As busy business owners and key executives, we often feel indispensable to the business. And while this is probably a very accurate representation of reality, we still need to find time to take off an allow ourselves to unplug.
There are a myriad of studies regarding this topic. And while I?m sure most everyone is aware of them, still a large portion of entrepreneurs and executives find themselves working 7 days a week. Why do we do this to ourselves? I think because we forget why time off and rest are so important. If you are in the group – here?s a list of 5 key reasons why taking time off will actually help your business and you.
1) We get hooked on the adrenaline rush that comes with needing to get the team, or a project, or the company over a hump. And when that time is over, we are so use to that temporary high that comes with working around the clock, that we continue to do so even when it is no longer necessary. A good doctor will point out that we will burn out our adrenals this way. Which will lead to weight gain, decreased sex drive, and overall fatigue.
2) We need sleep. Everyone?s body is different. And men typically need less sleep then woman. But generally, everyone needs somewhere between 6 and 8 hours a night. Without sleep tasks that take use 30 minutes can now take hours. So if you want to maintain key analysis skill, and quickly and efficiently make good decisions and crunch numbers quickly, get some rest.
3) Recharged from a day off, or a week off also helps us be much be much more creative. It also reminds us why we are working so hard to begin with. Most of us have family and friends who would love to see and enjoy time with us. If we don?t take time off every week, and then vacations as well, what are we doing all this work for?
4) It can seem counterintuitive, especially when we are so wrapped up in what?s not done on our to-do list. But taking time off, away from work actually makes us much more productive and efficient than if we didn?t take the time off. I remember a few years ago, I was feeling great pressure to get things done. And so I was going to take my laptop on a trip to Hawaii. And older, wiser friend told me to keep it at home. And she was right. I was so much better able to accomplish what I needed to accomplish when I got home. Much more refreshed and reenergized to work.
5) Daily exercise and even a few minutes break every 90 minutes leads to a much more energized body. When we have more energy we get more done. So taking time out every day for ourselves makes us more productive not less. And remembering to stretch, and grab some water, maybe even go for a short walk in the middle of our day will make us much more focused and efficient than if we work through without mini breaks.
Let me give you a very real scenario. A client of mine had been working 7 days a week for 2 months straight. He told me that on good nights he was getting 4-5 hours of sleep. After taking just 20 hours off, and sleeping a full 8 hours, he was able to do a management task in 30 minutes, which that entire week prior had taken hours every night to do. Clearly he was not being very productive even though he was working. He was working and killing himself, for nothing. He was in reality spinning his tires for hours when he would have been much better served had he stopped, gone to bed, gotten 8 to 10 hours and then gotten up and done his work.
So next time you are convinced that you MUST not go to sleep, and should instead go finish your work. STOP. Instead, ask yourself how productive you are really being and how long this type of task normally takes you under normal circumstances when you are fully rested. If you find you are making lots of mistakes, and things are taking you two or five times as long as they should. It?s time to take a break. No matter how busy and swamped you are, you, your company, and your employees will be much better served if you get out of work mode, turn off the phone, head to the beach, and then get a good night?s sleep. You will in all reality probably come out ahead, not behind from taking that time off.
What are some other benefits you have found to taking time off?
For more ways to jump start business, see Why Use A Business Coach