A friend of mine wears a silver pendant in the shape of a lightning bolt with the letters “TCB” etched into it. It’s her life motto, and it’s stolen directly from Elvis Presley. TCB. Taking care of business. 

Over the years, that motto evolved into a shortcode. When one of our friends says, “I’m having a TCB Day”, she means: “I can’t hang out because I’m tackling some of my life to-dos today.” Over the years, I’ve heard other terms including Errand Day, Mental Health Day, GSD Day (Get Sh*t Done Day), but the premise is the same: Take a break to tackle some of those items you never seem to make time for. 

Mine typically falls on a Saturday. I throw on some Miles Davis, and I get to deep cleaning the kitchen. It’s a great ritual, and it keeps me feeling grounded. 

But sometimes, a TCB Day sneaks up on you. Something feels off, and you can’t place why. You’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, disorganized. Here are some of the most common signs you’re overdue for a TCB Day (or even just a TCB morning). 

1. You’re Making “Dumb” Mistakes 

If you keep accidentally double-booking yourself or forgetting small things like consultation calls between sessions — or even if you keep forgetting the one or two things you headed to the grocery store for — chances are you need to slow down.

Typically, repeat oversights mean that something’s disorganized whether that’s your schedule or your emotional state of mind (if it’s the latter, see point #5). Take a 20-minute break and focus on getting your process in order, whether that’s your online booking or your to-do list. 

2. You’re Not Thinking Ahead 

The holidays are coming. Yes, I said it, and please don’t shoot the messenger. In this industry, fall flies by and suddenly we’re looking at the busiest times of the year for service providers — whether that’s Black Friday or all those New Year’s fitness resolutions. Planning a marketing push or seasonal sale takes time.

So, set aside at least a few hours in your work schedule to map out some ideas. (Our Package Management tool is great for this kind of stuff.) 

3. Your Space Feels Chaotic

Ever noticed how when you’re feeling overwhelmed in your personal life, vacuuming or deep cleaning the baseboards helps? This is also true of workspaces. Whether you’re currently running your business out of a home office or you’re back in your studio or salon, there’s a difference between “clean” and “zen.” 

Especially with social distancing guidelines, chances are your space could use some feng shui. Spend some time reorganizing your space so that it works for, not against, you.

That might mean reorganizing your product shelves so the items you reach for most are closest at hand or finally moving that coat rack so you’re not constantly stubbing your toe. Need ideas? Pinterest, baby.

4. You Can’t Seem to Finish Any Tasks 

One of the clearest signs that you need a TCB day is that you can’t seem to finish a task before getting distracted by another one. If you find yourself constantly dropping what you’re working on to tackle something else that pops up (feels a little like Whack-A-Mole but in real life), you probably need to set aside some time to focus on the tasks already on your list.

In situations like this, we recommend picking three items you can get done in under an hour and banging them out before tackling bigger projects. It helps to feel like you’ve accomplished something. 

If that doesn’t feel like your style, no problem. Some people swear by Brian Tracy’s “eat the frog” method (i.e. getting your worst task out of the way first). Or try switching up your to-do list format. Here are seven to-do list styles. Try one or try them all.

5. You’re Exhausted

Sometimes, a TCB Day equals a Mental Health Day. It’s been a very long few months for all of us. If you’re feeling completely burnt out, or if everything seems to rub you the wrong way, or if you’re feeling rushed even when there’s nowhere to rush to, it’s probably time to take a day — or at least a few hours — completely off. 

Try to silence your phone notifications and truly rest. (Here are some tips for doing a Mental Health Day right.) You can always come back to the to-dos above after a couple of hours of rest, and in all likelihood, you’ll be far more productive than you can be right now.