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Rest to get the Best from Your Small Business

Everyone does it. And no one seems to want to stop.

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful, said Mae West [1].

Or is it?

An unusual trend among working people, is that people love to work and spend a lot of hours at the work they love. Every small business owner I have ever advised, worked non-stop. And perhaps complained, and would ask me about that work-family balance nonsense [2], but then would excuse herself to answer an important cell call. (There are no unimportant cell phone calls.)

Non-stop work is bad for your health and bad for your productivity.

Studies show that working 21 continuous hours has the same effect as being drunk [3]. Yes, working too much is a real high.

Among industrialized nations, none work more hours than the US of A. The two-martini lunch has been replaced with jolts of caffeine — to stay awake. Americans don’t drink to escape from work and sleep; we remain at work awake and become drunk. Starbucks has replaced Archie’s Bar.

And no one works harder or more hours than the boss. And you, the small business owner, will openly admit to working harder and more hours than any one.

Martyr.

(No one likes martyrs, that’s why they killed so many of them.)

Your Business Blogger would suggest that business productivity and employee health can be improved by working fewer hours.



Heresy.

I know. I wouldn’t want to stop either. But I have a trick. An answer to those 60-hour work weeks.

Put those hours into 6 days — not 7. Take a day off. Yes, yes, a whole day.

Stay with me now. Businesses actually have this as policy.



Chick-fil-A [4], with 1,250 restaurants and sales of almost $2 billion, takes a day off.

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, made the decision to close on Sunday in 1946 when he opened his original restaurant…in Hapeville, Georgia. He has often shared that his decision was as much practical as spiritual. Operating a 24-hour a day business left him exhausted. Being closed on Sunday allowed him time to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually…

It doesn’t have to be a Saturday or a Sunday. When I was working restaurants I took Tuesdays off. It matters not the day.

But pick a day, then don’t work it.

Many business owners have pestered Your Business Blogger for a set of rules on what is work or not. Because work and play are the same for all North Americans. My only suggestion for your weekly day off:



Be Unproductive.

Leave productivity and production and whatever work is to the other six days. On that special day: give it a rest.

Oddly, I would suggest no prohibition on exercise. We should sweat on our day of relaxation. (This is America.) Sweating and exercise are acceptable unless your day job is in the NBA or the Golf Pro Tour.

And to make sure it works, find a friend who will hold you accountable. Which you should be doing for business, anyway.

Be accountable to your private board of directors or mentor [5].



So. To be more productive. Do nothing, one day a week.