When it comes to business, entrepreneurs are faced with a lot of choices. While many of those are tough, some are incredibly easy. For example, if we told you that you could avoid burnout and boost your creativity by doing one thing… would you do it? If not, what’s holding you back?
That one thing, of course, is taking time off. Whether it’s a lunch with your kids, an afternoon off, a weekend at the shore or a gallivant around the world, making time for yourself and your loved ones – without your work email, without calls every hour, without stressing about the business – is absolutely essential for you, your business and your employees. Taking time off can help you avoid burnout, boost your creativity, force you create systems, encourage you to trust your managers and teach you how to clock out.
Now we’re not saying you have to be completely unreachable in the case of a true emergency, but we are saying you need to build systems and train staff to run your business in your absence. We’d argue that you should be working ON your business and not IN your business anyway, but if you aren’t there yet, preparing to take time off is a great first step.
First of all, take stock of any essential tasks you do each day to keep the business up and running. Are you a business owner and a technician on the floor? Are you balancing the books and making the cookies? If you are a critical piece of your business every single day, it sounds to us like you have a really demanding job instead of a company.
Secondly, take a look at that list of tasks and consider what you delegate. We know it’s hard to take a step back, but if you don’t, everyone will suffer. If you can’t trust your team while you’re out, then it’s time to find new team members. We know hiring is tough right now, but you need to find people you believe can run the business without out, even if only for a few days.
Next, learn to truly unplug. Of course you need to be reachable if there’s a true emergency, but have a conversation with your team about what actually constitutes an emergency. If someone is out with COVID and your manager has to bring someone in for a few hours of overtime to keep the engines running, is that really an emergency? If an order is messed up and making things right requires a gift card, is that an emergency? You need to give your managers the tools and trust necessary to make those decisions without you.
Then, leave. That’s right, get out of dodge! You need to create systems, delegate, trust your team and take the time you need to reset and recharge. Do yourself a favor and take that vacation, even if you’re at home in the pool.
If this seems to overwhelming to tackle this summer, then it’s time to talk to a coach.