Getting out of the office and having a break, restless nights...

Well it is that time of the year again, thankfully. When nights are long, and it got me thinking after a wonderful run in the dusk.

Looking toward Dove Stone from Wimberry Rocks, known locally as Indian’s Head.

When you run your own business you are always busy, as there is a lot to do and as I have discovered you always want to do more. And you can be restless or have “itchy thoughts”. For example it is quarter past four in the morning and I am typing away. I could not sleep and came downstairs, put the fire on, and have been doing work and personal stuff. I like the word stuff. The aforementioned similarly applies to senior people in salaried roles and I base this on personal experience; you have a lot on, it never ends, meetings during the day have taken your time etc. etc. etc.

What is notable is in both cases I have ended up cross eyed, tired and worn out, and chasing my tail as I seek to manage work load, achieve results, and stay on top.

Yesterday had been a busy day, and it is tough trading conditions at present with the Brexit fiasco. So the temptation is to work hard, or maybe too hard and end up frazzled. Question is what are you actually achieving in terms of results, and your mental health? By way of comparison was the run I took at ten to six in the evening after my day’s work.

When I mulled all over on the run, and it is not the first time I have been here, I remembered that you need a break from work, even if you have a lot on or have to park urgent work.

Diminishing economies of scale - remember this and read on…

“Diseconomies of scale refers to a point at which the company no longer enjoys economies of scale, and at which the cost per unit rises as more units are produced. Diseconomies of scale can result from a number of inefficiencies that can diminish the benefits earned from economies of scale.”

I want you to think about diseconomies of scale from your perspective. Are you trying to work when you should not? Think in terms of work productivity and mental productivity. Think of diminishing economies of scale not from its traditional sense in manufacturing, but from you imagined as a company or production line. What impact it constantly working having on a) your productivity, b) your personal “infrastructure”?

  • Running your own business and occupying a senior role require work, hard work, it comes with the territory.

  • It does not get easier. You will always have your ups and downs, that is business at the top end.

  • But you get used to it. You really do, and I say that after a number of years and my being the ripe old age of 47. Somehow I wished I had learned this earlier.

  • Workloads will always be there, no matter what.

  • Nothing is really that important that it cannot wait until the next day.

  • Rest or simply having a break makes such a difference to productivity. I do believe that setting hours of work, e.g. 9-5.30pm and sticking to them means you focus your activity, the time is utilised correctly, and you avoid stringing tasks out where you in theory have unlimited time. Often the plague of the salary man and woman.

  • But also give yourself flexibility, if you are in the mood for working then work - your frame of mind is important and you can leverage it.

  • Conversely if you cannot work, don’t want to work, or plain cannot be arsed then don’t unless it’s needed, urgent, deadline etc.

  • Remember when you revised, most of us will. You took breaks. For some reason this does seem to go out of the window when in work as an adult in a senior role.

A break, like my fell run yesterday, allows you to relax physically and mentally and be more productive. It also puts into perspective work, something that does not become life controlling. And in this day and age we put work before personal, when it should be the polar opposite. We work to live and not the other way round. What a break allows you to do is to recharge the brain, and nothing is not that important that it cannot wait until the next day. The mental side is probably more important than the physical side (it’s all physical in one sense) as its degradation affects all areas. Have you noticed all tasks end up taking longer, lethargy, snapping at people? And so the list increases. Being fresh enlivens you and others, and makes you realise “it’s only work”, “it’s only a job”. Cliched but true.

Looking down Ashway Gap toward Dove Stone.

My break drew closure to a long working day and one that involved a lot of concentration when on phone calls. I had been tempted to not run and continue working as there is always a lot to do. But this harks back to the economies of scale quote.

I was glad that I ran, it was a wonderful evening and allowed me to forget about work (mostly) and let my brain relax, get out of the work environment, and free up thinking space of all matter of stuff. It is so important. Did I have to push things into the following day? Yes, of course. Were people bothered? NO. And if they are? So be it.