Friday, July 22, 2011

Seven Signs You Need a Break from Your Business

Whether it's a two-week vacay or regular breaks during your workday, you need to find time to chill.

Entrepreneur magazine
By Gwen Moran   |   July 21, 2011   |  

… Only 46 percent [of U.S. business owners] plan to take a vacation this summer, down from a high of 67% in 2006, according to the May American Express OPEN Small Business Vacation Monitor. Busy work schedules (37%) and affordability (29%) are the top reasons. But vacations and breaks can be what you need to increase productivity and come up with new ideas to make your business run better, says Jon Gordon, a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.-based motivational speaker on business productivity and author of The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Work and Life (Wiley, 2011).

Do you need a break? Here are seven signs it's time.
1. Loss of joy. If you're beginning to dread going to the business you once loved or find yourself chronically unhappy, it's likely a signal you need to take a break. "Often, it's when we think we can't take a break, during those very busy times, or when business is slow, that it's most important to do so," says Gordon.
2. Lack of focus or creativity. … Greg De Simone, founder of FocalPoint, a Mansfield, Mass., business coaching firm … says he routinely sees clients return from vacations operating at a higher level of productivity or with newfound solutions to problems that had dogged them.
3. Constant feeling of overwhelm. If you're reacting rather than taking control, it's a clear indicator you need to take a break, says De Simone. If you think you can't spare the time, consider that you're losing it anyway by being ineffective, he says….
4. Irritability. … Irritability can be a sign of stress, depression, or other maladies, says Gordon. …
National Institutes of Health logoImage via Wikipedia5. Insomnia. …The National Institutes of Health says that regular exposure to outdoor light is important for the circadian rhythms that direct your sleep. If you're stressed and sunlight-deprived all day, you're dealing a double blow to your ability to get a good night's rest.
6. Health issues. Drive yourself too hard and it's likely going to take a toll on your health, says Gordon. …
7. Warnings from friends and family.

How to Recharge
A break from your business doesn't have to be a week vacation to help recharge your batteries and regain focus, says productivity expert Jon Gordon. It can be a day off or even regular walks or times to meditate and relax.
Find something you love to do -- from running to jigsaw puzzles -- and carve out ways to fit it into your schedule. Even an hour or two a week can make a difference.
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