Running a business can become all-encompassing if you don’t establish limits. Many small business owners find themselves working from dawn to dark seven days a week — not exactly the equation for a stress-free life. Forcing yourself to take time out from work is important, not only for your health and sanity but also for your business.
Giving yourself the weekend or an evening off from work gives you a chance to see your family and friends. Another benefit: You will get some distance from your work — important for gaining perspective, and sometimes the right solution to figuring out tough problems.
Likewise, taking a shorter break during the workday can benefit your personal and business health. But saying that you are going to take a break is easier than actually doing it.
At times, taking a break might seem inappropriate — in the middle of a large project or facing an upcoming deadline. But breaks do not need to be hours in length. The purpose of a break is to relax, clear your head and stretch. It unwinds you and provides needed rest for upcoming tasks. For some people, this entails getting away from the work for the rest of the day, but for others it could be as simple as standing up, or sitting on a couch in a different room for 10 minutes. Even talking to a colleague for a few minutes on a non-business subject could be enough to clear your mind for action.
Small business owners usually have a lot of drive and discipline — necessary qualities for getting a business off the ground. Take that drive and discipline and apply it to your personal life — simply decide to take some time to relax every day and do it.
It is important to remember: When you stop working to relax, don’t think about what you “should” be doing. A break should not make you feel guilty. Leave the office at the office and enjoy what you are doing. If you work out of your home, walk out and shut the door to your office — “Out of sight, out of mind” is not just a cliché, it really works.
You don’t have to take every evening or weekend off, but scheduling time for the things you want to do will not only benefit your mental health, but also your work. Taking time to rest and relax can give you a refreshed, positive and enthusiastic attitude toward work.