Health + wellbeing

Your business needs breathing space

- April 17, 2012 2 MIN READ

Taking a little breathing space from your business will give you clarity and focus, and inject a renewed surge of creativity into everything you do.

I was reminded recently that when I’m feeling stretched, my business seems to falter a little and I lose my personal sense of flow. I’m not energised or focused, and I’m disconnected from the part of me that intuitively knows the right answers. Not to mention the effect these things have on my personal relationships.

Once I acknowledged I was off track, I organised a few days away from the business (and from home too so I wasn’t tempted to fill my time off with chores). Very quickly, I regained clarity.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, ‘Although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualise what goes on in my imagination.’

Like Einstein, my favourite escape is somewhere with a long ocean beach to walk along. This is where I find the mental space to ‘listen to what is going on inside my head’, so it’s where I headed on my recent break.

We don’t place the same value on doing nothing as we do on being productive and achieving goals. Yet, without this precious time, we can easily lose sight of the things that are most important.

Breathing space doesn’t have to come in blocks of days – even just half an hour each morning spent reflecting on what matters most will help create clarity and promote a sense of inner calm.

Want more articles like this? Check out the work-life-balance section.

These are the ways that my business benefits when I give myself a little breathing space:

  • My creativity soars: My most creative ideas for marketing and new products and services have come to me while I was walking, on holiday or taking time to just ‘be’
  • I re-find my focus: When I’m overly busy, I find myself caught up in activities that aren’t necessarily aligned with the most important part of my business strategy. When I create space in my life (say a daily walk, or time to meditate each morning) I have time to consider the key objectives for each day. I find that my attention and my energy are much more focused too
  • I’m more productive: When I’m thinking more creatively and focused on objectives that are really important to me, I’m astounded at how much more productive I am
  • My strategic thinking is clearer: We all know we need to make ‘working on the business’ a priority. But when we’re stretched, we tend to just keep doing the things we’ve always done, without evaluating whether they’re the most profitable, most pleasurable and the most beneficial things we can do for our customers
  • Quite simply, I’m happier: I find it miraculous how quickly things change once my mindset shifts. After taking my recent break and making focused time for creativity, I returned to work feeling energised and enthusiastic about my business and I found every day so much more enjoyable. And I doubt it was a coincidence that the phone rang off the hook!

Have you experienced the benefits of giving your business breathing space too? Please tell us about it below.