Virtually every small business person we know is working hard. Sometimes working into the night, taking on as many customers as possible, keeping apace with social media and finding the best marketing mix for getting and keeping customers. Sometimes it feels like going in ten directions at once, juggling possibilities that aren’t yet realities, while tuckingfamily and personal needs into overly crowded corners of the week. These are times that test our stamina and our souls. Feeling relaxed with these pressures requires conscious effort and it’s critical for not becoming burned out.
Too often we see the strain and tiredness on the faces of our self-employed friends and colleagues. We hear it in their voices. Some seem verging on exhaustion. If this applies to you, we’re compelled to make this plea: Find ways to relax!
Yes, it is true, we do have to work harder right now, often much harder. But we also have to work smarter and more imaginatively. We can’t do that if we’re exhausted. We must give ourselves the opportunity to recharge and regenerate.
But how, for Pete’s sake, with days and nights that are already jam-packed and the specter of financial pressures looming over our shoulders do we not work non-stop? We’ve simply got to acknowledging that when we’re rested and refreshed we can do everything more quickly and better.
Studies in the field of occupational health and environmental medicine show that aside from increasing the risk of illness, which only makes matters worse yet, chronic overworking actually makes us less productive and prone to injury. Not from lack of effort or even lack of ability, but from just plain wearing ourselves down. So by taking time out to rest and refresh we’re actually saving time and increasing our chances our more successful results.
What to do? Well, relaxation is a highly personal matter. For some it’s taking a nap. For others it’s a round of golf. Still others find renewal in taking a hike, sneaking away for a weekend camping trip, an hour of pampering at the spa, or just taking a break to play with the kids or the dog.
So identify what you find most refreshing and JUST DO IT!! You deserve it and your future does depends on it.
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Adapted from a prior column in Connection Connection.