If you are self-employed then you may feel like time isn’t on your side, and it’s tricky to take time out from your small business. You might even feel that you can’t afford to have time off, or you’re worried about losing clients while you’re away. However, it’s vital for your health and your mind to take time out and away from your work, and this will inevitably benefit you and your business in the long run.
Reasons to take time out from your small business
1. Look after your mental health and wellbeing
It’s so important to be proactive in taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.
2. Spend time with family and friends
Running a business, especially in the hectic early days or at peak time, can mean you probably don’t see your loved ones as much as you’d like.
3. Indulge your passions and hobbies
Taking time out from your small business for activities you enjoy doesn’t need to be a daily occurrence; however, occasionally you should take time out to do something you love, whether this is going on a fishing trip or playing your favourite sport.
4. Make sleep a priority
Establishing a sleeping pattern and making sure that you get good quality sleep is incredibly important in order for you to function properly.
5. Avoid a burnout
A burnout is thought to result from long-term, unresolvable job stress and leads to physical and emotional exhaustion.
How to take time out from your small business
Although the reasons are convincing, taking time off is often easier said than done. To help you on the way to enjoying a well deserved break, here are a few things you can do.
Prepare in advance
If you own a small business with staff, then ideally you will have a well-trained team member that can run the business on your behalf for short periods of time. If you work alone then organisation is key. Tell your clients and customers in advance (ideally six weeks beforehand) if you’re taking time off to make sure you keep a good relationship and let them make other arrangements while you’re away if needed.
If you don’t have staff to run the business while you are away you may also be able to outsource some of your work, for instance, you can pay to use a professional business answering service. Or hire a Virtual Assistant!
Set holiday work boundaries
Completely forgetting your business while you take longer breaks is perhaps unrealistic for some, especially with modern technology at our fingertips. So if you are going to pick up work while you are away, then you should try assigning certain times of day to deal with any business matters.
Automate certain tasks
Using an automatic email responder will also remind customers that you are away and that they shouldn’t expect an instant reply. As well as automating email responses, you might consider automating some of your other tasks.
The importance of taking time out is clear, it benefits your business just as much as your personal life and there’s no reason why small business owners can’t take some time for themselves. Get organised, outsource work if you need to, put clear procedures in place and plan longer breaks well in advance. Set aside some time each day to switch off, get your work-life balance in check and reap the rewards!