Time For Some Time Out

Work, work, work, go, go, go, drive, drive, drive. Collapse!

As successful business owners, we don’t stop for a minute. Even when we are not working, we are thinking about working and we are available, switched on and online.

But all work and no play is no fun! What do you work for, if not to take some time out to do the things you really want to do?

So for the next 11 days, my family and I are off on our next adventure to tick another bucket list item. Not available, switched off and offline. Can’t wait!

It’s not just about getting away and spending quality time with the family doing the things we love most… it’s also about the time away from the business. A proper recharge, refresh and time to clear the cobwebs and the mind of the millions of things that are swarming around in our heads.

You see, when we are on the go the whole time, our minds get cluttered with everything that is going on and we stop thinking clearly. We start dropping balls, forgetting things, decreasing the quality of our work, and that’s just not good for business.

So instead of thinking you can’t afford to take leave from your business, start thinking that your business can’t afford for you not to take time out!

Just as your body recharges, renews, grows and repairs when you sleep, your business will benefit from a period of slumber when you are not pushing it to the limit.

Time out of the business allows you breathing space for reflection. And reflection results in learning and growth.

Firstly, it gives you time to think about yourself for a change. How are you coping? What’s driving you? What’s stressing you out? What makes you happy? What changes can you make to improve your current situation? What are you enjoying and how can you do more of that? Self awareness requires some quiet time for introspection, which is not possible when you are busy being busy.

Secondly, time away from the office often provides the opportunity to review the period prior. What have you achieved? What is going well? What are you currently busy with and how is that going? How can you do things differently to avoid the pitfalls you may have encountered recently? Sometimes things get so hectic, and we are driving so fast, we forget to look in the review mirror.

Although you can’t change the past, reflecting on the past is the best way to learn. Otherwise history will keep repeating itself, as you keep doing the same things until you get stale.

And finally, time out provides an opportunity to dream about the future. It’s very difficult to think big picture, be innovative and creative when you are bogged down with the daily grind. Time out frees your headspace to concentrate on your vision and goals for the future.

Ironically, we work hardest just before we take time out. The thought that we will be away from the business for 11 days has provided the pressure we need to get things sorted before we go. Those loose ends that have been on the list for some time are tied up, we are ahead of the game, and we have lots of exciting initiatives lined up for us when we get back. Would we have pushed so hard if we were not abandoning our business for a period? Probably not!

So, being offline means no blog next week… instead of reading, take some time out for a round of golf, play with your kids, research your next holiday, test drive a car, volunteer at a charity or whatever floats your boat!

Until September…

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