What is one of the things business owners tend to forget?
Time for themselves!
One of the harder lessons I had to learn in running a business, is to make sure I take time out for myself.
It is easy to get lost in running and working in your business and forget what is important.
Taking time for yourself actually helps. I know my productivity increases significantly after I have taken time out for a break.
I am the first to admit that I get up at 4am to work, but even for me this is unsustainable long term. I need to take days to sleep in and have time off. Longer hours doesn’t mean more work gets done.
Ask yourself why you are you in business and not just working as an employee. For me it is freedom!
Make the time even if you don’t have any. Trust me there is never enough time, you just have to make a decision and take it.
What works for me?
- We have a fantastic lake where I live, it’s a 6 km walk. I schedule this in three times a week no exceptions. Rain, hail or shine I go for walk (unless the rain is horizontal or gale force winds, then I give in!)
- I don’t take my phone
- I schedule it in my diary
- I can’t stop after 20 minutes and decide I am too busy, because I still have to keep going to get back to my car.
- I take someone with me to make me accountable
- Bushwalking or the beach or some other activity with the family, one day a month we go, I don’t answer my phone, I don’t look at my email and I just enjoy the moment.
- I try to take Saturday’s off and Sundays are negotiable (My weeks are flexible so there has got to be a bit of give and take).
- I start early so I can finish early and spend time with my kids
- No-one calls you at 4am!
- Half an hour at the end of the day where everyone leaves me alone and I can do whatever I want (which might include brain numbing things like solitaire on my phone, writing about my day to get it out of my head or even staring out the window etc.)
- Set a permanent do not disturb on my phone, so I don’t get any notifications after that time.
- Turn off my computer when I walk out of the office, clean up the desk, turn off the light and shut the door.
- Schedule it in your diary
- Plan your next trip straight after or just before your current one
- Pick a bedtime and stick to it
- No coffee after 1pm
- Do something you enjoy
- Switch off, don’t be tempted to check your phone
- If you take time off on a weekend it is less likely to affect the business.
- Time off during the week can offer a little extra luxury. Just remember to set up your auto responders so everyone knows you are not there until tomorrow.
- Holidays are longer so you can’t always just ignore the business completely, but if you have to work
- Set the times and time limits and stick to them.
- You can usually get what needs to be done completed, when there is a restricted amount of time to do it in.
Just a word of warning, at first you will feel guilty, but don’t let that little monster take hold. You need the time and deserve it, the guilt will fade but the benefits will keep going.