You, like most business owners, work hard to run your business. Maybe too hard, at times. Here are signs that you might need to step away from your business, even briefly, so that you come back refreshed and rejuvenated.
1. You’re Frustrated. Little things set you off, like a shipment being late, or a client’s tardiness in replying to your email. You spend more time being annoyed by the day-to-day intricacies of your business than being enamored by them.
2. The Magic is Gone. Despite the fact that, up until recently, you were passionate about what you do for a living, now it feels like drudgery.
3. Your Stress Level is Through the Roof. You’re frazzled, can’t sleep, and it’s affecting your personal life.
4. You’re Not Effective. When you’re overworked, you’re not efficient at your job. Let’s hope your clients don’t notice.
5. Work Feels Like It’s Mounting. When you’re stressed, it can be difficult to get work done (see #4), and so you’ve got more work to take on. That pile isn’t getting any smaller.
What to Do About It
If any (or all) of the symptoms above express what you’re currently feeling, don’t ignore your state, or you will jeopardize your business. Sure, you feel like taking a break might cost you money, but trust me: if you don’t take a break, it definitely will. Taking a respite from work — anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks — will reinvigorate your love for what you do. Everyone needs a break!
Decide How Big a Break You Need
Only you will know the answer to this. Would taking an afternoon off give you enough space and help you clear your head so that you come back tomorrow ready to tackle the world? Or are you going through something more significant that might require you to do a bit of soul-searching for a few months to figure out if this is truly where you want to be in your life?
There are, of course, all points in between these two examples. You can always start small and then take a bigger break as needed.
Decide How You Will Spend the Break
If you need a mini break, getting out of the office and heading to the hills for a hike might be just the prescription you need. Or you might benefit from a vacation, far from the siren song of your office. Here are other options, big and small:
- Take a nap
- Get a massage
- Travel to another city or country
- Spend time with your family
- Simply turn off your digital devices
Each option provides different levels of benefits. Obviously, full extraction from your business and office would best help you disconnect your mind from what’s going on at work, but that’s not always possible. Choose the option that won’t stress you out if you’re gone from work too long.
Set the Rules
Being away from work doesn’t always mean you’re away from work. You carry a cell phone, don’t you? Decide what the rules are for your break. Ideally, you shouldn’t check your work email or answer your phone, but if you don’t have anyone to do this for you and it’s critical that you’re available, you may have to work around this. For example, maybe you only make yourself available from 9 until noon each day. Make sure your clients know that you’re taking time off, and ask them to respect that. If you do have an employee who can take over duties in your absence, make sure she’s fully trained on what you need from her.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
As entrepreneurs, we tend to be hard on ourselves. We assume the worst will happen without us at the helm at our companies, but the truth is: everything will be fine. Your health and mental wellbeing are worth far more than you being in the office nonstop.
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