When you are trying to run an online business, at some point you will realize that there is never an end to what you could be doing. I have all these projects that I’m working on and I’m starting to go insane! The idea that work is never done is starting to bleed into any kind of accomplishment I feel after completing something.
Immediately after doing something, I’m thinking to myself, “Ok, what’s next?” While I think this is healthy 90% of the time, there comes a point where there are diminishing returns on stuff you do. What I’ve figured out is that it’s actually helpful to take planned breaks.
If you don’t do this, you will stress yourself out hardcore, and that’s not a good thing.
Up all night, sleep all day
I have talked about how it’s really beneficial to get up early in the day to get started on your work. As of late I’ve been going in the opposite direction. I’ve been doing crazy experiments using Phenibut and staying up til 5 AM listening to music. I’ve also been up at 3 AM wondering if I should start writing something else or just call it a night.
Then I’ll sit in bed unable to go to sleep because I’m thinking about all the stuff I could get done. It defeats the purpose of going to bed if I just sit there thinking for a couple hours. By the time I actually get to sleep, I’m completely exhausted and I have to either get up on like 4 hours of sleep or just sleep way too late.
Then the cycle repeats itself over and over until I have to make drastic changes.
Do your work early, then make time to relax
The easy way to get around this problem is to just do your work early, have a very specific idea of the work you will be doing, and after it’s done you relax.
When I say relax, I mean take your mind completely off the work you are doing. I’ve been here a number of times and if you don’t take time to relax, you could absolutely lose your mind.
Of course, the hard part of this equation is that you have to actually do the work. Another reason besides endless work that people go crazy is that they pretend to actually do the work and then can’t relax. That’s not what I’m talking about here. If you are actually doing the work, it will be pretty easy to relax assuming you are at least open to the idea.
You may be tempted to not relax because you haven’t “made it” yet. The problem with that is that even when you “make it” there will still be endless work to be done.
Take a break to do better work
One of the advantages of taking a break is that it will actually make your work better, and you may end up doing more work overall. If you plan your breaks strategically, you will end up recharging your batteries for a more powerful session later on.
Take someone who gets up and just works for 8 hours straight with no breaks. That’s a pretty long period of time to be doing something non stop. This is why companies have lunch hours. It’s not so much because they want people fed, it’s so they have a more productive worker.
Back when I was working in an office, I’d be counting down the hours to lunch because it was when I could finally relax my mind. I came back after lunch recharged and ready to start anew. Then a couple hours later I’d be counting down the hours til the end of shift.
Part of the reason I’m working for myself is to get out of that insane structure just to help someone else’s business. However, there are interesting lessons from working a corporate gig that you can carry over to your own business though.
You don’t have to simulate the exact schedule of someone working a 9-5 when you are working for yourself, but you should absolutely consider the benefits of taking a break now and then to clear your mind and recharge.
It’s counterintuitive to think that taking the occasional break will allow you to get more stuff done, but over the course of your day if you take a strategic break here and there and stick to specific time constraints, you will find that it’s actually beneficial.
In this modern world of hardcore competition, it’s become in vogue to focus on a task for hours and hours at a time and keep doing new tasks until your body explodes. Don’t let the need to do infinite tasks give you guilt for taking a break.
There is no end to the number of tasks you could be doing.
- Finish an ebook? Better get to designing the cover and formatting the book correctly. Maybe even start the next book in the series.
- Finish a blog post? Well maybe you should start the next blog post or make an accompanying youtube video to go along with it. Now that you mention it, make a youtube video for every post!
- Finish marketing your brand? No, you could always go out and comment on 5 more blog posts that are in your niche to get your name out there.
Part of the problem of break guilt comes from the fact that people expect success overnight. They get so anxious to have money rolling in that they get crazy to do as much as possible in a day or two.
Realize that this is a long haul, and along the way you will have to take a break. Everyone does this sooner or later, so don’t stress out about it.
Take a break every now and then to avoid going crazy. It will make you more powerful in the long run. Trust me here as I’ve already gone crazy and come back from the depths. If you are interested in the specifics of how to use breaks to your advantage, check out my article here.
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