This article is a reprint from Ray Access, a content and copywriting business located in Asheville, with their permission.  I liked it because many times I feel the urge to plow through my work, work late into the evenings and work on the weekends. I finally realized I actually have a human body that lets me know real quick that I need to ease off on the slave driver attitude.  My back started to ache. I got grouchy. The quality of my work plummeted and I started to make mistakes.  Now I think of taking a break as an investment in myself, especially being self-employed.

Take a Break Before You Break

Work is rolling in. As a small business owner or website developer, you know you’ve got to do it while the iron is hot. But research shows that regular breaks — in the form of a lunch hour, a day off, even an extended vacation — can help you avoid a host of mental, physical and emotional complications.

These stressors can turn into financial complications, too. If you don’t get up from your desk and stop answering work-related emails, texts or phone calls, you can end up feeling stressed. Stress leads to:

  • Making mistakes
  • Getting burned out
  • Developing physical illnesses
  • Overeating
  • Losing focus
  • Displaying irritability and insensitivity

And all these results are bad for business, especially a small business.

 

 

Stop the World; I Want to Get Off!

It may seem counterintuitive, but without stepping away from the things you love to do, you may actually come to hate them. So, the quickest way to lose your motivation and desire is to push your limits day in and day out. Instead, keep your sanity and love for your work by:

  • Walking away from your desk for 10 to 15 minutes every couple of hours
  • Exercising for a solid hour at least three times a week
  • Enjoying a leisurely breakfast every morning
  • Stopping for 10-minute meditation breaks twice a day
  • And every week, build in time for your family, your health, your social life and your spiritual needs.

At least once a week:

  • Meet a friend for lunch
  • Go to church, temple, the woods or whatever sustains your spirit
  • Tend to your house, office or yard
  • Catch up on global news

The annual vacation too often is the first thing to go when your business picks up. But when you plan ahead — and pay ahead — your chances of keeping your vacation increases exponentially, no matter what’s going on at the office. And while you may be tempted to check email and respond to messages, remember your automated reply:

ON VACATION

Stay Healthy at Any Cost

“I don’t have time.”

“We can’t afford it.”

These common excuses are heard often among entrepreneurs and leaders. Excuses can justify anything, including skipping that vacation — until you’re laid up in the hospital with a heart issue or doubled over with back pain or migraines. In addition to taking breaks, the writers and editors at Ray Access have learned a thing or two about running a web-based business and staying healthy.

Read about some of the lessons that experience and research have taught us:

Lose Those Carpal Tunnel Blues

Nutrition for Writers

10 Healthy Tips for Entrepreneurs