We all know that one of the major perks of running your own business is being your own boss.
That means you get to choose your salary, decide how much work and what types of projects to take on, and set your own schedule.
It. Is. Awesome.
But one aspect of being the boss that almost all entrepreneurs forget is to plan for their own down time — and plenty of it!
Today, I want to share with you my thoughts on taking time away from your businesses so that you can avoid burnout, find balance, refuel your creativity, and boost your productivity.
Plus I have a big announcement to share, so keep reading!
The Benefits of a Brain Break
It’s pretty much universally accepted that having some time here and there away from work is absolutely necessary for avoiding burnout.
But resting your brain is also totally essential for maintaining emotional and physical health and boosting creativity, problem-solving ability and productivity.
In the corporate world, employees are given paid time off as part of their total compensation. When they don’t take advantage of it, they are cheating themselves and actually costing their companies money in terms of health problems later and lost productivity!
As business owners, it’s up to us to look after all aspects of our business, and this includes our own health, well-being, and efficiency.
Down Time Comes in All Shapes and Sizes
There are lots of ways to ensure you have enough down time while you build your business. For example, I’ve talked before about setting up a weekly calendar that allows you to be crazy productive and have a life.
I know it’s not always easy to make sure your schedule has down time — I even forgot once to schedule time to eat! — but it’s so important to make the effort.
Try setting aside 20 minutes to take a walk, meditate, doze off on the sofa, or do any number of other things to help you avoid mental fatigue.
When it comes to scheduling in vacation time, be generous with yourself — you’ve earned it and it’s great for your business!
And when you take that vacation, unplug to whatever extent possible and really rest. Your clients will understand that you need a real break!
The most revitalizing form of time off, though, is definitely the sabbatical — that mythical, magical perk once reserved only for tenured professors and high-flying executives.
Somehow, way back in my corporate days in 2007, I was luckily permitted by my boss to take a six-week sabbatical from managing the team of engineers I had been practically living with at the office for years. I still can’t believe she let me do this!
During that time I was able to completely unplug. My husband and I took that time to work at a summer camp in the mountains of West Virginia where we had no cell reception, no Internet access, and no thoughts of our real-world work whatsoever.
I came back feeling rested, rejuvenated, and ready for the next challenge. I even got moved to a more challenging and rewarding position shortly after this time off. (Talk about win-win!)
Now, your own business may or may not be in a place where you can take this kind of time off. That’s something you have to think carefully about — only you can decide.
But if you’ve been going strong for years and feel like you’ve hit a wall, or like you’re drained of all your creative juices and good ideas, or like you just need to really rest and regroup so that you can tackle an upcoming challenge, then I encourage you to at least consider a sabbatical as a possibility.
We all need a break sometimes, and it’s okay. Take a walk … an afternoon off … a vacation … or even a multi-week sabbatical, if it’s what you really need.
No matter where your business is currently at, it can survive your down time. In fact, it may not survive long (and certainly won’t thrive) without it! Tweet that!
Buh-bye; See You in August!
As you all know, I’m a big, big fan of practicing what I preach. This whole time-off thing is no exception!
I realized earlier this year that, after six years of working steadily and creating amazing growth in my business, I’m in dire need of a prolonged and meaningful rest. That’s why I’m taking six weeks off, starting at the end of this week.
I’m planning on unplugging completely, which means I won’t be blogging, available on social media, working with any clients, or responding to emails.
I’ll be back here on August 17th, rejuvenated and ready to continue the important work of helping women build their businesses and achieve their dreams (plus some BIG projects I have underway and can’t wait to share with you later this year and early next year).
It’s your turn to fill me in!
Do you take regular time off? Or do you need to?
What do you do to prepare for time off and do during your time off?
Or if you aren’t taking time off, why not?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
Then I’ll see you back here in mid-August for more great business-building tips. Until then, be well! I’ll miss all of you!