A Break Before You Break

When was the last time you took a break from work? Nearly half of small business owners (46%) say they are hesitant to take a break from business in the summer because they fear missing an important client or business opportunity. For the solo entrepreneur they feel tied to their work, a day away from business is a day with opportunity cost tied to it.

The long term effect of not getting away from your work can affect your wellness and health not to mention your mental alertness. You have a need for rest and relaxation to recharge away from the place of work. Ignore the need to renew and refresh and you will pay the price with clouded thinking, weakened mental and physical health. Your body as well we your mind needs a rest when it has been consistently taxed and stretched over a period of time.

Here are some things to take into consideration when you plan for your breaks:

Take frequent shorter breaksmuch like taking smaller meals throughout the day, more frequent shorter breaks give you is the change to detach, zoom out and get some perspective as you refresh yourself constantly. A few short breaks may do wonders to your mental sharpness.

Build in different kinds of breaks – rest and relaxation is as important as continual self development workshops and quiet reflections. If you cannot afford a trip around the world then some short trips or retreats may just do the trick. An outing to the nature or some adventures will keep that fighter in you conquering new heights in areas of your life other than your business. These affirmations strengthen your beliefs in yourself and reduced unnecessary anxiety and stress on your ability and capacity to succeed.

Remember to feed your mind with fresh input. Reading and master minding helps you to keep abreast of trends and new discoveries. It also generates ideas for you when you are not soaked in operations.  Remember the circle of influence, choose to be in the right company.

Enjoy time with friends and family – it is easy to get wrapped up in your identity as a business owner and lose sight of the important people in your life. If you have no time to spend with your loved ones then we need to look at your work life balance.

Welcome weekends as special days:
It’s tempting to work over the weekend when you run your own business.  Try having a no email day, and really set aside time on weekends to do something quite different from what you do on the weekdays. I like to set aside half a day on the weekend to read and catch up on mails that have been sent to my “to check out” folders as well as to write my articles in one sitting when the juice is flowing. I then schedule them to be published to the different directories over the week.

Lifestyle maintenance days: I take time off to do my grocery shopping so I top up on fresh fruits and vegetables. And I like doing my own house cleaning on weekends. Many have advise that I outsource this. This is one area I like doing, it’s therapy for me as I clean out, un clutter and tidy the place. I feel good when I see the environment tidy and clean. It also offers me a form of exercising and stretching for me. Nothing beats sipping a nice cup of refreshing green tea after a nice shower, admiring the clean and tidy place I call home.

Make use of technology: If you do any kind of on line business, you would need regular broadcast or communication with your clients and prospects. You can plan and set up automated and scheduled messages to be sent to while you are away. Nobody will notice that you are having fun in the sun. Even your blog posts and advertisements can be written ahead of time in one sitting and scheduled to be published when you are taking a rest.  Auto responders and voice machines can be set up to take care of incoming mails and phone calls.  There is no need to forward every mail (voice or written).  Make yourself dispensable to your business.

Let it go: Set rules and times for contacting you and provide emergency phone numbers in case something urgent happens. Communicate circumstances that warrant contacting you. While you are away on vacation, check your e-mail at specific times and never more than twice a day. 
Inform clients and prospect that you will be gone and provide information on when they can expect to hear back from you. If you have a replacement while you are away, make sure you give that contact out.

For more practical tips on stress relief tips, watch out for the special 24-hour sale on Aug 30th 12pm US ET time.  Sign up to be kept on our priority list.

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