Most entrepreneurs at some point in their business growth find themselves to be workaholics and don't know when or how to stop. When I was in my twenties I was quite in an auto-pilot state of life. I ran a chaotic hamster wheel of a life/work schedule: instead of enjoying this glorious coming-into-my-own phase I was over-the-top serious, stressful, and psychotic. If I wasn't at the office, I was running somewhere between home, daycare, client appointments and work, later arriving back home just in time to cook dinner and spend time with my daughter. It makes me tired just thinking about it! Once my daughter fell asleep, I was up into the night creating commercials and print ads. Sleep was an unnecessary luxury, while the business expectations I had set for myself were driving me into the ground. I desperately needed to graduate from workaholics anonymous!!
Here’s the thing:
When you are the boss, the desire to accomplish is so strong and seductive that days and nights can fly. That might be good for your business right now, but in the future you and your business will suffer. And honestly, what is the point if you are not having fun?
Why will your business suffer?
It's almost impossible to maintain that kind of stamina. It's not a good thing to need workaholics anonymous! Even marathoners need to take a break after the kind of workout. Just as a car needs to be refueled, you cannot get results running on fumes.
Here’s how to get serious about chilling out once in awhile & graduating workaholics anonymous:
Make a pact with a friend or spouse to pull you away from work.This means having them occasionally wake you up and remind you that there is a world going on around you. When you start cocooning into your own little workaholic nest, have a friend call or a spouse take you for an escape. ( Or give your furry friend a walk and some fresh air!)
Schedule fun as a reward for a tough task tackled.Remember when you were a kid and you got stars for good grades? Weren’t they motivating? If you have an insane fear that doing nothing and having fun is going to make you permanently lazy, then establish some rules, such as: if I accomplish this big project by the end of this week, then I’m going to take the day off on Friday and just be. Believe me, this works. After resting, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to go!
Take a short vacation.You don’t need to go anywhere fancy or far away. Just get away from the piled up paperwork and laundry at home. Make it simple. Schedule a day or two (say the weekend), but don’t do anything work-related. Here’s why it’s important. For one, you’ll have time for your overtired brain to rest. And for another, you’ll realize when you get back that the world did not implode because you took a vacation. Here is the bonus: I get my best business ideas when I am away! Not because I am working, but because my mind is relaxed and there is room for creative energy to seep into my brain.
Create a Work/Getaway.Here's some advice if you’re really work-obsessed and can’t tear yourself away. Find a way to go on vacation and do a bit of work at the same time. If one of the things you do for your business is blog, then choose a vacation spot where you can interview someone or take photos for a post. You can also find an inspiring place to work like a library or a new coffee shop.
Life can be stressful at times, especially as someone who needs workaholics anonymous! But too much stress with no support to counteract its often harsh energy can have detrimental effects on the body and the psyche. On the other hand, when your body-mind is feeling nourished, balanced, sound and resilient, the stress will bounce right off of you!
Take a break every now and then, and don't forget to exhale. Workaholics Anonymous: Meeting One is now over!
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