Updated: May 29, 2018
Being a business owner is hard — there are marketing plans to create, financing options to evaluate, and hardly such a thing as a regular nine-to-five schedule. It’s easy to let downtime fall to the wayside. After all, who has the time to take a break?
As it turns out though, getting away from your work might be a necessity — not just for you, but also for the health of your business. Whether you want to splurge on an all-inclusive Caribbean resort or perfect the art of the staycation, taking a break is vital!
Here are four signs that your business needs you to take a break (and fast!):
When was your last vacation (and one where you really got to relax)? That family trip to attend your niece’s graduation doesn’t count unless you actually got some rest. If it’s been so long since you’ve last unwound that you’re having trouble recalling it, that’s sign #1 that you’re overdue for some much-needed chill time.
We all know that feeling — the one where you need to read an email six times before it sinks in? Or when you’re having trouble keeping all of your projects straight? This lack of focus is not only slowly grinding your productivity to a halt — it’s also an accident waiting to happen! Even if it’s not something inherently dangerous (like operating heavy equipment when you’re distracted), accidentally shipping an inventory order to the wrong location could have a heavy impact on your bottom line. It’ll be significantly better for everyone if you take a couple days to unwind rather than waiting until the worst happens.
Sure, there’s always a billion things that could be going wrong at any point — who wouldn’t feel the pressure? But be honest with yourself: are you taking that stress out on your staff (or even your friends or family)? When your stress and irritability start destroying your interpersonal relationships, that’s a sign that you need to take a step back. Your staff will be happy to send you off for a relaxing beach trip, and you’ll be able to come back to the grind refreshed and renewed.
Whether it’s your spouse insisting you take a day off or one of your coworkers making a joke about you needing a vacation, you should take heed. When it’s come to the point that other people are starting to notice (and comment on) how distracted or worn out you seem, you’re reaching a breaking point. Don’t wait until you’ve burnt out completely. There’s never an ideal time for a vacation, but it’s an important part of your health — and when you’re unhealthy, your business can start to be as well. Plus, you can minimize the risk of things going south while you’re away by preparing ahead of time.
Remember: science shows that taking vacation time is not only good for you, but also good for your productivity and the greater economy! So sit back, take a deep breath, and unplug for a bit — your business will thank you.