Even CEOs need rest days.
We’ve said over and over again that business owners never get a day off. We live that, same as you, even though our business is to growth-hack yours. When you and your team are doing well, you utilize everything you’ve got to keep the momentum going. When you’re going down, you’re scrambling and taking risks and putting your heart and soul into making it work (shout out to serial startup junkies; that’s how we started Rock Candy Media as a top growth agency in Austin).
You don’t get downtime. Whatever you delegate, it’s still up to you to make good on promises, projections, and make use of your team’s efforts. And what you can’t delegate… well that’s when we lose sleep, normal meal times, and eventually, sanity (even if it takes longer for some than others).
But this, just like all humans, doesn’t mean you don’t NEED downtime. A break. A mental health day. A VACATION.
Because whether you like it or not, you can’t operate at 100% all the time forever.
Something will suffer. Something always does.
You may get by on 2 hours of sleep, but you’re then so tired in a meeting that you drift away from the conversation, even if you’re still awake and sipping coffee. You’re hearing, but you’re not listening.
If you can skip meals or eat at your desk, hallelujah. That’s an extra 30 minutes of work every day. But your family or friends then didn’t see you for dinner or drinks. Your significant other loses time, even if they understand it’s for your passion: the business. Not to mention your eyes don’t get a rest from the screen (cue headaches and thus cue short-tempers).
I’m not going to tell a sap story about a working parent who misses the opportunity to read their kids to sleep. You’ve heard that guilt trip before, plus less and less workforce-age people are having kids anyway.
Burying yourself in work leaves a mound of dirt on your business.
The story I will tell is this: Creative problem solving, the lifeblood of your business, will suffer. Without a healthy schedule, your brain gives up ‘the negotiables’ like sleep and healthy food. Then when that doesn’t suffice, you’ll make more non-negotiables into negotiables, like exercise. Or getting personal life things done like bringing your car to the shop. And thus the stress continues to build in the background. You go on autopilot to get things done. But when you do this, you’re not achieving. You’re just doing. You check things off the list without ever getting out of the box or out of tunnel vision.
You slack on communication — a slow burn on your team that is bound to explode.
You slack on company culture — and they do follow your example after all. If they don’t eat or sleep because you aren’t either? You can guess what that productivity and happiness infographic looks like.
This isn’t a cautionary tale about working too hard– it’s a reminder that working smart works better. You’ve learned about sustainable growth for your business — don’t forget that you and your team work the same way.