The 8 classic signs that you need a break from your business

The 8 classic signs that you need a break from your business

Posted by Claire White ¦ Business Skills

Is it just me, or do you sometimes feel that working endless hours is some sort of badge of honour?

Everyone works, it’s like a club that we’re all part of, but when the joy seems to have gone out of working in the business you once loved; you’re barking at everyone around you; and the constant tossing and turning at night is keeping you (and perhaps your other half) awake, then you need to take a break before your health suffers. Check out the 8 classic warning signs below.

Related article: How I tripled my income, and had a seizure…

1. You’re making mistakes

Are you finding more errors than normal in your work? Or worse, have your clients started to pick up on the errors? When you’re overworked, your brain simply stops paying as much attention. The result is that the standard of your work starts to drop and you make unusual mistakes. It can happen to anyone. Perhaps you included something that the client specifically asked you to leave out, or you missed out something they asked you to include. Everyone gets overworked and small mistakes can happen anywhere. If they’re happening to you, it could be time to take a break.

2. You can’t focus

Former accountant Greg De Simone, founder of business coaching firm, FocalPoint says

Most people can't have a high level of focus for extended periods of time. Even high-end athletes or musicians need regular breaks

explaining that he’s noticed that when clients have had a break they definitely return with a higher level of productivity and find it easier to come up with new solutions and ideas.

3. You’ve lost your motivation

When you feel good, you work hard. You relish a challenge and enjoy the satisfaction from delivering. If you begin to dread working on the business you once loved, or just can’t seem to find the motivation to get on with a task, it’s a sure sign you need some time out.

4. You feel overwhelmed

Have you ever sat down at the desk, looked at your to-do list, and felt that stomach-churning, sinking feeling? Do you always seem to be fire-fighting rather than being in control? We’ve all been there. Feeling overwhelmed is a classic sign that it’s time to take a break. And if you think you can’t spare the time, consider that you’re actually losing time anyway, simply by being ineffective.

5. You’re always tired

If just sitting down to work brings about a sudden urge to have a nap, then you’ve just about had enough. When you’ve been working too long without a break, you seem to start every day in a haze of exhaustion. This is also a reason for things like the small mistakes I mentioned earlier. Well-rested and happy go hand in hand.

6. You’re not sleeping well

Sleep issues are a real red flag. Between the pressures of running a business, being irritable, and thinking about all those mistakes, you’re likely to be pretty stressed out. This can lead to a cycle of struggling to drop off, spending hours tossing and turning, and waking up feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus. Don’t ignore the warning signs.

7. Everything seems to annoy you

Has everyone around you suddenly become more irritating? Has road rage become a regular occurrence or do you find yourself screaming at the kids for things you know full well wouldn’t normally have bothered you? There comes a point when just the thought of everything you need to do puts you in a bad mood, before you even start. If you’re at this point, then you need to take a break before you do lasting damage to your relationships.

8. People are telling you to take a break

If you’re getting the same message from people in different areas of your life, it’s time to start listening. The kids might be complaining that you never have time, your other half is fed up of you constantly working, or maybe your friends have joked that you can never fit them in? When you’re overworked and need a break, everything suffers. You have to focus all of your energy on work and that means you don’t have any left for the other things in your life that matter.

According to the authors of 'Reboot your life: Energize your career & life by taking a break' 

Taking time out from work to reboot your life is not just a new and enduring trend; it’s a necessity in our stress-ridden world.

Perhaps you're reading this and thinking "that's me!" or perhaps that some of the points are starting to creep their way into your life far too regularly? I'm starting my own 2 week break tomorrow and as ever for a business owner, the run up to the break has been even more fraught as I try to get everything up to date. But I'm looking forward to coming back with a renewed sense of energy and focus and a plan to have more regular breaks in future. How about you? 

Sources: Is it time to take a break from your business?

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About the Author:
Claire White has created a wholly unique service, devoted to providing Business Advice, Implementation Skills & Accountability Services to forward-thinking Independent Professionals wanting to develop their business and take control of their time.  Contact Claire on +44 (0)345 056 8544, email or visit 

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