The other night, I attended a presentation on time management. Among other realizations I came away with was the importance of giving yourself time off from your business. It is very easy to not do that, to get caught up in a wave of work which seems to endlessly pull at you. Certainly I can attest to that, because I have a list of things I need to do, which sometimes seems to never end, and which I feel guilty about leaving alone. Yet, at some point, if I don’t leave it alone, something worse occurs, and it’s something all business owners can attest to.
Business burnout occurs. You get so tired of doing anything related to your business that you burnout and stop caring. Needless to say when that occurs, there’s usually dire consequences, in the form of neglecting business, making mistakes, and otherwise just wanting to do anything but maintain your business time off manager . Of course, business burnout can occur because of other reasons, but generally it seems to occur because too much time is spent on the business. Business owners just starting out face this issue because they feel they need to put every waking moment into the business, but even veteran business owners can get business burnout if they can’t balance their work with their life. And it’s not surprising when business owners do it, because the business is how they make money and sustain a living. If you aren’t working, you aren’t bringing in money. However, at some point you have to take a break from the business and enjoy other aspects of life.
Cultivating an effective work-life balance may not always be easy, but it is important, for avoiding business burnout, and also making time for what you genuinely enjoy. I find it to be a good policy to at least take a day off from your business, if not two. It is also useful to figure out what it is you do enjoy doing that isn’t business related so that you don’t feel at a loss for what to do. Make a list of trips, activities, books, and other things you wish to do, so that when you aren’t working you have something to do. Also make sure you spend time with family and friends. I make it a point to schedule several nights during the month which are focused on activities I like, but also provide me an opportunity to spend time with friends I’d like to see.
Your business is important, but it shouldn’t consume your life. All work and no play DOES make a person feel dull, so make sure you take time to enjoy your life and take off from your business. Not only will it allow you to reconnect with friends, family, and activities you enjoy, but it will also allow you to reconnect with yourself and recharge so that you can come back to your business refreshed and ready to give your best effort. Getting recharged is important, because it can provide you perspective and ideas for your business that you might otherwise miss.