You have heard the saying, ‘work hard, play hard’. As much as this is great in theory, it fails in the real world. It assumes we have an everlasting supply of energy we can tap into. However, you can’t perform permanently on overdrive (in any capacity) and expect the batteries not to run out.
Many of us push this theory to the limits. Each day I see business owners put their personal and business success at serious risk as a result of burning the candle at both ends. This is not a good strategy if you are trying to build a successful and sustainable business.
A more effective approach, and one that acknowledges we are ‘human beings’ not invincible super heroes, is to include ‘rest hard’ into the equation. This can be as simple as taking regular breaks and ‘switching’ off for periods of time to allow your mind and body to recuperate, recharge and reset itself. This can be for short periods of time each day or for extended holidays that last weeks or months.
If you are like most busy people, your excuse for not taking breaks is because you are too busy. Here is a few words of advice: Taking a break is not a luxury, or a reward for hard work, it is a necessity for success.
If you don’t break regularly, you could end up experiencing the symptoms of ‘workaholics anonymous’, which can:
- Cripple your health;
- Stagnate your growth (personal and business);
- Impair your performance;
- Create resentment towards your business;
- Strain your relationships;
- ‘Age’ you before your time;
- Impair your decision making, and
- Zap the creativity and strategic thinking your business needs to thrive.
If breaks are not part of your ‘business as usual’, here are 8 things you can do:
1. Shift your mindset from a ‘break’ being a luxury to being a vital part of your business health.
2. Diarise your breaks at the start of the year like all other business appointments. Then do your work around them.
3. Take ‘mini-breaks’ to clear your mind and remove the distraction of your ‘daily’ to do list.
4. Turn your phone and other devices off (yes, there is an ‘off’ switch). If you have to ‘check in’, only do so at certain times.
5. Set the expectations (that you are having a break) with your clients, prospects and team so they know in advance and update your ‘out of office’ message to keep people informed.
6. Pamper your physical and mental soul. Massages and meditation are not treats, they are a necessity (bet you like that one).
7. Have a plan B for emergencies while you are unavailable. It takes the pressure off and helps your rest properly.
8. Give yourself enough time and space to nourish your creativity and focus on the big picture stuff. This enables you to switch your brain into strategy mode which is a core ingredient for business success.
Remember, work hard, play hard and rest hard. You never see a professional sportsperson or a million dollar racehorse compromise on their rest. Nor should you.
If you have been waiting for a ‘leave pass’ to take a much needed break, this is it!
Happy resting! Kim
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