When you started your own business, you likely did it for one or a combination of the Three Freedoms business owners strive for. They are Financial, Time or Mind Freedom but we live in a world where we are constantly on the go, hustling 24/7 and we equate how busy we are with success and therefore when it comes to taking time to rest we find it impossible to switch off which makes achieving Time & Mind freedom all the more difficult.
So in a world where our days are filled to the brim with activities from working/running our business, caring for our families, pets and houses to making time to socialise and spend time with our friends, where can we find time to rest and why is it so important?
What are the benefits?
Rest is essential for our mental health, increasing our concentration and memory, having a healthier immune system, reducing stress and improving our mood. Getting enough rest allows us time to reflect and process as well as time to spend doing something that fulfils us. When we take a break, it renews us so that we can feel refreshed, encouraged and ready to deal with the tasks we need to complete.
When running your own small business, you are usually in charge of everything. Rest is therefore incredibly important in helping maintain a sustainable (and enjoyable) work-life balance. If we don’t find the time to rest or do the things that we love, we are more likely to suffer from burnout and it diminishes our ability to keep our passion burning, we lose our motivation, enthusiasm and inspiration, all the things we need to run a successful small business.
How do I prioritise it?
You may be reading this and thinking, ‘that’s all well and good, but I don’t have time to rest!’ and that is a normal feeling for many business owners, but now we know that it is vital to include rest into our daily routines, we need to find time to actually make it happen. After all, we make time to make sure we eat everyday, look after our families and go to work so why should resting be any different!
What rest looks like for each individual can vary, what works for you may not work for others so first of all you need to spend the time figuring out what helps you to relax and get the most out of your rest time as well as how much time in a day you personally need to rest.
This could be taking 10 mins to sit and reflect with a cup of tea, exercise, walking outside, listening to music, reading a book, taking a bath or any combination of these things. Once we understand what we like to do to rest, we can then look at when in our day we’d like to incorporate it – some may like to start with some morning exercise to help clear the mind and set them up for the day or you make like to take a break in the middle of your day to go for a walk or sit down with a cup of tea. It is really beneficial to schedule rest time into your diary. If you find yourself so busy that you work through lunch or end up taking on appointments or work at lunch time, then try blocking out time in your diary every day for a proper lunch break (and stick to it!)
Tips for different kinds of rest
At different points we may need different forms of rest such as physical rest, mental rest or emotional rest and how we carry out those will also vary.
When we think of physical rest we usually think of how much sleep we get, or being able to take an afternoon nap, but it could be completing gentle active rest such as joining a Pilates class, treating yourself to a massage or just taking 15 minutes of your day to do some stretching and breathing exercises.
Mental rest can be one of the hardest to achieve – especially if your brain is always on the go and thinking about all the things you need to get done. We may need to be strict with ourselves on switching off our devices and notifications so that we can really shut down mentally from the business and be present in the other activities we want to be doing. If you find your head is full of idea’s and you can’t switch off – try briefly jotting them down in a notepad and leaving them there until you are ready to be working again and can re-look at them.
Emotional rest is another one we may struggle to achieve, especially with juggling a business and a family. Many business owners feel guilty when spending time away from the family to work on the business, but then when spending time with their family, they feel guilty that they aren’t working on the business – it’s a catch 22. Taking some time out every day for yourself to explore your emotional well being is highly recommended and many have found writing a journal to help them work through feelings or spending time talking to a close friend that you feel comfortable being 100% open with can also help you to achieve emotional rest.
However you go about your rest period is personal to you, but rest assured (pun intended) that if you make time for it you will find yourself balanced and ready to take on the challenges & rewards of running your own small business.
At PPF we are committed to helping our clients achieve their goals and ambitions and we love to help take some of that pressure off so you can spend more time doing what you love, with who you love. If you’d like to explore working with PPF, head over to our Get Started page.