It’s the start of the school summer holidays and the world, for a short while, slows down as "out-of-office" emails outweigh the amount of people at their desks. However, while many bosses stress about this period, they should actually be taking leave as well!
It’s not just the business world that revolves around the school holidays.
For a number of business owners and entrepreneurs though, it is often the opposite. The last thing on their minds is a vacation.
According to a statistic from the Harvard Business Review, average professionals, executives and business owners now work a whopping 72 hour work week.
So, if the average business owner is working 72 hours a week, chances are their vacation time is minimal to non-existent. Many business owners give themselves a standard week of vacation (similar to what they give their employees) and never give much thought to whether or not they need more based on their position or workload.
Remembering my days as a fledgling entrepreneur, I know how tough it is to take a break from the business. It’s most difficult, of course, for one-man-bands as every second they aren’t at work costs them the chance of making money.
This lack of time away leads to a variety of anxiety symptoms and can hinder your ability to think clearly and grow your business.
But they, and those who have people working for them, should take the opportunity when they can. This really isn’t about sunning yourself on a tropical beach or cruising around the Caribbean, although for many that’s the aspiration.
It’s about taking time away from the business and, subsequently, benefiting the business.
That’s why vacations are so important. We all know entrepreneurs never switch off, but they can use their vacations to direct their energies into new ideas and strategies that can be put in place when they return to the business.
Reboot Your Mind.
Taking a vacation once every three months is an excellent way to reboot and relax. As a business owner, you are always thinking of ways to grow your business and take it to the next level, and that kind of higher-level thinking can begin to wear on you if you don't take regular breaks.
Rest Your Body.
Working 72 hours a week will take its toll on you physically as well. Early mornings and late nights will soon begin to catch up with you and lead to a myriad of health problems down the road. Scheduling time away every quarter will allow you the ability to reset your biological clock (and sleep in!).
Plan for the Future and Enjoy the Present.
Time away from the office is a great time to reflect and appreciate all that you have in your life. Being able to get away with my kids and my wife reminds me of why I work so hard and what our plans are for the future. This is difficult to do in the middle of a 72-hour workweek, when you are putting out office fires all day.
Give Your Staff and Business Room to Shine
At least four times a year, let other people on your team own functional areas of responsibility in the business. The best way to show that you trust your team, systems, and culture is to regularly step away from the business for a week stretch or longer. This will help you identify areas that need improvement as well as areas where you have strategic depth.
If you are looking for the ideal balance for self-care, schedule yourself four weeks of vacation a year and watch your business grow.
By seeing a vacation as an investment in the future of the business, entrepreneurs should be taking time away from the front line. It will allow them to be far more prepared for the battles ahead.