Entrepreneurs and small business owners (especially micro-businesses) know that this life can be feast or famine.
The pendulum can easily swing from having a light workload, to being so busy that we start thinking about scaling up our business. We can easily get lost in the push and pull of working on and in the business
I’m coming up on the tail end of one of my busiest months yet. I’ve been doing back-to-back trainings locally and across the country, running group and individual coaching sessions, all while cranking out content for my marketing funnels.
I’m not complaining–it’s good to be on the feast end of things and I love the work I’ve been doing.
As I write this post, I’m preparing to take a much needed break with my family to go and celebrate the graduation of one of my favorite young women. My mind has been racing all day, full of the never ending task list. I’m usually much calmer about things, but I’m pushing for a reason: I want to go away with a clean desk and no pending deliverables to my clients.
This is usually the case before we go on vacation. We get into focus mode and crush our task list. We clear the decks so we can go away with a clean conscience.
My question for you, is why wait until vacation to have that feeling?
Jump Off the Hamster a Wheel
When things are on the “slow” side, you rush around to networking events, fret and worry and look for ways to drum up business. Whether you’re in feast or famine, there’s always something to do and I’m willing to bet you rarely take a break.
Working at full speed all the time has many draw backs. It’s hard to truly be creative when you’re in constant motion because you don’t have time to wait for inspiration to strike. You make decisions, crank out the work and put the first thing you finish out to market.
You can miss out on new perspectives because you don’t take time to engage in deeper dialogue. You fail to celebrate the wins you’ve had asking the way because you’re too busy charging the next hill. You push yourself and your team so hard, that everyone feels overwhelmed.
One huge impact from constantly being busy, is the burnout and physical impact that will happen if you don’t make room for breaks in your schedule.
Don’t Just Take My Word For it!
A Psychology Today article titled “How Do Work Breaks Help Your Brain?” shares about the value of taking breaks. What I call the CEO of your brain the Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC) is the most active part of the brain when we are doing goal oriented “focus work.” When we organize, plan, invest in learning, engage in logical thinking or have to resort to willpower to push through, the PFC is busy at work. The more we engage in that type of behavior, the more it needs a break. All that “executive function” is a part of “adulting.” Taking a break helps our brains rest, recharge and refocus!
The Final Push
While I’m guilty of the “final vacation push” this time, I make a conscious effort to build in down time in my calendar. As important as it is to have Focus time to get the work done blocked off, you also need to set aside time to decompress.
The calm before the storm prepares you for the effort ahead. Hey, why do you think they teach specific breathing techniques for childbirth? Pressing pause and giving yourself time to wind down at the end of a busy period will make you more refreshed for the next big push.
Find the Calm
Here are a few ways to decompress:
- Light exercise
- Listening to or playing music
- Relaxing bath
- Reading a book
- Playing a game
- Doing a puzzle
- Taking a nap
- Mindful breathing
- Child’s play
- Spending time with loved ones
- Mind mapping
- Creative writing
Which of these are your favorite ways? Drop a line and let me know!
As we all gear up for the Memorial Day weekend, when we honor our fallen soldiers, be sure to take time out to appreciate the little things in life. Take a break!