time to rest, time to play

Time to Rest, Time to Play

It’s the holidays, and I thought I would give you a break from my normal ‘how to be a better business owner’ blog, and decided to instead adopt a piece written by John Niland about using your time outside of business.

Time to Play:

The quality of a business owner’s life and the success of the business is heavily dependent on sources of energy and inspiration outside the workplace. These activities and relationships are enjoyable in their own right, and are vital to maintaining physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being.

  1. Do 20 minutes of physical exercise (swimming, cycling working-out, walking, running etc.) immediately after work. In a few weeks you will enjoy it, and it serves as a ‘switch-off’ from the working day and generates more energy.
  2. Consider ending any relationship that is consistently keeping you awake, dragging you down or draining you. Seek professional help and advice earlier rather than later. Whatever you do, deal with it.
  3. Always speak the truth as you see it. It never pays to lie or exaggerate.
  4. Block out holidays and planning time in your calendar for the following year. We will only plan if we have planned the time to plan.
  5. Unless repairing appliances is a fun hobby for you, do not waste weekends fixing things. Either replace appliances that do not work, or employ somebody to get them repaired.
  6. Unless you love gardening, consider employing a gardener.
  7. Rise at the same time every day – even during weekends. Eventually you will not need a wake-up call; and the extra time you have at weekends can be used for relaxation and play.
  8. Eliminate from your circle of friends people who criticize, judge or try to change you. Trying to please others is a huge waste of time.
  9. Avoid excessive indulgence in food or drink; this leaves you lethargic and hung-over, with less energy.
  10. Spend some time every year writing / reviewing a mission-statement or life purpose. You will have more fun, make better decisions, and make much better use of time when you are clear about your personal and professional direction. When you love what you do, you will never have to work again.
  11. Avoid idly surfing the internet. If you have to use it, consider keeping to a set of sites you want to visit, and then limit your time online. Many clients have saved an hour per day on this alone that’s five hours per week, over 200 working hours per year.
  12. Get a swim-buddy or workout-partner so that your commitment to them will over-ride the temptation to stay on in bed or in the office.

Time to Rest:

  1. Relaxation after a busy day is a real challenge for many business owners. Tiredness causes mistakes, inattention, frustration and disorganization; in turn prompting more long hours that exacerbate the problem. Business owners who are well-rested are not just more productive, they inspire better relationships with clients and colleagues.
  2. Avoid invalidating a day off by opening a briefcase, checking business email, sitting down a computer, visiting the office or reading your calendar. The objective of a day off is to get totally away from the business.
  3. Employ a cleaner so that your home is clean and tidy. Do not waste time off by doing chores. Similarly, can you delegate laundry, ironing and shopping?
  4. When you want to switch-off, put the phone on voice mail and silence the ringer.
  5. Go to bed earlier (or later) so that the timing of your sleep is ideal for you. Rather than compromise with other family members, ask for their support if necessary.
  6. Prioritize the elimination of all debt, except that secured on property. Cut expenses if necessary to ensure that you live within your income. Financial worry is a frequent cause of sleepless nights.
  7. Have regular checkups with your doctor, optician, audiologist and dentist.
  8. Review the newspapers and magazines that you read. Are these really inspiring or relaxing, or are you bingeing on a diet of depressing material?
  9. Avoid watching television, unless you have a specific program you want to watch. Random TV is ‘chewing gum for the eyes’, and contributes little to quality of life.
  10. Clear the clutter from your life. Whether its old files or old clothes, it takes up space both in our heads and our lives. If you are in any doubt about this, just choose one room, clear it, and watch what happens!
  11. It may be difficult to adjust to a vacation if they are too infrequent. Plan at least 4 weeks of holiday every year.
  12. Make amends to anyone you have hurt, damaged or offended. This will allow you to reclaim the hours wasted on feeling guilty.
  13. Spend at least 20 minutes every day in deep relaxation, meditation, or other peaceful or spiritual activities. These give perspective, and make all other activities more enjoyable.
  14. Before settling down to relax or play, remove all traces of work from your lounge, bedroom, or other immediate environment.

This time of year is a great time to focus on relaxing and recharging and creating the energy to start the new year fresh and ready to make a difference.