If you’re like 99 percent of business owners, you probably never turn off from running the company. You may feel like going on vacation is a waste of your time, you may take breaks but then end up working through them, or you may feel too guilty about leaving the company to take any time off at all. But one very important thing that you need to remember is that taking a break could be the best thing you ever did for your business and for your health.
Why You Need to Take a Break from Business
It’s an actual fact that your business is only as good as the person who runs it. That means if you don’t allow yourself to relax from time to time, you’re not doing what’s best for your company. Not only will a break from business to help your health, but having some distance will also give you a much better perspective of the company when you return.
Making the Vacation a Holiday
You’ve planned your vacation days for a whole year, just you and your family, soaking up the sun and relaxing by the ocean. But what about work; how will they manage without you at the office while you’re away, and how often should you be checking in? You don’t have to cut yourself off completely from the world of work while you’re on vacation, but try to remember that the purpose of a break is to leave business behind, have some fun and recharge your batteries. If you don’t unplug yourself, you run the risk of work-overload stress during the summer months, and this can lead to poor health and depression later in the year.
The Ups and Downs of Staying Connected
Obviously, you should be thankful to have a business and be doing everything you can to keep it running successfully. However, staying plugged-in during vacation time can lead to stress and frustration because you’ll never quite feel as though you can separate your personal time and your time as the company owner. This can mean that your long-planned summer holiday at that exotic beachfront destination soon turns into an extension of your office and before you know it, you are overwhelmed with input from work and spend less and less time relaxing and enjoying your leisure time. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not so hard to unplug from work without having to feel guilty.
Slave to the Gadgets
Technology is a fundamental part of business life. Cell phones, digital secretaries, and tablets make everyone all too easily accessible via email, texting, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and virtual voicemail. If you really want to take a break from your business while you’re on vacation, you have to be strong enough to unplug at least some of your gadgets. If you must take something with you, limit it to your cell phone, just in case of emergency, but don’t be afraid to turn off your phone, or at least silence the ringtone while you’re having some downtime, and by all means, don’t succumb to the temptation to check your voicemail every ten minutes. Should you really need to check in with your company while you are away, use time-based routing. Give your office specific days and times that you will be available so that they won’t have to encroach on your ‘you time.’
To Mail or Not to Mail
So you can’t survive without your laptop even on vacation; perhaps you want to upload your sunset photographs or check in with your friends on Facebook, but beware; the minute you start answering emails, you have opened the floodgates. One simple way to avoid the distraction of work emails is to have them forwarded to a temporary email address that you can check when you get back to work; another is to put your email account on hold until you return.
Unplugging is a State of Mind
Leaving your technological gadgets behind is not only about leaving work at the office, but it’s also about creating a state of mind. It allows you the opportunity to escape from data-daze and to fully recharge your mind. Without your gadgets you’ll find you have time to do many more different activities, like swimming in the ocean, reading a book, taking a walk on the beach, catching some sunsets, or visiting galleries and museums. Don’t forget your family members too, without the constant finger-tapping of Droids, iPhones, Xboxes and PSPs; you might actually have time to do something fun together.
Take a break from the business even if it’s only a couple of days now and again. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how much better you will feel when you return. So stop feeling guilty and book your next vacation now; your life will be better for it.