6 Reasons Why Every Business Owner Deserves a Break

6 Reasons Why Every Business Owner Deserves a Break

Have you heard of the “Entrepreneurial Paradox?” It’s the ironic twist of people who leave their traditional 9-5 jobs to start their businesses and then find themselves working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a business owner, it’s sometimes hard to know how or when to take a break.

Though the shift to entrepreneurship is usually motivated by a craving for independence and a balanced work-life dynamic, the hurdles of establishing and maintaining a business can result in a demanding and all-encompassing workload.

Still, entrepreneurship is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling paths that you could ever take.

Let me tell you the fascinating story of Andrew Barnes.

The successful entrepreneur and philanthropist was on a plane ride once when he stumbled on an article saying that the Brits are only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes a day. The rest of the time is spent on coffee breaks, conversations with colleagues, prolonged meetings, family checkups and a lot of extra stuff.

So he thought to himself, “What if I gave my staff an extra day of the week in return for them delivering the same amount of productivity over four days?”

He challenged his team – That if they delivered agreed productivity outputs and maintained service standards, then he would gift them a day off per week.

He also hired independent researchers to track the progress of the project.

So what happened? The productivity went up marginally, stress levels dropped, and employees reported higher job satisfaction. Perhaps the most fascinating outcome was this – his staff said that they were better able to handle their workload working four days, not five.


I’m not saying that it’s time to change your organisation’s policies and implement the four-day week. Not at all.

What I’m driving at is that sometimes downtime can be a good thing. Silly as it sounds, downtime from work could increase your productivity levels.

Prioritising your well-being and challenging traditional norms creates a more sustainable and fulfilling work environment for you and your employees.

The Importance of Downtime

Purposely putting everything aside to take a breather is more important than we think. Long working hours and high-stress environments could have an impact on your mental health and job satisfaction.

Here are 5 reasons why downtime is so important, and why all small business owners deserve a break:

  1. Distance Creates Perspective
  2. Preventing Burnout
  3. Work-Life Balance
  4. Creative Refreshment
  5. Motivation


  1. Distance Creates Perspective

Have you ever had a problem which easily sorts itself out? In your mind, it seems huge and permanent, but when you walk away from it for a few minutes you come back and the solution seems pretty obvious.

This is one of the reasons why downtime is so important. It gives you perspective. Interacting with people and getting some fresh air will help you look at things from a different lens.

Here are two ways to make this more efficient:

  • Allow Yourself To Be Distracted

It’s hard to put everything aside when a lot of things depend on the success of your business.

Even so, you have to allow yourself to be distracted, even if it means forcefully staying away from your devices. Try not to think about work and find other things to focus on.

  • Practice Mindfulness

You need to completely disengage from all work-related stressors. Mindfulness is a great practice to help you achieve this. It’s not just about the duration of the break but also the quality of it.

This will help you to recharge your mental and emotional capacity to handle whatever your work throws at you.

2. Preventing Burnout

Burnout is more problematic than we think. You feel drained, sad, angry, irritable and nonchalant. On top of that it highly affects your productivity, and dealing with it can take between three months to a year. 

Downtime allows you as a small business owner to create new experiences outside of work. In doing this, you enjoy your personal life and get personal tasks out of the way. You get to spend quality time with your friends and family.

Here are two ways that taking a break helps you to prevent burnout:

  • Prevents Emotional Exhaustion

Burnout is highly characterised by emotional exhaustion. When you take a break, you distance yourself from all work-related stressors and recharge emotionally. You gain a fresh perspective on life and work matters which enables you to come back feeling rejuvenated.

  • Stress-Reduction

High levels of stress can cause burnout. This is the essence of taking a break. You can use this time wisely to relax, depending on what that means for you. Whether it be painting, exercising, swimming, sleeping, or going on holiday, this break will help you avoid work fatigue.

3. Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is one of the values of Outside ideas. We feel that it’s really important to ensure that you ‘work hard, play hard.’

When you have a good work-life balance, you are more likely to be productive at work. So, don’t shy away from taking a break and going on holiday. In the long run, it will help get you back on track with your goals. It might turn out to be the one thing you need to pursue those goals that have seemed impossible for a long time.

Here are two reasons why having a work-life balance is so important:

  • Maintaining Mental Health

Mental health issues have become more and more prevalent in the last couple of years. So many people are going through depression, stress, anxiety, and even Post Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The reality of the matter is that sometimes these issues are caused by work. The only way to even things out and even prevent them from happening, is by actively pursuing a work-life balance.

  • Becoming Successful

There’s a common misconception that success is only a result of hard work, and that’s completely untrue. A balanced lifestyle helps you to boost your productivity when you are working. It makes you more creative, giving you the chance to achieve success without overworking.

4. Creative Refreshment

Taking a break from work makes you more creative.

It allows your mind to pause, reflect, and explore. By exposing yourself to lots of different stimuli, sparks creative thinking and inspires new solutions which you likely had not thought of before.

Here are two reasons why a break from work will make you more creative:

  • Mind-Wandering

Human beings naturally tend to fixate on issues. We can go back and forth trying to find solutions to things that are beyond our control. This kind of hyper-focus is not always helpful, because it closes you off to only one way of thinking.

On the other hand, downtime provides the space for unstructured thinking allowing your mind to wander and daydream. In doing this, you can develop innovative ideas and creative solutions.

  • Improved Mood and Positivity

Sometimes, staying in the same space and trying to fix things can hinder your progress. You might not get anywhere, and it puts you in a bad mood.

When you’re running a business, your job description is all about solving problems, for your business and your customer. 

Downtime contributes to improved mood and a positive mindset. Creativity often flourishes in an environment where individuals feel relaxed, happy, and free from anxiety.

5. Motivation

Running a business can sometimes feel like spinning your wheels. You’re doing so much, working so hard, but not seeing the results.

Balancing work with adequate rest and enjoyable activities contributes to a motivated and engaged mindset in both personal and professional pursuits.

Here are two reasons why taking a break from work gives you motivation to do more:

  • Goal Reflection

Downtime is good for motivation because it allows you to reflect on what really matters. You can go back to your ‘why’ and rediscover your passion. You have all the time to reassess your priorities and gain a clearer sense of purpose.

  • Restores Energy

Many times when people lack motivation, it’s because their energy levels have been depleted. By taking a break from work, you are able to recharge, preventing feelings of exhaustion and lethargy. All this helps you to gain more motivation to work.

Why Every Business Owner Deserves a Break – Our Summary

A four day week might not be suitable for you and your company. But whenever you find yourself working well into the night and not getting enough rest, remember that effort does not always translate to success. Every business owner deserves a break.

Proper sleep and adequate rest play a big role in making you more productive and in turn successful. 

In summary, here are 5 reasons why you should take a break from work:

  1. Distance Creates Perspective
  2. Preventing Burnout
  3. Work-Life Balance
  4. Creative Refreshment
  5. Motivation

Outside ideas truly believes in rest and a good work-life balance. Get in touch with us if you’d like to have a chat on how to restructure your business so that you can take a proper break from work.


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