Taking time off can be a difficult thing for entrepreneurs to do. Especially if you are a solopreneur or you have a very small team. We both know how it is to get caught up in work. It can be hard to walk away from it for a while. Work can be addicting and it feels great to make another sale.
But even though it is challenging to take time off, we highly recommend that you do. As entrepreneurs we tend to work overtime to the point of burnout. It is healthy and extremely beneficial to take time off.
You can watch the video of our full discussion below or just listen to the audio version as a podcast. If you want more content like this you can subscribe to our Youtube channel.
In our time as entrepreneurs we have learned to be on the lookout for signs that we need time away from work. Here are some things we pay attention to:
When you need to take time off but you don’t it can affect your work. You will probably have decreased productivity, lower quality work, and it affects your relationships--both professional and personal. We all need time away from work. Even if you are doing something you love, there are times when you are going to need a break.
There are several strategies we have in place to help us take the time off that we need. We encourage you to try implementing these or something similar so that you can be at your best.
Define what time off means
It may sound silly to have to define what it means, but it is important to have a plan and boundaries in place so that you can effectively disconnect. Think about how much time you want to be away from work. Are you completely disconnecting for a full day, are you going on a trip for a week, or are you just going to take a few hours away to be out in nature?
We highly suggest taking larger chunks of time off from time to time to really rejuvenate, but if you can’t shut down your business completely try identifying the tasks that drain you the most and take a break from those for awhile or outsource them to someone else.
Have systems in place that allow you to disappear
If you are on vacation, be on vacation. It is important to be able to fully turn off work mode in order to relax, whether it is for a day, a week, or more. If you have systems in place that allow you to walk away completely it can make it a lot less stressful.
If you have an assistant or you have the ability to hire an assistant that can be a huge help because they can take over while you are gone. We both have assistants who can keep an eye on our inboxes and answer emails and we have social media managers who can handle our content so that we really can step away.
If you aren’t able to have an assistant or if there isn’t anyone else on your team who can take over in your absence you can set an auto responder for your email that will let people know you are out and may be slower to respond than usual.
Create tons of content ahead of time
We always have a backlog of content that can be used if we decide to take a break. If you know when you are going to take a vacation try to come up with extra social media posts, newsletter content, podcasts, etc… so that even if you are away your business is still working.
Communicate effectively with your team and clients
Let your team members and your clients know ahead of time that you are going to be out for this specific time so that they are prepared. Tell them that if there is anything urgent that needs to be done before you go they need to get it to you a certain amount of time before you go. Otherwise you will get to things when you get back. Keeping everyone in the loop can help eliminate distractions like calls and emails while you are trying to disconnect.
It is so easy as entrepreneurs to work at all hours of the day. You are the one in charge of winning clients, making sales, keeping track of inventory, creating content, etc.... It is hard to walk away from it. But life is short. Taking time away to relax, refocus, and spend time with friends and family is important. You have to have discipline to be able to really take time off.
It might mean that you tell a friend or family member that you want to take time off and make them an accountability partner. When they see you working they can remind you why you are taking a break.
Maybe you need to remove social media or email apps from your phone so you don’t feel tempted to check them. Shut off notifications if you have them on your phone. Do what you need to do to effectively disconnect and be in the moment.