Take some time out. It helps.
Yes, for those who know me well, I see the irony of me writing on this topic .
What I mean by that is that I’ve never really been one for taking time off and find it really hard to do so. When you find something to work on that you truly love to do every day, you often don’t see the need of a holiday because life is an adventure anyway.
However I’ve been talking a lot lately (including in a previous Yena/FYI newsletter) about mindfulness, mental health and wellbeing, and time out goes a *very* (I can’t emphasise that enough) long way to helping you stay on track, stay productive, make the right decisions, and avoid anxiety, imposter syndrome and many other mental challenges.
I haven’t had a holiday in almost 3 years which really isn’t on 😕.
The truth is that when you’re growing a bootstrapped startup, you have to sacrifice everything to make it work, and when you’re creating something new, in new markets, you have to reinvest your ‘money for fun stuff’ back into the business to get it going…
I should say, I don’t regret it – the amount of people we’ve been able to help in lieu of some time on the beach is something I’m very happy with 😊.
However, this cannot and should not stay that way forever.
I’ve already taken steps to fix my daily & weekly routines, for the following reason…
In late 2016 I started to feel exhausted, tired, sad for no reason. I had no idea why until a friend told me that I was likely getting to the point of being ‘burnt out’.
“Pah” I replied, “That’s not a real thing!”.
Turns out, it is.
You must avoid it at all costs. It doesn’t just mean you take time out of your business while you recover, it can have a bigger knock on effect on you, your business, your ongoing health and more.
The secret to avoiding this? Time off. Who knew?! 🙄
So, here are my quick tips for implementing time off that I promise, I am going to stick to (just as soon as enough of you become members that I can afford to take this many breaks 😂):
Daily time out
At Yena we work on an ‘output only’ basis, meaning if there are jobs to be done, we do them. But if they’re not time sensitive (i.e. have to be done at a certain time of day) then they can be done whenever the person doing it likes.
This means people can manage their own time and create their own breaks accordingly .
We believe that people should be rewarded for efficiency. If they can do an 8 hour job in 5 hours, why should they stay ‘clocked in’?
Corporates can learn from this 💡.
So, I know it sounds hippy, but I’ve learned to listen to my mind and body. If I feel myself procrastinating, it’s because I’ve lost focus and should probably refocus. I do this by taking my mind away from work totally, which might mean heading to the gym, going for a run 🏃🏻, watching a new series on Netflix or turning on the playstation 🎮.
Once I’m ‘refuelled’ though, it’s back to work for another ‘sprint’ (shoutout our sponsors at Agility in Mindfor helping me understand sprints) and getting productive again.
Weekly time out
Weekends are there for a reason .
However, there are two ways to utilise them that I’ve found work well for me…
Either swap them for work days and use a mid-week day as a day off, meaning you can use the absolute mailbox silence on the weekend to smash through loads more work than you might get through on a normal day OR do absolutely nothing to do with work whatsoever 🚫.
Here’s an awesome article on what some of the most iconic business people around today do with their weekends – you’ll be surprised, many of them are refreshingly ‘normal’ 😅.
Here’s the one I’m working on (don’t forget to sign up to help with that ).
Quarterly breaks seem like a fantastic idea to me as every 3 months I start to see a lull in my productivity which can manifest in some form of mental strain, sometimes depression, etc, which I used to attribute to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
These don’t have to be expensive either, thanks to our friends over at Much Better Adventures, you can go on some amazing trips, with everything managed for you (no excuses for busy founders/professionals) which are ridiculously affordable.
To kick off the trend, we decided to announce a Members Retreat at least once (maybe twice) a year 😎 where we’ll do strictly no work, but build some really great relationships with friends. This year, we’re going Sea Kayaking in Sardinia! 😱🏖️ So yeah, you won’t want to miss the next one. Join now to make sure you’re on board for the announcement of the next one! 😁
In the interim, I think I’m gonna buy a tent and go on some camping adventures to test out my new walking boots. Anyone fancy toasting some marshmallows?