What do your muscles, lightbulbs and your business brain have in common? If you use them too much, with too much intensity, without a break, they will burn out.
The thing is, we all know this is the truth on some level, yet we tend to push the limits anyways - especially when it comes to working on our business. Sometimes this feels like it's the only option, that we have no choice but to burn the candle at both ends - even when it's a holiday. Unfortunately, many only learn that this isn't a good habit or work pattern to get into until it's too late. Sure, working too much without a break can lead to burning out, but there are some other effects this behavior causes that are less dramatic but still carry a negative impact. Overworking can lead to your well of energy or creativity running dry, short tempers, small mistakes that can take a long time to fix, and an overall lack of enthusiasm and focus at your job that will lessen the impact of everything you work on.
Yes still, we push the limits. So how can we try to combat this compulsion to overwork? Use this holiday to begin creating new habits and behaviors that will allow for restful downtime and give your brain and spirit the re-energizing break it needs. To help encourage you we've compiled a list of reasons you want to create moments of disconnection throughout the weekend!
Rest Days Prevent Business "Injuries"
When doing a high impact exercise like running, you're encouraged to take regular rest days as they prevent injury and help you sustain a long term, regular running schedule. Apply the same mindset to your business. Taking regular rest days (and restful moments throughout the day) is proven to prevent burnout, and will prevent business "injuries", i.e., big and small mistakes, that can set you, your progress and your business back and slow your overall progress.
Take the time for your business, mind, and spirit now or you'll have that time taken for you when you least expect or want it to.
The Best Connections Happen When & Where You Least Expect Them To...
Just like finding true love, amazing business connections and introductions find you when you weren't even looking for them. One place you won't experience these face-to-face moments of personal connections that can lead to professional connections is behind your computer. Ask any business owner how they made some of their most impactful relationships and they'll say they met them randomly while at: a child's recital, a local pub, a holiday party, a familiy dinner or a connection made when someone in their personal circle of relationships heard what they were up to and said "I really have to connect you to so and so." These things find us when we least expect them to an they often find us when we are out and about just living life!
Relationships are about connection and the fastest way to connect is in person. That means getting up, getting out there, being present (smartphones down!) and enjoying people in real life. Away from your business.
Downtime Allows For Business Mastery: It's Science!
Think of all the different things you are tasked with learning, strategizing about, finding an answer for, troubleshooting or just executing on a daily basis. Think about what must be going on in your brain to handle all of that. The thing is, your brian needs downtime, that's time not working on your business, time doing mundane tasks (like staring at a crackling fire or shoveling pumpkin pie in your mouth) to commit those tasks and skills to memory, to organize them in your brain, to process them. Can we discuss: For decades scientists have suspected that when an animal or person is not actively learning something new, the brain consolidates recently accumulated data, memorizing the most salient information, and essentially rehearses recently learned skills, etching them into its tissue.
No One Loves a Crabby Entrepreneur
Studies show that when you're going 24/7 you get more anxious, tense, and stressed. You've got a shorter fuse and less energy or brainpower to think of creative and productive ways to deal with problems. That kind of mindset isn't doing you or anyone else any favors. Even if you don't have an entire day to run free, you can begin by carving out a few moments of downtime. Make an appointment with yourself, shut down work emails and internal conversations, and go be free. The alternative is continuing down a path of tension and anxiety, letting it play out as expected and here's a spoiler alert: no one wins at the end of that story.
No One is Winning a Badge for Overworking this Weekend
I follow several successful entrepreneur's stories via social media, press stories and their own brand's platforms. Sure I know they work hard, but I also know that they work productively, and disconnect successfully. Working more is not the same as working well. You have nothing to prove to everyone by working without stopping. In fact, you may actually have a more successful work session if you set parameters up around it. Having a full day of work to "play with" can find you lost in social media, busy work, unnecessary email conversations and mild procrastination. Giving yourself limited pockets of time to work can do the opposite: you'll go hard and strong for a specific amount of time and then you'll reap the reward for your focused productivity, you'll relax. Really successful entrepreneurs know that this reward is bigger than it seems on the surface level because the downtime you earn yourself will make your next work session even more productive and inspired, leading to a powerful pattern you'll want to keep repeating. Try starting that pattern this weekend!