Are you taking a break from business to refresh?

On your way to reaching new heights in life and business, it’s imperative to take time to truly enjoy your life and the fruits of your labor.

Without breaks to the routine flow of life and work, we tend to become burned out, overwhelmed and fatigued, to name a few problems. This reduces the quality of all that we do on a daily basis. One of the keys to being happy and successful is to keep yourself refreshed and at your best.

Many business owners and their team members never stop working. While they might give the appearance of not working when outside of business operations, they think incessantly about their responsibilities; new opportunities; and worries about the future, the past, competition, the economy and so on. They never truly give themselves a rest.

These thoughts often interrupt sleep and eating patterns, exercise routines, personal and professional relationships, hobbies, further learning and growth, and in general, limit happiness and success. Little by little, these seemingly minor disruptions will destroy you and the quality of your life. When all you do is work, many wonderful and necessary things in life go by the wayside.

I recently returned from a vacation in Maui, during which I consciously stepped away from my coaching and consulting business. I only responded to a few urgent calls from clients, and I also stopped my social networking.

In other words, I took a break from my business life and fully engaged my private life.

This was not always my choice in the past. During the first couple years of in business, I took little time away.

I was so focused on meeting the needs of my clients and the growing demand for my services, I often forgot about myself.

I began to feel tired and recognized I had to work even harder to keep up my best effort. I was “running out of steam,” so to speak. While my passion for my work as a coach and consultant didn’t fade, I found myself losing my life to some degree. That’s not why I became a business owner.

Consciousness of your particular situation is your best friend here. Take a few moments to ask yourself these important questions:

Are you a workaholic?

Do you often allow thoughts of business to occupy your mind as a loved one is talking with you?

Do you frequently wake up with thoughts of work?

Do you tell yourself and others you can’t step away from your business?

Do you feel exhausted?

Are you happy?

In truth, there are times in the course of running a business when extra time is needed to effectively deal with situations. If this is the norm rather than the exception, however, I encourage you to take an honest look at your situation and make necessary adjustments that will allow you to experience a fuller and more meaningful life.

The benefits are many when you choose to live your life outside of business. And you don’t even need to go on a vacation to do this! By bringing structure and focus to the time you spend in your business or career, you actually free yourself to fully engage both your personal and professional lives.

Simply make a commitment to yourself, and perhaps to those closest to you, that you will begin and end your business day by a certain time each day, say 9 a.m. and

5 p.m. By doing so, you’re also committing to not work between 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. each day. With this little bit of structure in place, and your commitment to it, you’ll bring greater focus to your business, the quality of the work you do will increase, and you will accomplish more as you become a better manager of your work time.

You’ll also spend more quality time with family and friends. Your relationships will improve, and so will your life. You’ll have time to engage in exercise, hobbies and the things you most enjoy. Your mind and body will relax to a greater degree as you break from business. You’ll sleep better, your energy will grow and you’ll be happier and more successful as you bring balance and refreshment to both your personal and professional lives.