Stop Working too Hard, It's Killing Business (and You).
If you’re involved in startups and small businesses, you’ll know that they have the capacity to eat away all of your free time if you let them; the problem is, to be successful you need to be productive and engage creatively with your work.
All work and no play can lead to these vital entrepreneurial traits being severely disrupted, and become a source of tremendous stress and anxiety.
Let’s look at the science here: researchers have discovered that taking hourly breaks of around fifteen minutes enables you to tackle projects with increased energy and productivity, rather than sweating away constantly from dusk till dawn.
All too often, startups convince themselves that ungodly hours and caffeine fuelled nights are the keys to success. Sure, there are times when they might be necessary, but to operate like this on a day to day basis is extremely stupid.
You’re risking causing tension between your co-workers and family, and you can do more by working less, however counterintuitive that sounds; you need to work smarter, not harder.
Stress kills creativity. Absolute singular focus to a problem/task goes against our natural approaches to stimulating creative solutions. Staying up all night just to stare at the same page for half a day won’t help you - changing the space you’re in, resting, sleeping and adding variety to your work day will.
Switching between problems gets better results than allowing yourself to be entirely distracted by one task alone.
This isn’t just a productivity issue either, it’s about health - both physical and mental.
Those that work ridiculous hours are far, far more prone to bouts of anxious thought and depressive behaviour that can destroy all personal motivation and distract you entirely from the day-to-day tasks you have to wade through.
Ensure you’re getting sleep, rest, and giving yourself time to find some calm; try meditating in the morning - we think the Headspace app is great for this!
In regards to your physical health, subjecting your body to immense stress is a really great way to strip down your immune system and leave you stuck in bed when you should be at work. Again, sleeping and resting are vital, but so is regular exercise, fresh air and ensuring you’re eating right.
It’s all about balance. If you’ve slaved away Monday to Friday, then you deserve your weekend. Work hard by all means, but don’t let it be wasted.