Do you struggle to switch off and take time out from your business?
Do you feel guilty or like you are being unproductive when you stop?
Do you love working in your business and would prefer to keep working than rest and relax?
As hard as it is to stop sometimes, there is good reason to.
Working constantly in your business without taking breaks and giving your brain time to re-charge, doesn’t increase your productivity (as you may assume), it actually decreases it. The latest in neuroscience shows that;
An overworked, overwhelmed and tired brain is not an efficient or effective brain.
However, it is one thing to know something as fact and another thing to actually implement changes to ensure you are maximising your brain’s potential.
There are a lot of reasons we can struggle to take time out of our business. Two common reasons are that:
- We LOVE what we do and want to work in our business as much as possible
- Being busy makes us feel productive
In the past I used to really struggle to factor in time out for myself too. When I was working on things that were important to me, it felt like nothing else was as important…sleep, rest, exercise and social activities… they could all be compromised!
Not great I know…
Because I love what I do, it didn’t feel like work.
However, I know that;
Longer hours does not equal greater progress. In fact, longer hours can slow down your progress as your brain becomes drained and exhausted from overuse.
So what else is going on behind the scenes to make taking time out so difficult?
For me personally, I realised that I work hard not always to make my work better, but to make me feel better.
When I work it makes me feel productive, it makes me feel like I am making the most of the opportunities I have been given.
When I stop I can feel like I am not doing enough, that I am being lazy, “unproductive” and that I am falling behind.
If I add a good dose of “comparisonitis” to the mix, I start to feel I should be further along in my business journey than I am, which fuels an anxiety to work even longer hours. Maybe you can relate?
Over time I have definitely had to re-wire my brain to adopt new habits that support my brain instead of exhausting it.
Business and life is not a sprint, but a long distance run. We need to make sure that our habits are setting us up for sustainability and not burn out.
6 Steps To Feeling Better About Switching Off
- Have clear and defined hours you will work each day.
- Factor in exercise and relaxation as non-negotiables in your day and week.
- Be kinder and more compassionate with yourself and let go of the desire to compare your journey and progress with others or to strive for perfectionism. You never truly know what others have gone through to get where they are and “perfection” doesn’t exist.
- Use breathing and relaxation techniques to manage any stress or anxiety that pops up while you shift from over-work to balance.
- Resist the guilt that can pop up by reminding yourself that your brain and body needs rest to work optimally. Be aware of how often you think “I should” or “I shouldn’t” as this mindset is often underneath over-work and the stress and anxiety that fuels it.
- Find an accountability buddy to keep you honest and to share what you might be struggling with as you seek to bring more balance into your life.
Share in the comments section how you will factor in time this week to switch off from your business. I look forward to reading how you will implement this healthy brain habit.
If you would like to discover more about how to incorporate wellness into your daily routine to support your brain health and performance, click here to learn more about my 6 week brain and business transformation online program.