As a small business owner--who also happens to live in the building where I operate both my businesses--'ve learned over the course of the last 5 years there's something just as important as setting goals, tracking milestones and working hard.
It's knowing when to take a break.
Because sometimes, more is not more.
In fact, sometimes, when you push, and push and push to figure something out, but your body and your brain are so drained from being over worked, it only leads to more frustration, more anxiety, less productivity.
But we want more, right? So we should just work harder, right?
Right up there with time management skills, willingness to pivot your business and a hard work ethic, I would say some of the best advice I ever got (from a fellow lady entrepreneur Judy Thompson). She and her husband live by the phrase: Word hard, play hard.
And it's so true.
Knowing when to take a break and do something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR BUSINESS can be the best thing to do for your business.
On your average day when I need a break, I put my iPhone on a shelf (face-down) or I get outside with my kids or I the baby is napping, I organize something (I know, weird that's relaxing to me) or I watch old Grey's Anatomy episodes or throw myself into back issues of house magazines.
But once every couple of months, when I need to really disconnect from my businesses, I get out of town. Somewhere within driving distance (I do some of my best thinking when the kids are napping and I'm just driving with no one to talk to), somewhere with friends who help re-fuel my well, preferably somewhere with good Thai food.
Right now I still do a lot of traveling with my kids. One is still nursing, and the other one is just in first grade. We splash in puddles, swim in hotel pools, delight in elevators and skyscrapers--things you don't see on a regular basis in Northern Wisconsin.
I do my best to disconnect. Some days I do a good job, some days, I slip up. But I always find that if I "take a break," whether it's in my own backyard or in another city, I'm always more excited, more enthusiastic and ready to come back home and back to work.
What about you? Do you consciously take breaks or have to physically remove yourself from your place to business? What are your best tips or favorite places to go for space?