Business Owners Need to Recharge

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. When I read this quote I reflect on what can happen if we do not take the time to seek to recharge and renew.  Think about when something hardens – it can become brittle and so is more easily cracked or broken, as opposed to something that is flexible and can bend under pressure.

Oftentimes you may feel as if you have been racing all day. And yet at the end of the day, you can’t identify what was accomplished! It can leave you emotionally and physically exhausted which eventually leads to burnout and obviously has a negative impact on your interior design business.

To quote motivational speaker Sam Glenn, “Sometimes the best solution is to rest, relax and recharge. It’s hard to be your best on empty.” A problem for many is to put this advice into practice and incorporate it into becoming a habit.  We often encourage you to better “manage” your time by deliberately blocking segments of time for specific activities and events – client work, marketing, CEO activities, etc. It is also important to incorporate family and personal “blocks” of time as you set your calendar and to also set your priorities. As Stephen Covey states, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” If you let the day control you then you are much more likely to be controlled by “OPP” – other people’s priorities – and that’s what usually leads to a feeling of frustration and lack of accomplishment at the end of the day.

So take control of your calendar and schedule your priorities to be more productive in your interior design business, and encourage your team to do the same. Recharging can involve taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual health. With this in mind, block out time for a daily “recharge” – a walk in nature, a meditation break, a bike ride, or whatever – but take a break during the day that distances you from work and gives your mind and body a chance to recharge. Growing evidence demonstrates that regular breaks from mental tasks actually improve creativity and productivity and that skipping those breaks will more likely lead to stress and exhaustion. Incorporate the idea of a daily recharge into the culture of your firm and watch your productivity and energy increase.

Once you start to incorporate daily recharging into your interior design business regimen, then take the next step and work on taking your weekends off from work! Take control of how you block your time during the week and you should be much more efficient and productive. Your weekends can be your own to enjoy as you wish. And then you’ll be able to start fresh Monday morning with much more energy and refreshed brain cells!

Imagine what your work week would be like if at the end of each day you did not feel exhausted and unsure of exactly what you had accomplished. But rather you felt energized by how much you accomplished.  nd if you are tired at the end of the day it’s from a sense of having accomplished so much – there is a difference between being tired from a good day’s work or exercise and being exhausted due to the day’s difficulty.

As you go from incorporating daily recharging to carrying that over to your weekends, let’s address the value of a longer recharge from a vacation or sabbatical. For those of you saying you “can’t” take a vacation or you “don’t have time” to take a vacation – ask yourself what is keeping you from taking that time away from your business. It is your business, so you are in charge. Start thinking about what you would need to do to be able to unplug from your business for a week or two – or more. Along with that line of thinking, imagine the benefits you would gain from taking time off. You would have the opportunity to recharge your energy as well as identify areas of personal growth where you might want to focus. Relax, have fun, read those books from your “to read” list, enjoy physical exercise and the beauty of nature – and spend time daydreaming! Studies have shown that our brains actually recharge when daydreaming. A researcher at University of Southern California wrote that rather than being idle, when the brain is at rest it is using that time to make sense of what it has recently learned and becomes introspective. Related research suggests that this recharging is particularly active in creative people and while daydreaming the mind solves challenging problems and comes up with new solutions. All of this should demonstrate the value of incorporating opportunities to recharge, daily, weekly and most definitely by taking vacations.

There is just one final necessity for all of this to actually work – be willing to let go and delegate. Build a strong team who will allow you to take time off without being tethered to the business, and instill in your team the value of recharging. You will definitely see positive results – in attitudes and in the bottom line!

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Drue Lawlor

Pearl Collective Coach Drue Lawlor is a long time Pearl Collective coach. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the Strategic Business Transformation Coaching program. The program led the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Drue is also a regular contributor to the Pearl Collective Resources library of interior designer business articles. Outside of Pearl Collective she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.

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