Originally published 07/11/2012
Make sure your little break is just that and not a nasty habit or bad cycle you’ve fallen into to cope with a lack of organization, faulty systems or a bad business model.
Don’t know if you noticed but I gave myself a little holiday from the pressure of weekly posts this month. In fairness, my posts go live on Wednesdays and last week the Fourth of July fell on Wednesday, so it was an actual holiday. But, to be completely honest, I put up the “gone fishin’” sign the week before not by choice, but by resignation—I simply had something else that took precedence, and I just couldn’t get everything done in time. So, I gave myself a break before I had no choice and I just broke down. I took last week off as it seemed like a good idea to make it an official two-week holiday and come back fresh and refreshed.
Now, when I didn’t make my deadline that first week I thought I would just do it the next day—no big deal posting a day late. Who would really care, after all—only me, I reasoned. But, that next day I was equally busy and also pretty wiped out. So, the blog post got booted another day. It wasn’t really until some time on Friday when I knew the blog post wasn’t going to get written let alone go live that I had a startling realization—I am my own boss! Not only that, but I’m the president of my own company. As a result, I’m allowed to set and reset the priorities that govern my to-do list and, as long as it doesn’t cause havoc with my business, I’m free to do this whenever I please—who’s to stop me?
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s important to be consistent and put systems in place to enable you to maintain that consistency. However, you’re also entitled to give yourself a vacation from one role or another when things hit a wall, so you don’t entirely crash and burn. After all, when you run the show and also sweep the floors, man the concessions, book the talent, light the marquee and everything else that needs doing, allowing yourself to carry a lighter load in one area for a week or two can be extremely helpful in meeting the responsibilities of your other roles.
Just be careful. Make sure your little break is just that and not a nasty habit or bad cycle you’ve fallen into to cope with a lack of organization, faulty systems or a bad business model. If you find yourself falling behind in the critical tasks required to keep your business organized or growing, you’ve got a real problem, and the way you’re working isn’t actually working for you.
And as someone who’s never been a particularly good sleeper I’ll toss this in here as well. One of the many fascinating nuggets gleaned from the The Pew Research Center's Pew Internet and the American Life:
“It's difficult to separate many Americans from their cell phones, even when they're asleep. Among those who own a cell phone, 65% of adults say that they have slept with their phone on or right next to their bed. Nearly all young adults (ages 18-29) make sure their phones are never too far away at night; fully 90% sleep with their cell phone on or right next to their bed. By comparison, 70% of 30-to-49 year olds with phones sleep with their phones close, as do 50% of 50-to-64 year olds.”
Now I realize that for many people their cell phone may be the only phone they possess. So, sure, you have it close by in case some one calls in the middle of the night with an emergency—oh come on! How often does that happen? That’s not why 90% of 18-to-29 year olds and 70% of 30-to-49 year olds are sleeping with or near their phones. And, I’d venture it’s not why you are either. Give your phone a break, too. Get into the habit of turning your phone off at least an hour before bedtime so you’re truly disconnected and ready for your dreams to carry you away...that's the only way they come true, after all.
Please feel free to call or email me; I’m always happy to hear from you.
Get Growing is a syndicated business. blog. Many posts are also published on business2community.com.