Take a breath, it’s waiting there
Just beyond your distracted stare
Take it now, hold on like a lover
This time tomorrow take another
Do you feel as if you live to work? Hopefully not, since such an existence is not beneficial to your life. The fact is, everything in motion needs down time to maintain health and longevity. You’re no different.
Are you breathing as you read this? Take a deep breath. Hold it, hold it, hold it. Now let it out slowly…nice! Now do it twice more. Read on.
As an entrepreneur, you have many tasks to complete in a day, yet your to-do list never seems to shrink. The conundrum of the never ending task is the fault of technology. Your world is much smaller than that of your parents, making it effortless to connect with anyone, anywhere. The inherent consequence of this advancement is that knowledge moves at the same speed, and in business any competitive advantage you may have is momentary. In an effort to stay ahead you think that the more you do in a day the better off you’ll be. Wrong.
Recent studies conducted by an independent consulting firm found that 60-hour workweeks led to a 25 percent reduction in productivity. Frequent long hours can increase stress and touch off a host of health hazards, including insomnia and high blood pressure. A 2006 study found that chronic workweeks of more than 51 hours can triple the risk of hypertension, and workdays of 11 or 12 hours increase the risk of coronary events by 56 percent. Stress is the culprit, triggering the release of hormones that help contribute to plaque build-up inside arteries. Long days were also linked to sleep problems, depression, flawed decision making and increased anxiety. Constant work can lead to what the Japanese call karoshi–death by overwork.
To avoid karoshi, you need to slow down – and take a breath! The exercise above is just a moment of down time, you should spend much longer periods in a state of slow breathing instead of psychological hyperventilation. Yet as a solopreneur, you’re reading this and asking yourself: “How can I? Who will run my business? People depend on me, I can’t trust anyone else, I might miss a sale”, blah blah blah. Ultimately, you don’t have a choice. The simple fact is if you don’t cut down on incessant work, chances are there will be nobody to run your business, i.e. no you.
However, never fear oh fellow solopreneur, there’s another way.
The answer lies in the quality of the hours you put in to your business, not the quantity. You most likely could improve your time management, a skill that will maximize the hours you spend running your business and yield the same amount of productivity in less time. Here are some suggestions: http://bit.ly/cZxwJ.
Effective time management will give you an advantage you haven’t had before: the ability to take time away from your business so you can rest and recharge – without losing any ground. And when you go back to work, you’ll have energy, focus and creativity you didn’t realize you had lost – you will rock!
Get better at time management, and your reward will be good health, and more time for the rest of your life – literally!
To your success!