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WORK-LIFE BALANCE

Recharge Your Batteries: 3 Steps

Successful entrepreneurs know that to move ahead sometimes you need to take a break.

Most truly successful entrepreneurs share a common belief that no amount of success is ever enough. But even with an insatiable drive to be the best, successful entrepreneurs know that they too must take breaks and recharge their batteries to continue to grow their businesses.

Voluminous studies show that people are more productive at work when they don't eat at their desks but take a lunch break and then return refreshed for the afternoon haul. The same logic applies to larger times away from the office as well. Every so often even the most driven of us need to step away to relax. In turn, when we come back we are more focused and ready to tend to the tasks at hand.

Moreover, some of our greatest moments of clarity about our businesses often come at moments when we are temporarily detached. On a personal level, this was never more true than on a trip to the Atlantis Resort in 2009 when I decompressed by reading a simple business book by the pool while sipping on piña coladas. The book changed the way I conducted business and led to the reinvigoration of my quest for knowledge about how to build a great and lasting company. The book? Robert Kiyosaki's now iconic Rich Dad Poor Dad.

So how do you take a break and get away from it all? How do you recharge your batteries? Here are a few thoughts:

1. There Is No Single Correct Formula

Some authors will tell you that you must take time completely away from the office with no communication while you are gone. I disagree. For some personality types, mine included, the stress of being completely out of touch with the office would diminish any benefit from stepping away. As such, the ability to be in contact with the office, even if not actually relied upon, can actually be beneficial for those types of personalities.

2. Do It

The next step is often the most difficult: you just have to do it. Sit down, schedule the time off, and go. The best options, I always feel, are those that involve booking a trip where you must purchase airfare, a cruise, or some other means of transportation that requires an affirmative act to get on a plane, train, or boat on someone else's schedule. That way you know you must leave. If you merely plan to take a "staycation," and just hang out at home, you'll probably end up popping into the office. Eliminate this possibility.

3. Plan on Doing It Again

I'm a planner. I like having things scheduled so I can look forward to them in advance. So even when you are in the midst of a vacation recharging your batteries there is nothing wrong with thinking about your next vacation. For instance, on my most recent trip to the Caribbean I took a few hours to plan another trip for the same time next year. Now, although I am back at work and working hard, my batteries recharged, I know that I have a vacation planned in the future so I have something to look forward to. Time again to recharge my batteries.

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Last updated: Apr 11, 2013

MATTHEW SWYERS | Columnist | Founder, The Trademark Company

Matthew Swyers is the founder of The Trademark Company, a Web-based law firm specializing in protecting the trademark rights of small to medium-size businesses. The company is ranked No. 138 on the 2011 Inc. 500.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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