When you own a business it’s not uncommon to work long hours and constantly be under the gun to meet a deadline. But the fact is, we all have our limitations and eventually exhaustion and stress will catch up to you. You can push for only so long before you hit the proverbial “wall” and suddenly feel yourself inescapably shutting down. After a period of disinterested dormancy, you find your mojo returning and before you know it, you’re well on your way to repeating the cycle all over again. Isn’t there a better way?
Are you riding the To-Do roller-coaster?
Hard work is a good thing for a person’s soul. But like most things in life, you need to find balance. Too much of anything is not good for you. So instead of binging and crashing on todo lists, spread your workload into a steady, manageable pace that has chill-periods dispersed throughout.
How do I know I’m pushing too hard?
Our bodies send very clear signals when our stress levels are getting too high. But in the heat of the moment, when the deadline is coming and the pressure is on, it’s very easy to ignore these signals and keep pushing forward. Here are some clear signs that stress is catching up to you:
- Seeing only the negative
- Constant worrying
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Irritability or short temper
- Agitation, inability to relax
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sense of loneliness and isolation
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Inability to concentrate
What do I do?
If you feel these symptoms stirring up, you need to just stop, get away from what you are doing, and relax for a bit. Not just lifting your hands off the keyboard for a moment. It means get away from the desk – or even the office if necessary. Go to a different room, grab a book, sit down, and read for a little while. Go for a walk or a jog. Do some yoga. Take a short drive. Stretch and breathe deeply. “Accidentally” visit Cuba (disclaimer: we are not responsible if you lose your job over an accidental trip to Cuba). Whatever you do, allow yourself to breathe deeply, clear your head and let go of your stress.
If you cram all of that stress inside of you day after day, you are not doing anything productive. You are simply pooling negativity inside of yourself and eventually you will either explode or shut down. That’s the last thing you need when you have a million things to accomplish.
So, go out there and be your best – but do it with balance. Take a 5 minute break instead of a 5-day breakdown. Your body, friends, family and co-workers will thank you for it!