Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Why “Play Time” is Necessary for Business Success

By Catherine Rocheleau on Mar 01 2011 • Filed under Balance

True success happens when you include 'me time'  and 'play time' in your schedule.

Create Space for Innovation

When you started your business, did you anticipate you would have to give up life for your “job” or was your dream to gain better work-life balance? You probably started your business because you had a lot of passion and creative ideas that would fill the wants and needs of your ideal customer. If you are like most entrepreneurs, you also have lots of great ideas and you are anxious to get them all implemented. The bottle neck, from concept to reality, is the time, energy and resources that are needed. If you are the resource and energy needed to move your business ideas forward, and you are low on motivation or creativeness or if you are unproductive, your business can come to a grinding halt.

Last month I wrote about ways to help keep you motivated and on track with your goals. One of the recommendations was to take time for yourself to relax, rejuvenate and revive your creativity and reignite your energy. Surprisingly I have had numerous discussions with entrepreneurs and professionals this month who are feeling burnt out, impatient or uninspired! The stories were eerily familiar. I remember days gone by when I worked way too many hours and found my energy, productivity, enthusiasm and innovation waning – or completely gone!

Yes, you may be tired and know you need a break but how is it possible to schedule time off, or even take a break, when your ‘to-do’ list is a mile long and client demands are growing? We all face this dilemma at one time or another, which is what prompted me to revisit this one tip more fully.

Retreat to Rejuvenate

Taking time off from your business is challenging, but it’s also vital. If we think of our bodies as a finely tuned machine, it is important for us to provide proper maintenance on a routine basis in order for it to be a high performer. As an entrepreneur, you are the foundation and the leader of your business. If you don’t take time to take care of yourself business will suffer, if not immediately, definitely in the future. Increased mistakes, reduced productivity, strained relationships and even burn-out can sideline your great plans and hard work.

In business, we often refer to the ‘80/20 rule’ – 80% of our business comes from 20% of our customers. What if we use that same rule with business operations – 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. If this is true, then 80% of our work results in less than stellar productivity and profitability.

In any given week we have 168 hours available to us to work, live and sleep. Let’s assume you work 60 hours in your business. If you use the 80/20 rule, you should schedule 12 hours to relax re-energize or be creative without demands, a time when you don’t have to be “on.” The remaining 96 hours are for sleep, fitness and everything else.

This “off” time represents only 7% of your entire week yet it the most important time, second only to a good night’s sleep. It is in these two times that your mind and body are able to recover from the demands work and life place on us.

No matter what you do to reenergize yourself, it should be enjoyable and something you look forward to such as: a spa treatment, reading a novel, visiting a museum, attending a concert or movie, time on a hobbie, walking in the forest or sitting and listening to ocean waves.

What You can Do

1. Each day, schedule your top three priorities that will move your business forward and get them done. Focus on what’s important and necessary!

2. Delegate or outsource work you don’t have to do yourself. Learn to delegate to a virtual assistant, bookkeeper, or other team member so you have more time to lead your business.

3. Set up systems and expectations for all team members and tasks. Systems help ensure that everyone knows what and how to do each task, deadlines and resources needed. Job descriptions, expectations, and milestones are all valuable components.

4. Change your thinking! You’re worth it! Your “me” time isn’t just a guilty pleasure. It is a time to free your mind, disengage and recharge. As a business owner you chose entrepreneurship because you wanted to pursue your passion and have more control over your life.

Journal Assignment:

When are you scheduling your ‘retreat’ this week?

What will you do?

Are you prepared to commit to it by putting it in your schedule?

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