Relax and Repair: Making the Most of Entrepreneur Downtime
Downtime, what is that? You may think that you’ve got no time to waste, in business, and in life. And as an entrepreneur, being in charge of your own business means you will feel that sense of responsibility. But feeling like you need to be “on” all the time is not healthy. You may worry that if you drop the ball, in a business sense, you will lose momentum. But it’s important to incorporate recuperation and remember that there are times where you won’t need to do everything. It’s about managing your downtime effectively but also making sure that you are able to recharge. Here are some suggestions on how to relax and repair.
Letting Your Hair Down
That sense of achievement we feel on a Friday night should be celebrated. Whether you think there aren’t many things to do on a Friday night or not, the importance of taking one evening to decompress is vital. Friday night is the best one because of the fact that it is embedded into us that our working week finishes then. That magic feeling of relief at 5pm! Even if you think that you’ve got stuff to do over the weekend, that Friday night is the perfect opportunity to unwind because you’ve been going since Monday at the very least. Friday is the proper time for relaxation. Think nothing of opening a bottle of wine and doing what you want! It’s simple, but it’s amazing when it comes to relieving stress. Get that Friday feeling!
It sounds so simple but it’s incredibly empowering. There is no way you can keep all that information in your head. When it comes to making lists, it serves so many different purposes. Having a notepad next to the bed means that you don’t have to try and remember everything before you go to sleep, naturally resulting in a disrupted night. If anything random comes into your head, write it down on that notepad. When you wake up the next day feeling refreshed from a good night’s sleep, then you can make sense of it all! Making lists is a wonderful organizational strategy, not just because it gives you a list of things to do, but it shows you how much progress you’ve made. It’s also very cathartic. When you have stresses that seem to overwhelm you, doing what they call a brain dump will get your thoughts onto paper, and perhaps make you realize that they aren’t as earth-shattering as you realized.
Remember the Pillars of Health
If you cannot enjoy downtime or actually relax when you have a spare minute, this stress will build up inside you. And, many months or years down the line, it could come out in one go. It is so important to tackle the essential pillars of health, especially stress, by recognizing the triggers. When you start to recognize the things that you aren’t doing to benefit your mind and body, start to prioritize these. You can also incorporate that into little daily practices. Take the example of noted entrepreneur Tony Robbins. He has a little morning routine every single day that takes 10 minutes and primes him for his day ahead. And the fact of the matter is that he is running more than one business, so surely you can schedule 10 minutes to feel great. If you can incorporate some morning routines that give you the opportunities to regain perspective, calm down, but also feel reinvigorated, you are benefiting your health more than you realize.
The Importance of Learning…
Look at entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, learning is their absolute livelihood. Downtime is important to consolidate new thoughts and ideas. But, as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to stay ahead of the curve. And it’s about finding the balance between the two. You can certainly delegate duties, but you’ve got to educate yourself about your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. And this SWOT analysis is vital, but it’s not just about using it as a defense. Think about how you can incorporate it into your life. We tend to think of ourselves and our business as separate entities. If we start to consolidate the two and focusing on improving ourselves, it will naturally mean that, by proxy, we will improve the business.
… and the Importance of Being Realistic
People are driven to go beyond the perceived parameters. When we are trying to incorporate downtime into our lives, we have to be realistic. It’s important to schedule “me time,” because if you don’t get enough now, you never will. There will be more demands placed upon you, and then you’ll find yourself in over your head. This means you will be unable to say “no,” and eventually, your work-life balance is completely out of sync. It’s important to be realistic, in life and in business. You can do this by laying out specific checkpoints. It helps you to see the bigger picture, but it also gives you the opportunity to turn away from certain things. You have to be realistic. And arguably, when you’re starting out of business, you are in a better position to set the boundaries. As you get more successful, more will be demanded of you. Learning to be realistic, and setting gradual targets and goals that are attainable in your business and in yourself will keep you on the straight and narrow.
Remember the Important Things in Life
If you are working from home right now, you may very well have a blurring of the boundaries. When we are trying to enjoy downtime as an entrepreneur, sometimes we can work too hard at relaxing. It should come naturally. This is where you start to think about the important things in life. Business is important because it’s your livelihood, but if you have family, you’ve got to make sure you’re giving them the quality time that they need, but it will also benefit you as well. Many female entrepreneurs still struggle to set boundaries. But it’s not for the benefit of the children, for themselves. As soon as you start to realize what is important in your life, you have to fight hard to set those boundaries.