Clocking up lots of hours and carrying out a range of different jobs is often something for which entrepreneurs are celebrated. Starting your own business is not easy and will often require many hours to get things off the ground, particularly when budgets are tight and you can’t afford additional help.
Refuelling yourself is key to productivity and you are always going to get more done when you have given your body and brain time to recharge. From taking 30 seconds away from your desk to going on holiday, you could notice a great increase in your performance.
Running out of steam
If you are constantly working and being put under a lot of pressure, it is highly likely that you will start to feel negative, fatigued and stressed. These emotions can drain you physically and mentally and your brain’s capacity to stay disciplined will reduce with each task you carry out during the day. These lost resources need time to be refuelled; otherwise, you will find it harder and harder to remain focused and be able to solve problems.
Managing your mental capacity
After playing an hour of football, you would not question your need to take a breather; however, it is a whole different ball game when it comes to mental fatigue. The brain is often seen as a godly being that is unworldly; however, the truth is that this grey matter is going to tire out far quicker than your body. As an increasing number of people are involved in mental work, managing our mental resources is not just something we should try to do when we have time; instead, it should be essential.
Consider the brain as a muscle – you can either add to its strength or take away from it. If you let this ‘muscle’ replenish itself, it is going to allow you to see clearer and improve your performance. It is also important that you help it to refuel, as the brain consumes 20 per cent of our calories even though the total body mass taken up by the brain is just two per cent.
If you tire out your mental resources without giving them time to rejuvenate, this will result in poor performance, burnout and stress. Stress then leads to a narrower focus in the brain, which will make it even harder for you to make good decisions or to plan ahead. This creates a vicious and never-ending cycle that you will need to break.
Taking a break
Your recovery time will vary from having a break during your workday to taking a long holiday. During your workday, lunch is a great opportunity for you to recharge your batteries – if you continue to work whilst you are eating your lunch, you are not giving your brain the chance to recover. Equally, taking a holiday gives you complete time out and will help you to achieve a much higher performance level when you return.
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