Taking Time Out
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Taking Time Out

by
Esther Ocampo

I live in a beautiful part of the world. Mountains, green fields, (sometimes) blue skies, beaches and forests nearby, very picturesque. However, I often find I don't take the time out to appreciate it. Do you stop and smell the roses where you are? When was the last time you disconnected from your business 100%? When was the last time you switched your phone off or left it at home? 

When a company is in the start-up phase it can be even more difficult to switch off. The "what ifs" start to creep in.

  • What if I get a big order over the weekend? 
  • What if I receive an urgent request for a quote?
  • What if...

Let me ask you this - what if you don't switch off? It's been proven that we need downtime; we need rest. Thinking about and working in your business 24/7 isn't good for you. Plus, it gets your clients into a bad habit of assuming they can contact you any time of the day or night and you'll be there to answer them. If you get them into that mindset, it will be harder to change them once you are more established as a business.

We are living in an age of instant communication. People expect answers via social media within 30 minutes, an answer via email in less than 24 hours. Facebook "rewards" businesses who answer within 5 minutes with a tick to show they are responsive. That's all well and good until you get a message from someone during the night.

Just recently I took a few days off during the week - it's the summer, the kids are off school, there were public holidays in my part of the world - so I took 2 days off and guess what - the world didn't end! Yes, it was tough. Yes, I still got notifications on my phone from social media and email, but it was nothing that couldn't wait until I got back to the office, and when I went back to work I could deal with them with a refreshed mind.

Now it's summer time here, the sun is out (for a change) so what better way to enjoy it than taking 5-10 minutes to just sit and take in the rays. During this time I try not to think about anything. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the countryside around me. Birds singing, sheep bleating, cows mooing, trees rustling in the breeze... absolute heaven. Oh and for those 5-10 minutes I switch the ringer off on my phone. Me time. Down time. Whatever you call it, we all need it, so why not enjoy it now while we can.

Try it and let me know how the world kept turning while you switched off. I know it's not easy, I'm a social media manager who knows the importance of being online. I'm also a mum, a wife, a friend. Human. We all need to switch off.

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