With little exception, every small business owner moves expeditiously from one event to another throughout the day. There’s little or no time to grab a cup of coffee, let alone give your brain a chance to recovery. Is this a good thing in the high-performance world in which we live?
We don’t think so!
If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you know the kind of grueling schedule to which I’m referring. You go from one meeting into another – immediately. You move from one call to another – with nary a breath in between. You toggle between one project and another – with just enough time to relieve your bladder – if you’re lucky. And you’re surprised when you fall into your Lazy Boy at the end of day – utterly exhausted – barely able to string two words together?
You shouldn’t be. Your brain is toast!
Whether it’s decision fatigue, spontaneous juggling of multiple activities, overwhelm and overcommittment, or all of the above, its eminently apparent – someone needs a nap.
Busier is Not Better
In fact, on any given day, there’s so much coming at small business owners, its difficult to process. This continual inundation of information is attention draining. Always being “on”…
- kills creativity,
- dampens decision making,
- impairs memory,
- diminishes performance,
- slows response time, and
- destroys focus.
Yet, we continue to forge ahead even though we know we’re on empty.
No surprise there! We’ve become accustomised to working through dulled senses and stagnant energy. Unless we’re willing to replenish our ability to work, performance will lag behiind what we want – or need.
Take a Brain Break
More and more studies explain how some of the most gifted artisits and athletes sustain high levels of performance.
For instance, Psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, who studied high performers for over 30 years, discovered that most people can push themselves beyond their limits for only about an hour without rest. In fact, Ericsson stated, “Unless the daily levels of practice are restricted, such that subsequent rest and nighttime sleep allow the individuals to restore their equilibrium, individuals often encounter overtraining injuries and, eventually, incapacitating ‘burnout.”
Ding! Ding! Ding! Does that ring a bell? Of course, it does…and we’ve known it for years.
Giving your brain an occasional break throughout the day refreshes and energizes you. It improves concentration, relieves stress, and promotes creativity. And, with motivation and energy restored, high levels of performance become sustainable.(Just ask any 2 year old!)
My advice for small business owners? Give your brain a break. Downtime means more uptime.
What strategies do you follow to ensure you maintain high performance?