Running a small business can be challenging. Unlike at a big corporation, there aren’t thousands of other people to do the work—it’s you and a handful of others. As a result, many small business owners work constantly. While working hard is par for the course when running a small business, you’ll find your business and your life run better when you take a break.
Hesitant to step away for an hour to go to the gym or have a nice lunch away from your desk? Don’t be. Taking a full hour for lunch and managing your work-life balance properly can help you run a better business overall. In fact, stepping away from your desk—even for a short walk around the building or a cup of tea—can actually give you more stamina and fewer aches and pains. Here are three other reasons you should take a break:
Your Personal Life Is Important to Your Business
Seriously. Those who are more socially active tend to lead healthier lives. Those who are in relationships are more likely to be healthy as well. A large part of this comes from having moral and emotional support outside of work. So, nurture your relationships outside of work through dates, gatherings or simply spending time with other people in relaxed, social settings. This doesn’t have to take time or energy away from your business. If you’re the type who prefers to reenergize on your own, there’s science to support that too.
Your Health Is Important to Your Business
You don’t have time to exercise? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, you don’t have time not to exercise. The benefits from exercise include mood improvement, boosted energy and better sleep. What small business owner couldn’t use those benefits? Your business will run more smoothly when you’re in good health and have a clear mind.
That said, it can be hard to find the time to fit exercise in. Some people say, “just get up an hour earlier!” But making time to work out doesn’t have to come at the expense of a good night’s sleep. Try going for a walk with an employee instead of having a seated one-on-one meeting. Or, consider riding your bike to work instead of driving. Even doing 15-20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times per week can make a tremendous difference without taking up too much valuable time.
If you’re happy and healthy, not only will you feel more energetic and optimistic, but your relationship with your employees will be better. After all, if you come into the office tired and cranky, you aren’t going to be pleasant to work with.
Your Clients Need You to Say No
When a client says jump, you should jump. That’s a common wisdom, but it may not be the best thing for your business. You need to ask yourself if your company can provide the requested service. That means questioning not only whether you have the skills to complete the job, but also whether you have the time. Why would clients appreciate that? When you overburden yourself, you can’t deliver your best work to your clients.
Any business owner will tell you that it’s easier to keep existing clients than it is to find new ones. Some business owners take that to mean that they should jump through hoops and take on more than they can reasonably accomplish to attract new clients, giving them a customer experience that they simply cannot maintain over time. The truth is: they only stay if you consistently provide top-notch service. This means referring work out when you don’t have the time or resources to complete a job. Take on only what you can do and do well. It not only keeps your work and life in balance; it allows you to provide awesome service on the things you do take on.
Running a business can be taxing on your health at times. With that, it’s essential that you look after yourself and your own well being so that your business can benefit from your strong leadership for a long time to come.