How to Take A Break as a Business Owner
Let’s face it, you need to take a break every once in a while, and not just a 15 minute lunch break, but a weekend-long getaway where you don’t even let work cross your mind. Not only are breaks a necessity for your own sanity, but also for the success of your business. Your business can only be as strong as you are, so taking time off is super beneficial. Unlike employees who can request time off and not look back, you need to do a good bit of pre-planning to keep your business running while you sip on your piña colada somewhere far far away. Here are a few tips that will ensure that you can remain stress free and successful while on a break:
Look at your calendar
Determine the best time to take a break based on your schedule. A common misconception is that running your own business means you can just take off whenever you want to - that’s not always the case. There are times when you are just too busy to even consider taking a day off, so try to find out where on your schedule you are not as busy and attempt to keep that slot free. It is also a good idea to look at the weeks surrounding those dates as you will have to shift some work around. You need to have some leniency in your schedule to be able to do that.
If you’re a one woman show, you can skip this step. However, you need to let your colleagues and clients know in advance that you're heading out. This may seem self-explanatory but your absence is going to create more work for your colleagues. Let them know what you’re getting done in advance and what you won’t be able to help with way before you take off so that they have a clear picture of what they need to work on. Don’t set it up to make them feel like you left them hanging on anything.
Anticipate your work needs
Be proactive. This is true in everyday life, but a necessity if you’re about to take time off. You need to think ahead about completing things that will need to be done while you're gone. This could mean longer hours for the few weeks leading up to your trip, but it is definitely worth the extra effort. Also, do your best to get it done before you leave and not when you come back.
Have a Solid AF autoresponder
Not just "I'm out" but when they can expect to hear back, who they might need to contact instead, etc. Give them all the information that you could possibly need and there is a good chance they will call you back on your clearly specified return date. You do not want to lose business just because you decided to take a week off. Odds are the person can wait a few days and call you back as soon as you return. Unless it is an absolute emergency do not answer a work call on your vacation.
It will be fine - Just do it
As my friend Krystal says "You're not actually carrying a heart in a cooler" aka it's probably not that urgent or important. What you will gain from unplugging is most likely more valuable. I know a lot of us feel like leaving your business is like leaving your baby with a babysitter, but you have to take a break to be all that you need to be to raise a kid, and a business. If you plan accordingly and have all your affairs in order, everything is going to be perfectly fine.