Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The importance of being organised and taking care of oneself

The importance of being organised and taking care of oneself

Sex worker’s ability to generate income depends on her/his looks and presentation first and foremost.  One must be well-presented, well-groomed, apparently at ease and relaxed in order to command the top rates.

Personal well-being is very much connected to being organised, as many a research and study had proved.

Being organised helps you be more productive, focused on what you want to achieve, achieve more balance in your life and present more positive business image (I strongly advocate treating sex work as business and run it accordingly).
On the other hand, constant chaos creates stress and from that stems an array of issues: both physical and mental.

A good first step is to get an organiser: a proper paper/day timer one (vs. electronic). The best kind is the one that allows for enough spaces to record daily appointments (with times pre-printed on the left), but also shows you your week at a glance: on two pages. This will make it easy for you to know your availability/schedule at any given times in a matter of seconds.

I recommend highlighting different appointments with different highlighters: each category of appointment assigned a special unique colour.

For instance, highlight all your client bookings in red, personal appointments (such as hair, beauty, massage, etc.) in green, business-related appointments (such as accountant, lawyer, bank) in yellow, fitness appointments (gym, walks) in blue and entertainment (dinners with friends, movies, parties) in orange. It could be any other colour for the above-mine are just an example.

Don’t forget to block the ENTIRE time required to complete the appointment.
For example: for 1 hour booking that starts at 10 am the lines from 10a, to 11:30 am should be blocked. This way it is clear from just a glance that you can book the next appointment at 11:30am and not any time before then.

I recommend at least 30 min (that’s the absolute minimum, 45 min-1 hr is preferred) gap in-between the bookings, as this gives you enough time to shower, change, re-set the room and also allows for force majore events, such as previous client overstaying a bit or next client arriving a bit early.
It is never a good look to greet the client when you are apparently not completely ready, look stressed and are running around the room trying to set it up and/or looking for things-it comes across as unprofessional and might set of a negative cue in client’s mind.
When you open the door you should appear immaculately presented, relaxed and at ease, focused solely on the client.

Personally, I am usually completely ready about 10-15 min prior to client’s arrival-in case of him being early. I stress that I do not approve of clients doing this and definitely discourage such behaviour, but it does happen occasionally and I’d rather not look frazzled when it does.
I use these 10-15 min productively by checking/replying to my emails, reading a quick article or updating my work Twitter.

While sex business could be frustrating at times with clients asking for last-minute/short notice bookings, always keep in mind that while you can’t control other’s behaviour, you most definitely can control your life.

Make it clear in your ad and website that you prefer appointments made in advance. It is very important to develop a reputation for reliability with those: if you accept the appointment, make every effort to deliver. If you keep cancelling, you’ll acquire a reputation as “flaky and unreliable” and clients would be reluctant to book in advance, opting instead for “now” bookings as it would seem more of a sure bet to them.

Asking for advanced bookings doesn’t mean you have to miss out on occasional short notice one.
It won’t take you long to figure out your most popular/requested times. Generally speaking, around lunch (11:30-1pm) and at the end of the workday (4:30pm-5:30pm) are very popular.

Get ready in the morning and plan some activities that involve you staying put at your incall: pay bills online, answer your emails, update your website, write a blog post (if you have a blog), catch up on phone calls to family/friends, do some financial planning/investing, take an online course, book your next tour/trip, clean/tidy your premises. The possibilities are endless. This way you are spending your time productively.

However, don’t get sucked into “I must stay around in case someone calls”mentality. Decide in advance how much time you will allow for this. Generally speaking, clients who book on the day, tend to do so sometime in the morning/early afternoon. It is important for you to get on with your life as you’ve planned it.

Exercise and/or walking should be an important part of the day. It is too easy to succumb to “Oh, I need to take this booking” mentality and skip a work-out and before you know, it’s been days since you’ve exercised. And it is a big deal, as it will inevitably lead to weight gain, which triggers anxiety, which affects sleep, etc., etc., etc.-the chain is very long and unpleasant.
It is recommended that an average person takes about 10,000 steps a day. It isn’t actually that much, but it is about an hour worth of walking. I do 19,000-23,000/day, some days as many as 27,000-29,000.

While it is important to eat somewhat sensibly, I am a big advocate of MOVING. The more you move, the better. It has been proven that physical activity improves brain function and overall well-being, not to mention obvious benefits such as burning of the calories and toning the muscles. And nothing beats fresh air. I’ve noticed that I frequently get the best ideas while I am walking-usually about 45 min-1 hour into a walk.

Sometimes our work leaves us feeling tired. It is important not to confuse mental tiredness with physical tiredness. If you haven’t walked or exercised at all that day, try to make yourself do it.  It is too easy to let yourself slip into comfy PJs and sit with a glass of wine in front of TV.

Sometimes when I’ve had especially trying day (mentally), I bargain with myself: I tell myself that I will only walk for a few minutes (as something is better than nothing) and then if I feel really exhausted, I would return home. Once you start walking, though, you feel better and end up doing a long walk.

Another trick is to walk in one direction (vs. circling the area) for a while, because then you would have to walk just as long to get backJ.
Circling a relatively small area while walking is a good trick if you want to capture short notice bookings: you can still get back to your incall within 5-10 min ;).

Do not let clients run your life: if you have decided on whatever activity (non-client related), don’t let them talk you into cancelling/interrupting it in order to accommodate their booking.

Also don’t succumb to “Can’t you just squeeze me in” pleas when you know you don’t have enough time-this ends badly more often than not in these days of internet forums and online reviews. While clients who ask to be “squeezed” in sound eager, they are hoping it would be done at the expense of someone else (as in another client’s time would be cut short). If you take their booking and then either appear unprepared (hair and make-up, state of the room) or rush the booking somewhat, they will cut you no slack on the review boards and you will potentially lose hundreds of dollars (could be thousands, actually) of revenue because you were swayed by this one guy’s charms/pleas or a prospect of making a quick extra couple of hundred.

Besides, the more you let other people dictate your schedule, the more chaotic your life would be. You’d feel as if you have no control and this leads to various *bigger* problems.

Developing good screening techniques will help you to weed out most of the timewasters/time-blockers and no-shows, but unfortunately no screening is 100% fool-proof. Timewasters and their ilk are very much a reality of the sex industry. They happen.
Still, you should stay in control. If you have a no-show or a last-minute cancellation, do not try to restructure your entire day because of it. Stick with your schedule. Use the unexpected opening to do a quick walk, read a book, do some chores, etc.

I do not re-schedule my clients under any circumstances (e.g. I would not be contacting clients asking them to move the time of their booking because I’ve had a cancellation/no-show). I think it appears un-professional.

Pay attention to what you eat: fresh fruit and veges are great! Green salads and smoothies are fantastic. Instead of choosing coffee/sugar hit, opt for a kale/spinach/banana smoothie to boost your energy levels. The rule of thumb: the less the food was f….d with, the better it is for you.

Sleep is extremely important. It is also one of the most neglected areas for a lot of people. A person requires about 8 hours of sleep daily. Women need 7-9 hours daily.

Benefits of sleep are many. A good night’s sleep can help stave off headaches, boost focus and increase bone density. Studies shown that a particular protein which boosts the immune system is developed by our bodies during sleep. Sleep is also known as a vital part of weight loss.

It is important to go to bed before midnight: stress hormone cortisol’s production naturally slows down about 2 hours before midnight and increases again around 2am.  So it is not a good idea to stay up late and then drag yourself awake early to “make up” for a missed work-out from yesterday. It does more harm than good.

I suggest turning off (completely powering off vs. putting on “silent”) all your devices such as phone, computer, tablet at certain time of the evening (not too late-before 10pm) in order to relax and let your body do what it does best: run your systems to your advantage.

Even if you are the most un-organised person, organisation is a learned behaviour. Studies show that it takes just 21 days to form a habit (any habit).
Start with simple things.

Make your bed as soon as you get out of it. Not only this simple task will put you in “organised” mood, it will prevent any temptation to get back into it later (when you should be walking or doing something productive).

Give your toilet a once-over after you’ve finished using it every morning. It only takes a couple of minutes (literally) to use a brush and some cleaner and wipe it with bleach, but your toilet will stay sparkling white for years and there will never be any need for a major hour-long scrubbing.

Wash your dishes and put them away immediately after you’ve finished using them. A couple of glasses/cups and a plates only takes minutes to wash, but a sink full of dirty dishes may appear like an insurmountable task.

Do spot-cleaning frequently, every time you find a few odd minutes with nothing to do: dust a couple of shelves, run a vacuum for a couple of minutes, etc. This way cleaning wouldn’t seem like such a huge task and you won’t have to dedicate a large time slot to it.

Throw your laundry in a wash before you go for walk, then into the dryer before you take a trip to a grocery store. It doesn’t seem like a chore then-just a quick thing to do before you set off.

Being organised helps un-clatter your mind. Once you are able to visualise your day and your week clearly, it’s not long before you will notice other positive changes in your life, attitude and well-being.

This will definitely reflect on your business in many ways (all of them good).

P.S. I've offered some tips for organizing finances/budgeting for sex workers here:


  1. Excellent common sense advice, thank you, Yana. I especially love your colour coded diary idea. :)

  2. Anonymous reply to "The importance of being organized and taking care of oneself"

    I wanted to take this opportunity to check with you to see if within my own subjective reality understood the essence of your essay. That "taking care of oneself" first is an act that enables one to recognize the well-being and care for another. In other words it's an act of altruism not selfishness.

    If I understand your message you are saying it's more likely if someone first takes care of their own needs satisfactorily it is more likely they can be there for someone else. That organization creates the pre-conditions or environment that allows the likelihood of being Present. Being present with someone as in being there for them. Presences not just in the sense of empathetically hearing and understanding them but also in a sense lending one's self empathically to them. Order and organization as I guess you are suggesting allows for a time to prepare for period of calm to settle, focus and give one's self, self-empathy in preparation. Doing this in regard to time/wasters creates space to give one's self plenty of self-empathy to understand one's own emotions for needs unmet like in the case "no-shows".

    Is the above what you wanted me to know form this quote? "It is never a good look to greet the client when you are apparently not completely ready, look stressed and are running around the room trying to … and might set of a negative cue in client’s mind. When you open the door you should appear immaculately presented, relaxed and at ease, focused solely on the client."

    Not being a prostitute if I may could I relate what you what I am hearing in my subjective reality? It's not about business relationship and commercial sex or martial relationships or sex per se; if I could greet my partner at breakfast with such presence, it would be the enactment of the golden rule of "do unto others as you would have then do to you." Surly I want my partner to do the same. Of course we are fickle human beings and miss this level of connection; with-in ourselves, between each other and as community most of the time.

    Are you saying the better organized we are the greater we increase the chance we take care of ourselves and thus be available to others. The greater the chance we can access community and also enable the community to access us. If one is selling human connection this is an important aspect of the sex business.

    So is it what you are talking about is creating the environment by which someone can be present with another human being. While commercial sex is a very transient condition and even though Presences caries no lasting bonding implications, Presence is an important ingredient to a successful sexual booking.

    I don't think you said this but I'm guessing you are also saying for any relationship as your essay on commercial sex providers suggests, it is incumbent on the other side (this case the client) to be present as well. If the other side meets the same pre-conditions for their own personal well-being it increase the likelihood of safe and meaningful connection.