Growing Your Business by Taking Time Off
Creative professionals occupy a unique existence. Our work can take time, but it needs creative ideas to back it up. Time does not always yield creativity, especially when you feel drained, hungry, and uninspired. Sometimes, your best ideas may come instantly. In order for you to be able to think clearly and creatively, you need to take care of yourself.
Lately, we have seen the dramatic impact that purposeful downtime has had on our business.
It seems silly that we never put it together in our heads until now, but that’s what learning by experience is all about.
When we first thrust ourselves into the entrepreneurial lifestyle, we knew that the “flexible workday” other business owners spoke about was actually code for working longer than those relegated to a standard nine to five schedule. We had no problem with that. When you first start your business, you are excited, anxious, and full of adrenaline. Who needs a day off?
Well, we did.
Before I go any further, it’s not that our love of work and enthusiasm is gone – it’s that after 18 months of building Mindbrew 24/7, our adrenaline started to run out.
At the beginning of summer, I made a point to do as little as possible on the weekends. That meant no checking email, no returning phone calls or texts, no thinking about work (almost impossible). We had a lot on our plate already, and the intentional time off felt great.
However, I never fully realized how much not working would benefit our creative agency.
Since making a point to take weekends off, we have seen more clients come to us with their projects. Our turnaround time has decreased and we maintain even better relationships with our client base. Personally, we feel less stressed, more focused, and completely inspired.
Columbus Day weekend provided us with a chance to take a day trip as a family. After some friends told us about the things to do in Houston, TX (having experienced many of them themselves), we debated going there. In the end, though, we decided to stay local but have agreed we will make the trip to Houston soon.
We enjoyed being outdoors, looking at the unique architecture and landscapes of the North Shore, and catching up with friends. It was a chance to re-energize and fill up on creative inspiration.
For us, taking off means being outdoors as a family, and getting a bite to eat. We’re lucky enough to live in New England, so our surroundings are beautiful.
What does taking time off look like for you? If you’re hesitant, try this:
Turn off your phone, and leave it somewhere other than your pocket. Go exercise. Go enjoy your favorite food. Don’t think about what work you could be doing, just let it wait until the next workday begins. You’ll find yourself more focused, stress-free, and creative.