We understand that entrepreneurs, especially those just starting off, have a wide range of responsibilities and often task themselves with finding solutions to core issues that arise during the course of their business.

Hit the Off button
One of these issues is fighting the urge to work all the time. As a small business owner, you may have to wear two or three hats at once, withstand unexpected setbacks, deal with less than satisfied customers, ever-increasing competition, staffing issues, while still managing to create a positive cash flow.

This financial and emotional turbulence can threaten your physical and mental health. And in turn, have a detrimental effect on your business. Taking a step back to take care of yourself is beneficial, not only for your overall health, but for the productivity and longevity of your business, as well.

Take time to re-evaluate your work goals
For entrepreneurs, goal-setting is an essential component of business growth. It can help build excitement within your business and launch you on the straight path to success.

While setting goals can help drive the direction and growth of your business, it is also important to reevaluate your goals from time to time to make sure they are still relevant and precise. If your goals are too numerous, they can seem overwhelming and unreachable. This will result in burnout and poor productivity. Similarly, if your goals are unrealistic or ungrounded, you may experience frustration and poor self-esteem when you are not able to reach them.

Taking a short break or vacation can help you reassert yourself in the present, reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and assess whether your business goals are still relevant. Things may have changed since you last sat down to set goals or you may be making progress towards those goals faster than you expected.

Putting space between you and your work allows you to more accurately reflect on the state of your business. Taking time off, even if it’s only a day, can give you the perspective you need to evaluate the situation and make the necessary changes.

Find inspiration that re-motivates you for work
As an entrepreneur, you should be proud of the businesses you have built. You have likely put a ton of time, energy, and resources into making it work.

However, the powerful motivation that helped you launch and run your business still needs to be nurtured. According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, taking longer breaks results in improved motivation. Stepping away from work allows you to reenergize and refocus. Studies show that those who experienced detachment from work for an extended period of time were more satisfied and engaged with their work when they returned to it.

Many small business owners choose the entrepreneurial path for the flexibility and control it gives them over their own life. So don’t be afraid to use it. Schedule meaningful breaks throughout stressful days and during any downtown your business has. Use this time to re-energize and reflect on how far you have already come and get excited about where your business can take you.

Take a Mental, physical, and emotional refresher
As an entrepreneur, your mind can easily become preoccupied with work and all the things left on your to-do list. You may find yourself feeling stuck or trying to do too many things at once. If this is the case for you, you may want to start practicing mindfulness during your break.

Mindfulness is a secular practice derived from Buddhism. It is a way for the mind to be present and in the moment, and observe things in a nonjudgmental way. The practice of mindfulness, or being in the present, has shown to strengthen regions of the brain associated with emotional control and sustained attention. This will help you regain focus and control of your tasks, making you more productive and effective throughout your day.

Prolonged job-related stress can affect your physical health. According to the University of Cambridge, work exhaustion is linked to sleep disturbances, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

Engaging in breaks in the form of physical activities refreshes your mood and vigor, decreases fatigue, increases work motivation, improves concentration, and increases sleep quality. Giving yourself some time away from your job also allows you time for self-care by treating yourself to such things like a massage or a day at the beach.

Rebalance your work and personal life
Most of us think we can do everything in our work and personal life seamlessly. Yet despite our confidence in our ability to compartmentalize, we often sacrifice important aspects of our personal lives because we are so wrapped up in our work lives.

For this reason, it is important to set boundaries and separate your personal time from your work time. Letting your work life and stresses intertwine with your personal life can leave you feeling overwhelmed and burned out because there is no mental break incorporated into your routine. Even if you are physically present, your mind may be somewhere else.

There is a growing trend that puts a greater emphasis on living a successful, happy life versus simply just achieving success at work. This is also known as achieving the illusive work-life balance. Taking breaks allows entrepreneurs time to reflect on their work and personal life and then make goals to rebalance and nurture them both. It allows you to prioritize how you spend your time and energy, so you can design an engaged life.


[1] http://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/how-to-give-workers-a-better-break.html

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/16/mindfulness.therapy.meditation/index.html

[1] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/

[1] http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/hr/policy/stress/effects.html

[1] http://thriving.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/Embracing%20Work%20Breaks%20(Eschleman%20Lecture).pdf

[1] http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5244-improve-work-life-balance-today.html