Take it Out of High Gear

By Gail Z. Martin

How much time did you spend relaxing this summer?

Many entrepreneurs—in fact, I’d say most of us—get so busy building our businesses that we forget to take time off to nurture our souls.

The dog days of August are a good time to kick back for a few days and schedule yourself some free time.  You’ll be surprised at the payoff.

Busy people tend to look at downtime as a loss or a waste.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Downtime can be incredibly productive, but in a different way from the daily grind.  Here’s how I reap value from my downtime.

  • Strengthen your base.  Our jobs take a toll on our families, between long hours, travel schedules and distracted attention.  Use your downtime to nurture your bonds with the people you love most by switching off and unplugging to give them total attention.
  • Dream, vision and fantasize.  Are you too busy to daydream?  If so, you’re cheating yourself.  Skipping sleep?  You may be missing out on some of your brain’s best ideas.  I find then when I step away from the full-court press of daily business, I start to be aware of more intuitive things like ideas, connections, and possibilities.  When I relax, my subconscious kicks in and gives me my best ideas.  The same is true when we get deep, REM sleep.
  • Renew and restore.  No resource on Earth can give continually without taking in nutrition.  Your work requires physical and psychic energy that creates an enormous drain.  Without time to relax, renew and restore, you will eventually deplete your reserves.  How do you restore yourself?  Everyone is different, but I love periods of silence, good books, permission to do absolutely nothing for a while, good food, and the company of people I love.  Other people like to hike, dance the night away or do other activities.  Just make sure whatever you pick leaves you feeling renewed and restored and not just tired.

Give yourself permission to unplug and see the difference in yourself and your business!

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