The Argument for REST: Why Taking Time Off is Good for Business

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The Christmas holidays are approaching, and you’re probably in overdrive, perhaps dealing with your busiest time of year in terms of customers, or just trying to get the holiday decorations up, gifts purchased, cards sent, and menu planned. You might be tempted to work right up until December 25th, or straight through New Year’s Eve without a break, but then where would that leave you for 2013? Overworked, exhausted, and spent, that’s where.

week 50 - RestHaving had narcolepsy for the past sixteen years, I’m well-attuned to my body’s need for rest (getting a full eight hours at night, plus a daily nap, is standard practice for me). But, I do understand that sometimes it’s difficult to convince yourself to slow down and take a breather, especially when you have a never-ending list of things to accomplish, places to go, and people to see.

If you need an incentive to stop and take care of yourself this holiday season and on into 2013, consider these five ways that being well-rested is good for your business:

  1. When you step away from work, even for a day, you can see the bigger picture. Case in point, riding in the car to visit family over Thanksgiving break, I started thinking about my business. And I realized that I was focusing on the wrong areas, and rushing things; so, I pushed back the launch date of my upcoming e-course Rock Your Brand Academy from January to April, so I can focus on my #1 priority: working with clients. Pushing back the date will also allow me to make RYB Academy bigger and better that it would’ve been if I had rushed to have it ready for that January launch date – a win-win situation for all involved.
  2. When you rest your mind, you tend to make better decisions. Your brain functions so much better on a good night’s sleep, so instead of being in a fog where you’re unable to process all the variables, your mind is clear and ready to assess all available options to figure out the best course of action. Don’t believe me? Read this.
  3. Taking a vacation, or even just one day off, can prevent burnout. Think about it; if you’re working yourself to the point of exhaustion, with no time off, you could easily begin to resent the same work that you once loved. And resentment can lead to a whole host of harmful behavior, like being rude to your customers, or not providing the same level of service that your clients have come to expect. By contrast, if you regularly take time off to refresh your spirit, renew your mind, and spend quality time with your loved ones, you’ll be able to devote your full passion and purpose into your business.

    Taking a cat nap. {Image courtesy of “Emy_Tik” on Stock.Xchng}.

  4. By being well-rested, both mentally and physically, you’re in a much better position to appreciate and enjoy your work. Here’s a tweetable for you: An over-worked soul becomes only a slave; a well-rested soul works by choice, and loves it. ~ @BarbDesign
  5. You are your #1 business asset, so by taking care of yourself, you take care of your business. Getting plenty of sleep at night, taking mental/stretch breaks throughout the day, and taking occasional vacations and days off, all helps you to perform at your peak, and allows you to devote your full self to your business and to the people you serve.

So take a few days off this Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year’s, and give yourself a nice interlude to enjoy family and friends, recover from the holidays, and get ready to catapult yourself into 2013 with a rested body and refreshed mind.

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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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