At our Making Waves youth conference on Saturday (which was really great by the way - we had some amazing young speakers), I ran a really basic workshop titled: Entrepreneur – Tips and Myths. This workshop was really about listing and highlighting some essentials for young people who are considering or already running their own business.
Starting a business is not easy, smooth going or glamorous. However it is exciting and rewarding when doing something you love to do as a business. There is so much information and advice on the internet about running a business, which is good. Conversely there is also some misrepresentation; one of those being in my opinion, how much is poured into running a business - and I am not talking about money.
One of the things that I struggle with is when to rest, shut down, switch off for a prolonged period - in other words, until my body tells me to resume. You see, there is always something to do. For example, after a very busy week and weekend, I was extremely tired early on Sunday evening (yesterday), I decided I was not going to even think about our post Making Waves evaluation or the work that is needed to complete some pressing tasks for the week ahead. I simply switched on the T.V and relaxed. I even managed to doze off a couple of times. Some point later however, my mind broke our non-verbal agreement and brought up my mental to-do-list. That was it. Suddenly, I was on ‘systems go’ mode, although still evidently tired. Soon after this, my son wonders in the room, spots me with my laptop and asks ‘are you working?’ Busted. Instantly, all my advice and sentiments about rest came flooding into my mind, yep the same mind that had betrayed me about an hour earlier. So I did what any Mother and CEO would do in that situation, I explained that what I was doing was so important, it may just save the world. (Ok, so I didn’t suggest world saving work, but it was equally important. Alright then, it was just important O.K!)
Fast-forward to this morning… I woke up mid-morning and was still tired, so once again I agreed with my mind that today would be my intentional rest day. I am happy to announce that this agreement was not broken until about 3pm when my mind slipped into work related mode to write a blog -ironically about resting. Although this blog is not in the ‘world saving’ category, it is also not tedious, so I officially do not classify it as working work (if you know what I mean).
Roughly at this point, I would be rounding up and writing my conclusion about how it is important to factor in rest days periodically, as I did today. Instead I feel obligated to confess that I did in fact discuss quite a few work related matters over a telephone conversation. (In my defence, the phone conversation was with my friend and colleague.)
Despite me stating I had been resting all day and was now writing a short blog about rest, I was still eager to speak and cover a number of issues and plans. As we spoke, I realised, I was moving from tired to energised. In my defence - my other defence, this friend is one of those people that can absolutely inspire you to boil an egg or make toast in fifty other ways.
This is where self-discipline is key to intentionally resting even when you enjoy working and find it energising to discuss work with inspirational people. I can now conclude that the energy boost I received was short lived; my rest is still needed. Needless to say, I will still be resting.
In my opinion, when it comes to starting and running a business, there should be more emphasis on the importance of rest. Hence every business owner should be mindful that the amount of rest you get is pivotal to the success of your organisation, because so much energy, time, resources and skills are used in starting and keeping a business afloat.
Don’t forget to rest and don’t feel guilty about taking time out to rest.