Running your own business takes hard work, determination, and the ability to work long hours a lot of the time. When you are focused on making your venture successful, it can be hard to break away for any leisure time, in fact it often feels that if you aren’t working on the business, you are asking for trouble! However, the reality is that if you don’t take some time out now and again to rest your mind and do something different, you won’t be performing to your best abilities at work, which could be far more detrimental. Continually rejecting the opportunity to take time out can bring on physical and mental health problems in the long run, so you won’t be doing you or your business any favors by being a workaholic.
The importance of rest and relaxation
Your brain, just like the rest of your body, can’t keep going indefinitely without performance levels reducing. While sleeping will keep you ticking over, it’s not sufficient to fully restore your capacity for optimum performance at work, so if your schedule is all work, sleep, repeat, gradually you will be putting more and more strain on yourself just to keep going. Add to this the stresses of running a business, and you will be overloading your system to the point where it starts to seriously underperform. You will begin to feel fatigued, irritable, angry, and experience low mood or anxiety. You might start to get headaches, digestive problems like acid reflux, and seem more prone to minor illnesses. On top of that, your blood pressure could be rising, a problem that is serious but exhibits very few warning signs. Unless you look after yourself, you won’t be capable of running your business effectively, and then your hard work to date will have been in vain.
Learning to relax by practising meditation, mindfulness, or yoga, are highly recommended and will be very beneficial. For many entrepreneurs the idea simply doesn’t appeal, as sitting still doesn’t come very naturally, so it might have to be something you work up to. To start with, simply diverting your brain from its normal thought patterns will do a lot of good, so participating in a sport you enjoy, or taking up a new hobby, will help you think about other things. Hunting and fishing are excellent diversions, because you become so focused on whatever you are pursuing that all other thoughts leave your head. Learning any new skill that takes all your concentration is a great way to divert your mind, whatever you might be doing. Do make sure that you get proper tuition if you’re new to an activity, and get the best quality clothing and equipment, for example you’ll need the warmest hunting boots if you want to enjoy shooting in the winter.
In many ways it doesn’t really matter what you do, so long as you’re giving your mind a rest from its normal routine. Far from being an indulgence, taking time out is essential if you wish to be at your best.