The importance of sacred downtime in your solopreneur business

hammockYour business has to include downtime.

Without some sacred days off you miss the opportunity to recharge and absorb creativity and inspiration

I know how hard you work on your business. On manifesting your passion, your heart’s mission and soul’s purpose.

I know how hard you work, because I do the same in my own business, tenderly nurturing my goals along by scheduling everything in my calendar: the day-to-day client work, my writing and blogging, short-term and long-range business and program development. And by showing up for everything in my calendar with dedication and humility and gratitude.

I know how hard you work, because I support passionate businesswomen like you in my coaching practice. I hold the space for you and help you create the structure as you…

  • discern and declare your goals
  • develop your action plans, make them schedule-able chunks, schedule them and show up for them
  • create your marketing strategies so that you are engaging with and communicating with your ideal clients
  • bring your heart-centered offers and programs to your tribe
  • thrive and succeed as you do what you know you are meant to do in the world

I even have a motto for showing up for your gorgeous business in a highly accountable way:

I schedule my life, and I live my schedule, and when life happens, I am accountable

This is a powerful way to be. Having a calendar that reflects everything you are called to do, be, experience, touch, taste, have, feel, create, contribute and give in your life creates a structure for the magnificent manifestation of your mission and purpose. And when life happens, as it does (flat tire, power outage, family crisis), making sure everyone who needs to know is informed that things have changed and have been rescheduled is the secret key to having a workable life.

Just like I counsel my clients, I include some downtime in my calendar. Time for the things that give me pleasure (decluttering my home office, gardening, walking by the bay or the ocean, spending time in the redwoods. But here’s something I notice: It’s harder for me to leave big chunks of open unaccounted-for time in my schedule than it is to fill it up. And sometimes I just gotta have some unscheduled days.

This doesn’t seem to be something I can plan for in my schedule (kinda defeats the purpose, I think), but is something I can plan for in my heart. This weekend I did exactly that.

I had some work planned—I always do!

  • A business astrological reading—rescheduled.
  • An hour of my ongoing decluttering project—I skipped this week.
  • My wonderful monthly WordPress Meetup group—skipped that too.
  • Homework for a class I’m in—rescheduled.

What did I do instead? Well, I did write this article. And another one that was due tomorrow. And…I read a book. Took a nap, maybe two. Took my daughter out to dinner and a movie. Worked out at the gym—twice. Watched a marathon of cooking shows (my big vice!). And I’m about to join my neighbors for dinner.

Downtime. Sacred downtime. I’d love to hear how you keep yourself balanced, and how you give yourself time to restore and recharge. Please share a comment below.

I’m extremely grateful.

  • I’m grateful that I’ve learned the art of being loving and gentle with myself.
  • I’m grateful for a sunny summer Sunday nap.
  • I’m grateful for a good book.
  • I’m grateful for an upcoming date this week, so nice to have that energy of getting to know someone going on in my life.
  • I’m grateful for my visit with my daughter. I found myself revealing more to her about my journey to becoming a mother. Increasing honesty and intimacy, so powerful.
  • I’m grateful for the community gathering I stumbled upon at Whole Foods yesterday. I heard a duo sing a beautiful rendition of “Norwegian Wood”, a song I hadn’t heard in a long time and that’s so beautiful.

I found this so interesting: When they finished playing “Norwegian Wood”, I could hear “You Won’t See Me” in my head. Which is the next song on the album Rubber Soul. Amazing. I haven’t listened to that album or either of those songs in many years, and yet I still know the song order! I guess it’s true, the music you hear when you’re in your late teens/early twenties is the music that stays with you forever.

  • I’m grateful for my community, for smiles and conversations with people I meet.
  • I’m grateful for the long days and long hours of light as we ramp up to the Solstice.

Solstice blessings to all!


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Sue, sacred downtime is one thing I’ve had in abundance, for a variety of reasons (and I hear how it can be a struggle for many solopreneurs). Sometimes I feel I’ve been too lenient with my unscheduled time, even as I work at being gentle and kind rather than beating myself up about it. What really struck me (besides your gorgeous writing) was your motto “I schedule my life, and I live my schedule, and when life happens I am accountable.” Especially the first two parts, something I’ve done very little of when there are not actual clients scheduled or specific appointments. 

    I know that when I do schedule and write out my “to-do’s” for a day, they are more likely to get done. But I never have looked at my whole week and actually written in “here’s when I’ll go to the gym, here’s when I’ll blog, here’s when I’ll write an article to submit, here’s when I’ll meditate.” There is a certain rhythm to my days, times I”m most likely to do certain things — and all that absolutely needs to get done always does. But it’s also very easy for me to get thrown off, distracted and literally lose sight of what I had intended or hoped to accomplish. 

    I am going to modify and adopt your motto, and declare it here — I schedule my life and I live by my schedule, so I may feel more satisfied with my days; and when life happens, I will be accountable and compassionate with myself.

    And, I love how you talked about hearing the next song on the album in your head! I once sang all of Tapestry to myself on a cross-country bus trip. Man, that disc had some well worn grooves for me to be able to do that!


    • Ooh, great edit! Think I’ll use it this way myself! Thanks, precious!

      Let me know how this experiment goes.

      And thanks for being the shining example of self-compassion that you are.


  2. Bless you, Sue, for this wonderful article – your list of Extremely grateful for’s was a delight to read! My sacred downtime is primarily napping, painting or sitting in the garden cloud-watching : how many of us gift ourselves permission to nap in the daytime?!!

    • Hey Callie, thanks! I’m so inspired to read this. I’m buying new paintbrushes this week!

      BTW, did you try to subscribe to my newsletter just now? I got a notification that it was broken (I’ve fixed it). If you like you can subscribe right here.

      Love and blessings,

  3. That is exactly what I needed to hear today. I have been *terrible* at respecting my need for downtime, leaving my schedule open like Sharon, only to be putting out fires left and right. I’ve been sick more times this year than any other year I can remember, and I think this is a big cause. Which means I miss out on important things I want to do. Thank you so much for calling this out, and for working with me on it!

    • Hey precious one,

      I’m honored to be on Team Tess. Glad this resonated with you, and delighted to keep creating the magnificent balance your body and work deserve.


  4. I so needed this today. I’ve been feeling so burned out lately and I know I need some downtime to compensate. Just reading about you skipping the stuff you had scheduled so you could rest and do what you wanted gives me inspiration to start doing some of that myself. Great post.

    • Cathy, it feels so good, and I feel so supported, thank you! Today I declared Friday afternoons — yes all of them! — to be whatever I want to do days. How nice to be proactive and intentional about this.

      Thanks for inspiring me, precious!

      Love and downtime,

  5. Sue, this is exactly what I needed today. Permission to have a downtime day. I have had a friend visiting 3 weeks, and so have allowed myself time off then, however now I feel shattered and unmotivated. Precisely when I need to listen to myself and be gentle I think… thanks

    • Julie, sending wholeness and gentle motivation your way. Thanks for blessing me with your truth.

      Love and light,

  6. I’m fairly late to this, and that’s because I’ve been enjoying some sacred downtime myself! For me, this involves staying away from the computer for a while because I stare at a monitor all day at work already and sometimes I just need to be offline in the evenings and weekends 🙂

    Lovely post! I’ll share this.

  7. Beautiful post, Sue, and YES!  So many YES’s to the need for sacred downtime!

    My holiday trip to the UK reminded me of exactly why I needed to schedule far more non-work downtime than I’d been allowing myself since I launched my business fulltime back in November last year. I’m starting to try to put some boundaries around how much I work each week, and what I want to do in my non-work time.

    One thing I have discovered though: if I try to overschedule, I go into a kind of rebound where I throw EVERYTHING out the window.  There’s a sweet spot for me between being flexible and being accountable… and it seems to shift on a regular basis, so the best I can do is be compassionate, curious and willing to work with whatever is real for me at that point in time. Thanks for a wonderful post. Blessings    


    • Tanja, that sweet spot sounds so sweet to me! Flexible and accountable…what a great combination.

      Thanks for bringing this idea, I’m going to try it.


  8. I’ve been working hard to get my business off the ground the past month or so – in the midst of the kids’ summer break. I kept my nose to grindstone a couple of weeks into it. That was until I realized – while the business is important, this is time with my kids I won’t get back. So, I’ve made a point to take time out to have fun with them during the week. Storytime at the library and taking a trip to our local movie theater, which is sponsoring a free summer movie throughout the week have been big hits. Becoming a success won’t mean a thing, if I have to sacrifice time with my family to do it. 🙂

    • Dawna, welcome, and thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

      Way to take a beautiful and powerful stand for yourself. I completely agree.

      Love and family fun,

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