Now that it’s February, we go from being about half way through winter at the beginning of the month to having only a few weeks left before the first day of the Spring equinox. Most people I talk to really don’t like winter very much and would rather get away from it than cope with it. Chances are you may be fortunate enough to work from your own home office most of the time and don’t have to go out in messy winter weather unless it’s absolutely necessary.
As entrepreneurs, the thought of taking a vacation does cross our minds at this time of the year. What holds us back is what if we have an urgent request from one of our clients or what if that potential client we talked to at a networking event a couple of days ago wants us to work with them. Then what? We check our emails on our laptops and our smartphones just to make sure we don’t miss any opportunities. We are constantly thinking about our work, even after regular business hours.
So, the big question – should you take time off for a relaxing vacation in the sunshine?
Working too hard all the time is detrimental to your physical and mental health. Overworking leads to burnout. As entrepreneurs, we get so wrapped up in our work that we forget to take care of ourselves. If you notice that you feel tired more often or you don’t feel motivated, suffer from insomnia, lack enthusiasm, or it takes longer to get started or get things done, taking some mental health days may be what you need.
"No matter how hard you work, everyone needs to take time off now and then to “sharpen the saw,” as Stephen Covey writes in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Taking a break for a few days may prove to be beneficial for you and for your business. After your break, you feel inspired, motivated, re-energized, enthusiastic and eager to get back into your regular daily work routine. After your break you are ready to look at challenges with a fresh perspective and be more productive towards achieving your goals.
Start by making a plan. Schedule your time off well in advance. Advise your colleagues and clients that you will be a way during those days.
Arrange for backup. Talk to one of your team members about being the contact in case any of your clients needs attention.
When you are away from your office, turn off your laptop and your smartphone. You have already arranged for one of your team members to cover for you. They will take care of any issues while you are away.
While you are away, enjoy your holiday. Recharge. Re-energize. Enjoy spending time with your family. The whole purpose of your time off is to relax and have fun.
Think about it. When was the last time you actually went on a trip to see new places, relax, learn something new, and enjoy spending time with your family? Taking care of yourself and your health is just as important as taking care of your business. If it has been a long time since your last vacation, it’s time to start planning and making arrangements.
You work hard and deserve to indulge yourself. Take care of yourself.