This week during a coaching session, one of my clients shared her ongoing struggle with managing "breaks" throughout the day. Whenever she felt the need to get up from her desk and stretch her legs, she found herself in the kitchen.
As a result of this habit, she is now 20 pounds heavier, very uncomfortable and extremely unhappy with herself.
Unfortunately this phenomenon is all too common among entrepreneurs who transition from the outside work world to working from home.
Home business presents challenges not normally experienced while working in the corporate or "outside" world and managing breaks is a big one.
When you work outside of the home, a break might be spent by a water cooler, in a lunchroom, or outside on a bench chatting with a co-worker. When you do spend your break in the company lunchroom, you seldom find a fully stocked fridge and cupboards chock full of food at your disposal.
When you work from home, your break locations aren't quite as extensive and because it's very unlikely you would spend this time sitting in a bedroom or talking to yourself in the bathroom mirror, the kitchen is the most logical destination.
How you spend your breaks at home requires a little creativity and A LOT of discipline. By giving yourself options, setting limits, and creating healthy habits, it won't take long for you to re-direct yourself when you find yourself drifting towards the kitchen.
Here are 7 simple options to get you started:
1. Grab your remote telephone, head outside for a lawn chair and call a friend. This not only addresses the "break" issue but also combats the feelings of isolation that often affect home-based business owners. The important thing to remember here is set limits for yourself. Institute a 15-minute break rule and enforce it, otherwise you can lose an entire afternoon.
2. Pick up your mail. Whether the mailbox is at the end of your driveway or just down the street, this is the perfect opportunity for you to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.
3. Play your favorite CD and listen to song that takes your mind completely off your work. Enjoy a cool class of juice or a tasty cup of tea while you immerse yourself in the music. If you're feeling a little sluggish, pop a lively tune into your boom box and kick up your heels! There's no better energy boost than a good boogie!
4. Take a walk around the block. Take your puppy with you and light two candles with one flame. Get to know your neighbors, keep your pet healthy, and enjoy the great outdoors.
5. Meditate. There's nothing like a midday meditation to free your mind and relax the body. The benefits are immense and impact all areas of your life and business.
6. Set kitchen hours. Establish certain times throughout the day when the kitchen is off limits and stick to them.
7. Sweep the entryway or vacuum the living room. It may not be exciting but it will give your mind the break it needs, and will save you time elsewhere so you can spend it with family and friends. A few little cleaning breaks throughout the day really add up.
What other ideas come to mind for you?
Your success and wellness all boil down to discipline, creative thinking, and being gentle with yourself. Don't beat yourself up if you've created habits that are counterproductive. Instead, seek solutions and take appropriate action.
It's all about developing structures and processes and when you realize you have the power to design your own activities, you will create amazing results for yourself.
2006 © Laurie Hayes - The HBB Source