Monday, May 13, 2013

Stop ~ Why It's Time for You to “Unplug”!


Small Business & Managing Stress



The Big Question ~ Are we able, or willing, to “unplug” from our jobs?


With the Holiday season fast approaching, we all need to find ways to handle the added demands on our time.  This is especially true of Small Business Owners!


All through the year, we so often find ourselves pulled in many different directions.  And the fact that we are solely responsible for the ultimate success of our company is never far from our minds.


But, during the holidays, it is especially important that we find a way to simply enjoy!


Much has been written and discussed about the need to “unplug” from technology.  There have been movements to shut off our televisions for a week, turn off our smart phones, or shut down our computers and tablets.  Each is touted as a way to decompress and de-stress from our everyday demands.


But that is only a small part of what keeps us busy and driven. Many of us are absorbed by our work.  We don’t recognize the concept of “9 to 5” or even a 5 day work week.

  This is the reason I think we need to expand the “unplug” movement to our jobs.


Why Small Business Owners Need to Unplug!  "Tweet This"!


Are You able to take a break from your work?  Is this something you can or want to do for a week, or even a weekend? Have you ever taken a “real vacation” from your job?


Many of us would answer “No”.  We either don’t want to or don’t think we can really disconnect from our work.  We will pay lip service to the notions that we need “downtime” but, in reality, we don’t think it is possible.


I think that is misguided and, potentially, unhealthy.  Let me state for the record, I am a small business owner.  It is me, and only me, that deals with my clients, does the billing, and runs every other aspect of my business.  When I am “off”, my company is in virtual “shutdown”.


Despite that, I have come to realize that I am no good to myself or others if I never get the chance to “unplug”.  One look at the infographic in this post by Geoffrey James in “Inc.”, and you can see the number of Business Owners who feel the same.  Many fear that if they take time to themselves their business will suffer.


Running Your Small Business


The bottom line is, You need to Take Back Your Life.  You are more than your business.  You have family, friends, and interests that need to be nurtured and appreciated.


In order to be your best self, you have to recognize that taking a break will allow you the time you need to regenerate and refresh.  


Even if it is only for a weekend, try these tips:

  • Take No Business Calls
  • Don’t Check Your Email or Social Media Accounts
  • Do Something You Enjoy - read a book, take a walk, etc.


The goal is to rejuvenate and relax.  Of course there are times that emergencies or a big project can interfere.  What is important is to make this the exception, not the rule.


For the past few weeks, I have made the concerted effort to follow this advice.  I have Taken Back my Weekends. 


Small Biz Stress Tips

To accomplish this, I have found a few ways that make it easier for me.  


I pre-schedule my weekend social media posts.  This way I can still keep up my social media presence without logging on. I also use Friday afternoon to update my calendar for the following week so I can jump right in on Monday morning.


I have found that with those things out of the way, I am able to really enjoy my weekends.  I can reconnect with my family and I have time to do some of the things that I love.


Taking a break has also given me more energy and focus, in both my personal life and my business. (Read more about this in, "Productivity ~ Sometimes the Best Way to Achieve this is to Scale Back"!)



Give it a try for yourself.  You may find that, when the “unplug” is over, you come back with a fresh perspective and new energy for your work.....and you can really look forward to your weekends again! 


Please Pay it Forward and Share!  Thanks!




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