If you’re like most, you’ve spent countless hours in front of your device to jumpstart your web development business. “For greater productivity!” you say to yourself.
But is it? Compared to having a boss breathing over your shoulder, what better way to bootstrap your biz than to work like there’s no tomorrow from the 4-corners of your room? Right?
Hold your horses, bro. Driving yourself like a slave (without stopping) is your one-way ticket to burnout, not success. If you want to move the needle a notch higher, you got to pace yourself. For best results, a vacation should be in the works – and fast. Here’s why.
- Time off: One step backward, two steps forward.
An Eastern philosopher said it best, "The mind is like a rubber band. To stretch it some more, you got to put it back to its original form. Or it eventually breaks and becomes useless.”
As mind-boggling as it may sound, know that your entrepreneurial stint into web design and development is a journey of productivity, greater productivity, to be exact. Being able to utilize your mental prowess to optimal levels is therefore, a must.
However, working your butt off every time simply isn’t the way to go. Fact is, you’d do your creative thinking a huge disservice if your idea of finishing the job is to torment your faculties without resting. Then you would have spelled disaster for your business lowering the quality of your work output in the process – not to mention spreading all the negativity to your organization.
This is a hard truth to accept as you may be aware, most entrepreneurs are slave drivers.
Psychology Today detailed that by 2020, 50% of the workforce in America will be freelancers. The sad news is burnout is foremost amongst the problems solo-preneurs and go-getters face today.
To spur creativity amidst the chaos, it’s no accident the most successful entrepreneurs take time off.
The late Steve Jobs, man behind the success of Apple, took long walks regularly. And he’s not alone - so does, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, founder of Square.
Unpopular as it may seem, such a practice has produced so much greater productivity these entrepreneurs are noted to conduct meetings while walking, Fortune magazine expounds.
Even the great Winston Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain in WWII, took regular naps after lunch right in the middle of all the fighting. For the late statesman, it was non-negotiable to win the war.
- A timely vacation means more alpha waves for you.
Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People hit the nail right in the head. To get to your P (productivity), you need to take care of your PC (production capacity). If not, you’re bound to lose all your golden eggs as you end up killing the goose instead.
The sad part of the story is with regards to your freelance, you and your teammates are the goose.
In this line of thinking, recent research has shown a timely vacation allows you to harvest more of those much-coveted alpha waves. For the uninitiated, alpha waves are the brain waves identified most with creativity. Not having them could mean a largely dysfunctional brain when it comes to creative output.
Ever tried working your way through the night, pushing your brain to product those set of codes, only to find your end-product full of holes? Sounds familiar, right?
Not to be left behind (in breeding more of those alpha waves), Sir Richard Branson has perfected his craft – setting himself to a good morning routine every time. Even more electrifying, the mighty mogul of Virgin, Inc. is talking about unlimited vacations for his crew.
In hindsight, Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are famous for having a highly-encouraging work-play set-up in their respective premises - incorporating a functional gym and ping pong tables in the workplace to boot. This way, greater productivity gets promoted.
- Success by design.
It’s good to note that bootstrapping your business simply can’t be done in one mighty sprint (as much as you want it to); rather the job’s more like a marathon.
In this regard, it’s important therefore that you schedule your time off on a regular basis. To manage energy best, many modern teams today enjoy vacation time – even getting paid to do it (e.g., Moz, EverNote).
Most notable mong them: Airbnb. The enterprise noted as the best place to work in the world in 2016 is giving its employees $2,000 yearly just to take time off.
To max productivity, factor timely breaks in your daily routines. Whenever possible, etch them in stone. Even better, you can set your work space so play time (e.g., ping pong table, table football) is just nearby.
If you’re afraid you might miss deadlines with timely vacations, know that well-crafted project management tools like Creative Snaps exists - designed distinctively for web-developer-and-designer freelancers like you. The good thing is the tool takes care of business (e.g., billing, scheduling) without blowing a huge hole in your budget.
Still, if you’re mulling about vacations, here’s one final qualifying point: Successful entrepreneurs utilize them not because they’re successful already but because vacations make them successful.
So, suit yourself.
To give your business a head start, going to the beach, isn’t a bad idea after all.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
- Rhythms of the Brain, Gyuri Buzsaki