. Take care of yourself first.”
Indeed, Sklar and Cadini agreed that busy marketers must create a regular schedule of self-care.
“Include you in your busy schedule, and write it down,” Cadini said. “Don’t pretend to ‘remember’ your to-do list. Your personal needs will inevitably be pushed down that list. By the end of the day, you won’t have time for them.
“Treat yourself in the same way you treat your very important clients,” she said. “Stress and neglect can lead to health issues. If you’re not there for your business, who will be?”
In other words, put the mouse down, and nobody gets hurt.
“Limit your time in front of a screen,” Cadini said. “Social media may never sleep, but you need to be able to stop.
Sklar prefers to set a schedule for herself.
“I check it first thing in the morning and then again in the afternoon and then later in the evening,” she said. “I may visit it when I have free time throughout the day. Find what works for you.”
A social media strategy can support the self-care principle of “owning your life.”
“It’s taking charge of your life,” Sklar said. “You are the boss. You are in charge. You do things on your terms. Develop a Twitter strategy that works around this.”
Cadini advocates a unified approach.
“There’s a tight connection between body and mind,” Cadini said. “They should be considered as a system, not as two different entities. I help my clients create an optimal cycle to gain control of ‘own their life’ personally and professionally.
“When you follow daily self-care principles, you will feel better,” she said. “You will have more energy. You will be more productive. You will complete your business tasks and projects in less time. You will serve your customers and clients better.”
The result will be an improved mindset.
“This will boost positivity and happiness,” Cadini said. “Your body and mind will be more receptive and perform better.
“The results will show in your Twitter strategy,” she said. “You’ll have more focus, strategic time management, and better engagement.”
Business owners should complete a daily minimum of Twitter tasks that won’t jeopardize their self-care.
“Develop a Twitter schedule that gives you flexibility,” Sklar said. “You do not have to be on it 24/7. Having a plan will help you stay on top of your self-care.”
Cadini reinforces her social self-help by being authentic and engaging with her audience.
“Doing that daily can be a huge booster for your positivity and happiness,” she said. “The activity can benefit your overall wellbeing: You create relationships and stay connected with your community.”
Her first tip is not to be on social media first thing in the morning.
“Even if this is your job, you need to be the priority,” Cadini said. “Have breakfast to nourish your body and mind. Engage in activity to energize your system. Read or get inspired by a podcast for creative ideas for your brand. Spend time with your family. Then get to work.
“You don’t need to wake up hours earlier to fit all that in,” she said. “If you are properly nourished, rested and recharged, you can to do all that and more in less time than usual.”
Cadini also suggested assigning one day of the week to work on a Twitter calendar and schedule tweets.
“That results in less stress,” she said. “That leaves more time to focus on real-time engagement with your audience during the day.”
Business owners can use a “golden hour” to boost their Twitter marketing productivity.
“Your golden hour is a period of time when you are extremely productive and able to accomplish more than usual,” Cadini said. “This could be one hour, as the term says, or more like two hours.
“It has a lot to do with your circadian rhythm, which regulates your sleep or wake cycle, and your habits,” she said. “Once you know your most productive time of the day, you should take advantage of it. Assign the most intensive activities during that time for better.”
Entrepreneurs can readily find their golden hour for Twitter marketing.
“An easy way is to track your time for about a week and look at the patterns,” Cadini said. “What do you get done and in how long?
“You may actually find that you are most productive at a certain time, and more creative at a different time in your day,” she said. “Use that information to your advantage for brilliant results in your Twitter marketing.”
Among her own business tactics, Sklar relies on a time tracker.
“I use a tool called Toggl that tracks my time,” she said. “I use it all day while I’m working. It’s an amazing way to keep track of the time you spend on projects and little things. You’ll find your ‘golden hour’ in there. It’s free.”
An assortment of tools can help improve Twitter productivity and support work-life balance.
“I love technology when it can help us optimize our time, but don’t let it run you,” Cadini said. “Automation can also be a time saver — and keep your sanity — as long as it doesn’t replace the human interaction. You don’t want to be on Twitter — and on social media in general — all the time.”
“If you work until late, install JustGetFlux on your computer,” Cadini said. “It will adjust your display’s color temperature, and it will help reduce disruption of your sleep patterns.”
“When it comes to productivity, I rely on Hootsuite, Buffer, ManageFlitter, Social Jukebox and Toggl to help you find your ‘golden hour,’” Sklar said. “Plus, f.lux will adjust your screen at night so you don’t have the blue glow.”
She and Cadini continued their chat in a Facebook Live conversation.