stop & smell the roses

Ok, I didn’t say it first, but I try to repeat it often!

This installment of Smarter Working Tips is directed to the self-employed workaholic…

Is your office in your basement, like mine? Can you look out the window and see the sun blazing while you’re working? OR worse… is your office in your bedroom, facing a wall?

Take this as your official permission slip to skip afternoon projects and make them up later – after the sun goes down.

Sometimes, you just gotta go outside… get away from your computer, or your pile of envelopes, your stack of receipts, your drill press – whatever – and stick your hands in the dirt. Pull up 3 square feet of weeds and absorb all the Vitamin D you can; snap on your rollerblades and go around the block; blow the dust off your helmet and ride your bike to the flowershop and back; even just pull up a rock and bask in the sun, don’t move a muscle, just suck it in!

Ok, so there’s no blazing sun but you’ve been working like a maniac – you’re on 36 hours and it’s only wednesday morning… even if it’s raining, snowing, sleeting or dark out, you CAN take a break.

Visit some websites that you’ve had on the “must see list” for a while… watch “Titus” on tuesday night (sadly, since this article was written, Titus has been cancelled)… play a game of crib with your spouse or child… make bread… do a jigsaw puzzle… go to bed!

The important thing is this – there’s nothing more important than your health (physical and mental) and there is no proof that working too hard will NOT put you over the edge. Take time out and time OFF! You deserve it, your friends and family will relish the opportunity to refresh their memories on what you look like, and you might even enjoy yourself!

Don’t get me wrong – working hard is admirable, and when you love what you do it doesn’t always feel like work – but you have to have balance.

The world will not collapse if you take 2 hours off. Your clients will have more respect for you if you set boundaries on WHEN you’ll work. The people around you will clue you in to the important stuff you’ve missed AND you’ll get revitalized to work more later! It’s a win/win proposition.

Go ahead… Do IT!