Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Time to Relax

One of the problems is see time and time again from many people is that they don’t know how to switch off and relax.  They feel that because that they run a business they must spend every waking moment working on that business.

When I first start my business I was exactly the same. I would spend every moment working to try and get the business to be successful. I would work on it after I came home from my day job, often staying up to the wee hours trying to do things. I would also spend weekend doing other things with the business.

I know that when starting a business you need to put the time and effort in to making it work properly, however, you cannot allow it to dominate your life. I saw a break down in my relationship, and I become very stressed, tired and cranky.

As I was working late every night and not switching off before I went to bed I would often have trouble getting to sleep. When I did sleep I found that I was dreaming of something business related. You can imagine that those dreams are not very relaxing either.

After about 9 months I was a wreck. I had worked nearly every day and never thought about anything else but the business. Another problem was the business was doing any good due to fact that I could keep focused on it any more.  I decided that I had to change something.

The first thing was I set time limits on my work. I would get up early 6:30 and work through to 7:45. After that I had to prepare for my other job.  The getting up early was great as it allowed me to have a better focus on my work than working at 11pm.

I also set a limit for the amount of time of an afternoon when I would work. I try not to work past 6pm. I will try to finish early if I can. I will at times work a bit later, but only if it is really required.

This has allowed me to have time for myself. I can have the morning working without interruptions and then the evening with my fiancé. Plus I can now relax for a few hours before going to bed, which means I can sleep better. However that was not the only limits I put on my time.

I also decided that I would no longer work on weekends unless it was a matter of urgency. Not only was I running an online business and working full time, I was also cleaning windows of a Saturday morning. Then I was coming home to work on the online business.

That has all stopped and I no longer work on the weekend. My weekends are now mine and I can do whatever I want. I am prepared to work hard through the week and get up early as long as I can sleep in and relax on the weekend.

Has this helped my business? Yes. Because of time limits I now have a pressure to n finish everything by a certain time. Before I would just let it drag on. I am more focused and prepared to work because it’s not stressful or a burden anymore.  All of this plus feeling relaxed has allowed me to improve my work and communicate with my clients better. It’s a win win all around.

So if you are feeling stressed, you need to set limits on your time. You will be more successful in the long run if you can take time away from your business. It can be hard to let go, but you will feel better in the long run. Believe in yourself, your abilities and your business and it will work out for you.

Just ask yourself this question, why are you running your own business? Is it for the stress or the lifestyle you hope to gain? If you’re in it for the lifestyle, then start living it now. Don’t let another moment go by.  Relax, smell the flowers and enjoy life.


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