If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re no stranger to the hustle. Growing your business from scratch to success takes dedication, time, effort and a whole lot of passion. But even the busiest startup founders need to take time for themselves. Burnout can happen to the best of us, and without a proper break from the daily grind you run the risk of higher stress levels and lower productivity.
The benefits you get from taking even one day off far outweigh the delay in growth of your small business. Scientific studies have proven that the benefits of taking a vacation, both mentally and physically, last long after you return. So, why should you turn off your computer and step away from your desk?
Burnout is a real threat to any dedicated entrepreneur. The more you work, the higher your risk of feeling jaded, apathetic, and undedicated to your work. Taking a break, even for just one day, can give your mind a chance to reset. An otherwise healthy lifestyle will not offset the harm that hustling 24/7 can do to your body and your mind. The repetitiveness and monotony of doing the same thing hour after hour, and day after day, can bring you much closer to burnout. Researchers at the University of Helsinki found that people who take fewer vacation days, and work more, have a 37% higher risk of mortality.
“The harm caused by the intensive lifestyle regime was concentrated in a subgroup of men with shorter yearly vacation time. In our study, men with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations,” Professor Strandberg notes.
Let’s face it: hustling 24/7 is stressful! As a small business owner, you’re wearing multiple hats and managing a myriad of different job responsibilities. You can only make so many decisions in a day before you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. The American Institute of Stress found that job stress is the most prominent source of anxiety among American adults today, and has escalated over the past decade. As an entrepreneur, not only are you working hard to grow your business, but a lack of job security, an ever increasing workload, and a poor work-life balance can also stress you out. Taking even a single day off can be enough to relax your mind and give your body a break. A change in your daily routine will allow you to come back to work feeling energized and totally refreshed!
Although taking time off from work may seem like it will slow your growth and take you longer to achieve your goals, it actually has the opposite effect. Overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion decreases your productivity and makes you prone to errors and mistakes. Taking time away from the hustle and grind can refresh your mind, and increase your productivity upon your return to work. The more time you spend working, the less time you spend relaxing and sleeping, which in turn takes a substantial toll on your job performance.
The energy and effort you bring to your work is far more valuable than the amount of hours you work. Not only that, but a vacation can bring you to new places and allow you to meet new people that can inspire your creativity. Inspiration can be found in the most unusual places, but you won’t find it by following the exact same routine every single day!
Taking a break is the answer to improving your overall well-being. But how, as a busy entrepreneur, can you possibly find the time to step away from your desk, even for a day? I’m so glad you asked. Here’s how to prepare yourself, and your company, for a much needed vacation!
You’re ready to take a break. That’s great! Even though a nice, long, relaxing vacation sounds ideal, try not to jump into the deep end before you can swim. Start by planning a long weekend to test the waters. You’ll acclimate yourself to the idea of relinquishing control of your daily tasks through automation or delegation, and get used to seeing your business run from the sidelines. Make sure you plan ahead, and set up your technology to automate email replies, marketing efforts, and out of office notices to your team and your customers. Create a plan for how daily tasks, and unexpected crises, should be handled by your team in your absence.
Find the Right Time to Take Your Time
A vacation is meant to be relaxing, but disappearing for a week during your busy season will probably stress you out even more and ruin your break. Plan your vacation during the slow season for your product or service. This not only ensures that you will miss less important events, but also leaves less chance of an emergency occurring while you’re away. As a busy entrepreneur, there will never be a perfect time to take a break. You may miss out on signing a new client, see a temporary decrease in sales, or a slow period of growth. Consider your vacation merely a part of the cost of running your business, and prioritize your own health and well-being over a slight bump in sales.
Before you run off to Vegas or jump on a flight to the Bahamas, make sure that you have a plan in place for how the business should run in your absence. Automate tasks that you can schedule ahead of time, and set clear expectations for your team while you’re away. Give them the freedom to make minor decisions. The less they bother you, the more relaxed you’ll feel. Let your employees know if and when they can reach you by phone or email, if at all. If it will make you feel more comfortable, schedule a weekly phone call or video chat to check in, but allow no more than an hour of your vacation time to do so. Remember, this is your chance to escape, so have faith that you’ve trained your team well enough to keep the ship afloat in your absence.
With Memorial Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan a mini-getaway! Schedule some time to unwind and relax, so that you come back feeling renewed, refreshed, and ready to tackle the next business challenge like a pro. It is vital to your success, mental health, and overall well-being that you take an occasional break or vacation. Avoid burnout, stress, and increase your productivity and creativity by taking a long weekend. One thing you should never stress about is cash flow! If you’re researching alternative lending options, check out BizLender online or call 855-433-8641. BizLender has been offering lending solutions since 2013, and emphasizes working smarter, not harder, by using technology to fund small businesses in as little as 24 hours.
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