Lori Greiner, an American inventor and entrepreneur, once said, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”
As a Business Owner, you’re naturally a workaholic. That deep-rooted passion and belief in what you’re building allows work to become all-encompassing. But is pouring all of your waking—and some of your sleeping!—hours into reaching the next level the best thing for your business?
Defining strict off-the-clock hours actually helps you achieve better results long-term. So, in case you’re one of the many entrepreneurs who insist you just do not have time for a break, here are five reasons you really need one.
#1 Breaks Make You More Productive
You’re not a robot. Even if you wish you could stay at max productivity all day, every day, our brains can’t handle that kind of strain. Recent studies have shown that the longer you work, the more your mind loses focus. Your brain starts to treat the work as background noise, instead of something needing complete attention.
When there’s no end point to your day, all the little tasks and distractions fill up your working hours. Alternatively, breaks put firm start and end points to your work days. As anyone who has ever written a 15-page paper the night before the due date knows, urgency creates productivity.
Set a work schedule that includes time off. By forcing yourself to stick to a plan, you’ll be amazed by how much you can fit in fewer hours. Especially in that last hour or two of the day!
#2 Breaks Give You Distance To Make Better Decisions
When you’re knee deep in the middle of a project, real clarity is almost impossible. Every little task seems equally important. And in your rush to get absolutely everything done, you start spending time on things that don’t matter. Or worse, making decisions on significant things without giving them proper thought.
Taking a break gives you the distance you need to determine your priorities. What are you trying to achieve, and what’s the best way to get there? Is the project not working out as planned because you’re not spending enough time on it or because it’s a bad idea?
The point of giving yourself a few minutes off is not to think about work. Take care of yourself, and enjoy your hobbies. In these moments of quiet, we often have our best brainwaves. If you forget to give yourself room to think, you’re going to expend a lot of energy running in place.
#3 Breaks Protect Your Support Network
No man, or woman, is an island. We all lean on the people in our lives. But when you’re always working late or staring at your phone, you’re telling your support system they’re not important to you. Even if they’re the most understanding and supportive people in the world, eventually, that stings.
Taking time off gives you the hours to show the people in your life that they are essential to you. When your business stumbles and you need a hand, you don’t want to find yourself standing alone. And you won’t want to celebrate your successes alone either.
That time spent helping your friend move, or when you leave your phone in the car for your daughter’s hockey game, may not feel like it’s promoting your business. Taking these breaks may even feel uncomfortable at first. But it’s good for you. And that pays dividends.
#4 Breaks Are Good For Your Health
What do you eat when you’re working around the clock? Fast food? Protein bars and coffee? Whatever it is, what you’re eating is likely not the fresh, home-cooked meal your body desires. And when was the last time you laced up your sneakers for a run?
Your business depends on you. And that’s the excuse entrepreneurs often use to substitute work for sleep, exercise or healthy food. But there’s a reason the airlines remind you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others in case of emergency.
If you want your business to succeed long-term, you need to be your best self. That includes taking the time to take care for your health. Breaks give you the time you need to get some much-needed shut-eye or have a meal with your family or friends. These small moves to improve your health mean less sick days, more energy and more productive working hours.
#5 Breaks Reduce The Risk Of Burnout
Burnout rates are incredibly high for entrepreneurs. Exact statistics are hard to come by because this struggle often goes unreported. However, talk to almost any entrepreneur, and they have been there at least once. The long hours, isolation and pressure lead to the chronic stress and fatigue. And what happens when you’re burned out? Well, often, you sell or close your business to refocus on your health.
When entrepreneurs allow their businesses to take over more and more of their lives, over time they end up resenting the company they have built. What was fun at first becomes a drag. They miss their friends, family and hobbies.
You started your business because you love it. You desperately want that business to grow and succeed. But that can’t be the only thing in life you love. Prioritize regular breaks to focus on the other things that bring you joy. Because, in the end, that’s why you started your business. To create Financial Freedom and increase your overall happiness!
Start Making Time In Your Schedule For Breaks
Running and growing a business is busy. The to-do list will never end, and you could easily dive in and work until you drop. But you started this business as a Freedom Generator. Not another shackle on your life.
Build a realistic schedule that gives you actual breaks. Defend those breaks the same way you would any other business meeting. Giving yourself the time off you need will help your business, health and happiness surge.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.
image credit: Bigstock/deagreez
Chelsea Brennan is a former Wall Street financial analyst and investment manager who changed gears in her career to chase her passion of improving financial literacy and independence. She is now a personal finance writer and content marketer. Chelsea shares her obsession with budgeting, investing, and raising financially smart kids at MamaFishSaves.com.