In a previous life, I was a fitness instructor and wellness coach. I worked really hard to stay in my best possible shape. Fortunately, there are many different muscle groups in the human body and I could exercise almost every day without over-taxing any particular group. Whether it was alternating upper body/lower body, cardio, small muscles… it was easy to have a great work-out without over-stressing any part of my body.
At the beginning of this year I wrote out what was to become my mantra… if you read many of my posts you probably have seen it: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.“
And then I put my nose to the grindstone. I wrote blog posts; I did research around my niche; I dusted off some training I had done last year and I signed up for more. Around my home life and my job, I seemed to always be at the computer.
Don’t get me wrong! I was loving it and I was focused and I could taste accomplishment! I was tired but I knew that was a temporary condition. My path, my strategy, my goals, became clearer and clearer as I continued to work.
Then one night I sat down at my laptop and I stared at the screen. Not one to try and push a dry mind, I sat down in front of the tv. My Home channel always has great reno and real estate shows so my evening passed.
The next night was the same thing. This time I fired up the mahjong game on my laptop and won most of my games!
This went on for several nights, and I was feeling a little frustrated with myself, but just could not bring myself to find a business topic to focus on.
Weekend came and went, I got some yard work done, caught up my indoor chores and Lo! Monday evening I opened up one of my class tutorials and I was back at it!
Now, when I was a fitness fanatic, every once in a while I would complete my cardio and then work a large muscle group to failure. Just because it felt good and it was only from time to time.
In retrospect, I realize my on-line workouts have been like my fitness workouts: they have been focused, they have been arduous… but I have been working out only one “muscle” day after day after day and finally it said “Enough!” It needed a rest from the workout, a few days off to rebuild and strengthen and refocus… and then I could go back at it.
Try to recognize the signs that your own brain is getting tired if you are creating or building an on-line business. It is a huge learning curve for some people and no one can run up hill forever! Change up your workout with games, or humour, or sleep, and then you can be up and running again on all cylinders!
A change is as good as a rest, my mother used to say. Keep that in mind as you make new and challenging demands on the only brain you have!
I totally agree with you, Agnes, that switching activities sparks the brain to new levels of creativity. Sometimes just a walk around the yard renews my enthusiasm to keep writing. And then taking a whole day completely away and doing something totally unrelated has the ability to bring breakthroughs.
I love how you incorporate your athletic training into your business disciplines… wishing you the best!
I always take a notebook with me now, Susan, when I am switching up my environment, because, I agree, that’s when the breakthroughs come!!
It is so true, Agnes. Studies have shown that we are more productive when we take a break every few months. Now I just have to convince myself to do it!
Everyone has their own definition of “break”, Marty and that is probably a good thing – no one-size-fits-all down-time around here!!
A timely reminder!
I take an enforced break most summers when I globe trot with my wannabee-PGA star sons. By September I am itching to get back at it!
Don’t get me wrong – they are my WHY so I have no problem with the way things are. It makes for some creative thinking in trying to find ways of keeping my business rolling from across several Provinces and a few countries!
I am always amazed, Lorraine, at how a totally different environment can spur the most interesting ideas and posts! The entrepreneur’s glasses!
Loved it Agnes and I know when I first started out on this journey I used to get away from the computer and go to the gym. It is surprising how you recharge your batteries and ready to get going again.
Do you still do that, Merle?
Great post Agnes. When we start down this entrepreneurial path we seem to think that we have to be working ALL the time and feel guilty when we take “time out”. I have learnt that I perform much better if I take break now and again. It also reminds me why I am doing this – so that I can do what I want, when I want. So a few hours enjoying the sun in the garden or like yesterday, a trip to London with my Mum, no longer makes me feel guilty for not having my nose to the grindstone!
That’s another good point, Helen… by taking breaks for your pass-times, you are becoming the success you want to be!!
Wonderful reminder Agnes. I love this statement you wrote,
“It is a huge learning curve for some people and no one can run up hill forever!”
Yes, we gotta take a breather and do something different instead of getting BURNT OUT and then quitting all together.
Thanks, Evey! To come so far and then burn out… that would be so disheartening!
Ok, Agnes. These days I am so struggling with my “workout” commitment that relating it to business results isn’t connecting in my brain. LOL!
I am trying to regroup but I’d rather eat green peas than to workout. And if you knew how much I despise green peas . . . 🙁
I can completely relate Agnes. I have been working so hard lately that I forgot to take a break. I was mentally exhausted on Tuesday, and had a moment where I started crying. I was stressed to the max, and realized it was because I was so focused on one thing: my business. I had forgotten to take a break. So Wednesday I took a long trip to run some errands, and it was enough to feel relief. I love my computer, as I use it for business and pleasure. But lately I’ve been spending so much time on it, that I have to make sure I take a break.
How timely Agnes! It’s nice to know that we are never alone in life’s journey, there is always someone experiencing a similar struggle. Being balanced is such wisdom!
You are so right! We tend to not give ourselves the leeway to take the break our brain so needs! (I’ve been doing playing computer games this week so I’m happy to feel better about it after your article – ha)
It is interesting how our brains can go into a bit of a holding pattern, Lori. Maybe we should program the “change” that’s as good as a rest into our business day!
Great post! I really needed this right now. I’ve been feeling like I was in a bit of a block, but it is nice to know that I just need to “exercise” a different part of my brain and the mojo will come back.
Thanks, Tami! My dear departed mother had a “saying” for everything – she would be thrilled to know that not only am I sounding like her now but that other people are identifying!!