There is a popular perception that being exhausted is a badge of honour that marks you out as a successful business owner....
Rest and recovery are essential for your health – and that of your business
This is closely associated with the romanticised image of a solo figure working late into the night, by the light of a single bulb, to complete a day’s work - prior to a few hours’ sleep before starting over again early the next morning.
Embracing such a lifestyle and promoting such an image sends a message to the world that you are hugely in demand, and thus clearly very good at what you do.
However, it simply isn’t healthy.
When you are mentally and physically exhausted, it takes a significant toll on your health. It also compromises your ability to work efficiently and raises the likelihood that you will make errors in the materials you provide to clients.
Rest and recovery should be written into every business plan. They should also be an important part of your calendar on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.
This is not always easy to achieve. With huge numbers of the UK workforce operating from home because of the restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the boundaries between work and leisure time have become ominously blurred.
It’s all too easy to sit at your desk from dawn till dusk, dipping into work in the moments when you should be resting your mind.
So build in times when you are resting your mind and body. Take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon tea break, as well as a lunch break, and go into a different room. Sit down, relax your body and take your mind away from the travails of the working day.
Similarly, make sure you walk away from your desk at a particular time each evening - and don’t be tempted to pop back to it.
Carve out time at weekends when you are awake but resting. Watch TV, read a book, spend mealtimes with your family.
Work out how many hours of sleep you need each night – it increases as you get older – and make sure you get to bed at a time that means you wake up feeling fresh and ready for another day.
On a wider scale, identify weeks in the calendar when you will step away from work completely. This could coincide with Christmas, Easter, half-terms and summer.
We are not machines. We cannot be programmed to be switched on to business 24/7.
Take time to rest and refresh your body and mind and you will be a more efficient business owner - as well as a healthier person.
Written by Martin Booth - LEBOO MEDIA