This is the first post in a two-part series on why entrepreneurs need to rest, relax and recharge.
The question isn’t whether you can afford to take time away from your business, it’s whether you can afford NOT to.
It’s ironic because some folks give up life in the corporate grinder for the ‘freedom’ of entrepreneurship. By the time they discover that starting a business can turn out to be a black hole of time and energy, they’re already worn out.
Building a business can, at times, be a lonely all-hands-deck ambition. Most of the time, the only hands on deck are yours. This means you barely have time for a life.
The spouse jokes the next time they’ll see you is on the side of a milk carton. The dog barks at you like a burglar. Your children run and hide like you’re some long lost relative.
Let’s run down some of the reasons why downtime is not only a good idea, it’s necessary.
You will be too tired to work
A schedule without pauses that let you catch your breath can start to chip away at the quality of your work.
Without proper rest and time to reboot, your energy to keep plugging away will be sapped.
You become demotivated
You spend all your time buried in work, trying to keep up with content marketing, online engagement, customer relations, product tweaking and all the other tasks that tug at your shirt every day.
Non-stop work has a way of taking the passion and excitement out of entrepreneurship. If you’re living to work instead of working to live, your motivation to keep going will take a vacation, leaving you behind.
Life moves on without you
The entrepreneur life can place a strain on family life and the friendships it closes doors on.
The work will always be there, but friends and family won’t always be. As much as you have going on in your business life, if you don’t spend quality time with friends and family, the nature of those relationships changes, becoming distant or even awkward.
Followers and online networks will never replace the support and nurturing friends and family can provide.
Your health suffers
There is this overly romanticised notion of glory in the struggle, but it isn’t called the grind for nothing.
Entrepreneurs often post pictures of late nights at the computer, bleary-eyed and barely propped up by coffee.
Working day in and day out can mess with your health. You’re no good to yourself or family if you’re wrecked by unending work days and nights basking in the cold, blue glow of a laptop.
There is an established correlation between stress and exhaustion-induced illnesses and success just isn’t possible if you’re laid low by illness.
So far we’ve been focused on the negatives of not taking a breather from the demands of entrepreneurship. It’s time to look at the positives of reclaiming a bit of ‘me time’
You may be thinking of the hours lost to taking time off, but rest periods can recharge your batteries resulting in higher motivation levels, greater productivity and more inspired work.
Just the act of stepping away from a problem for a while can give an entirely fresh perspective on a task or project that just won’t budge.
Sometimes just taking a breather can trigger a creative twist on a blog, video or email newsletter that feels a little stale.
Giving yourself a break goes beyond recharging your batteries. The space and time you allow yourself away from the numbing glare of the computer frees your brain to do what it does best—brainstorm.
You owe it to yourself
Burning the candle at both ends is unsustainable and, in the end, you’ll run out of runway.
There is a bitter irony found in a fundamental difference between a salaried job and life as an entrepreneur.
As an employee, you’re entitled to vacation, time off and a coffee break. Anyone tells you otherwise and you’re ready to strap on your battle gear and go to war. Where’s that darn union!
When you trade in the corporate life for entrepreneurship, you spend every waking moment hypnotized by a computer. If anyone suggests you take a break, you look at them like they’re nuts!
Success as an entrepreneur, however, depends entirely on your ability to show up, both physically and mentally. The only way you can do that is by taking the time off to recharge both your mind and body.
Self-care is an important business management planning strategy.You cannot truly succeed if you are not in the best of health, both mental and physical.