Why you need to STOP working and START thinking

Most of us know what it feels like to be completely buried under a mountain of work. The day to day running of our businesses can often feel like it produces an unlimited amount of requests for our time. It’s obviously not very nice and leaves us feel exhausted and sometimes even stressed but we console ourselves with the fact that it’s better than being not busy. But is it really?

Well yes and no. It goes without saying that it’s good to have work to do BUT it’s not good when there is no room for anything else. I’m particularly referring to that all important ‘thinking time’. We are all aware of the axiom ‘work smart not hard’ and in order to be able to do that we have to be able to step back from the daily grind. Seeing the wood and not just the tree’s is vital if you want to widen your perspective and find ways to improve your business.

The majority of successful businesses are built on good internal processes. Some people take months planning how their business is going to work before they take the plunge. Others don’t get to enjoy that luxury, but either way, processes will always need to evolve and to be honed as your business grows. If you are constantly ‘up against it’ you will find yourself doing things the way you have always done them.

When you’re really busy, it might feel counter intuitive to just down tools and stop what you’re doing. You might feel worried that you will fall too far behind with your duties. But if you are able to use the time to think about how your business could be more efficient, when you return with your new approach, you’ll find that you are actually more on top of your work than you ever could have been before.

I’m always surprised by how many obvious but critical changes I make to my business when I just stop to take time out for a bit of a think. I recall taking an afternoon off to focus on some areas I could improve my business; I got home tried to let my thoughts flow freely. In that one afternoon I realised that I needed to change my entire marketing strategy. It’s not overly dramatic to say it – that decision didn’t just improve my business but saved it.

I never would have those important realisations and been able to make those decisions if I hadn’t of got away from it all for a short while. Let me set you this task: At some point this week (not when you have lunch or a scheduled break) stop what you are doing and dedicate an hour to thinking about how you can either improve your business or make it more efficient. You might be surprised at the clarity of thought you will find about some long standing issues or problems. Good Luck!