Business owners are often celebrated for wearing multiple hats and logging numerous working hours. However, working without a holiday is a bad habit that can jeopardise business, health and the life you’re supposedly working towards. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overworking as many small business owners often think of a break as ‘money lost’ and finding the ‘right time’ difficult. For most, rest is put off for a future that never arrives. Few entrepreneurs understand one of the biggest secrets of productivity – the refuelling principle. It‘s simple: you will get more done quicker when you take a step back and recharge yourself.
It is important to make the time to find balance in your life, this will help you to stay fresh and get a new perspective on your business. Big problems don’t get solved when you’re busy running the day-to-day of your business. Holidays give you the opportunity to take a step back and reflect, by allowing your mind to be free of the daily phone calls and emails. Not only are you more productive after a break, holidays make you more focused in the lead up because you have a deadline to work to.
It is necessary for business owners to lead by example and create a healthy workplace. Staff will look to their management for guidance on the ‘holiday culture’, and if you’re not taking holiday’s yourself they will also believe it’s not okay for them to do so. When management are away it is also an excellent opportunity to develop your staff, by giving them the chance to take on more responsibility and challenge themselves; giving them the skills to be more productive in the future.
Five tips to plan ahead for your holiday:
- Let your clients know in advance. Put a note on your email footer a few weeks before your leave and turn on your out of office message for emails when you leave.
- Set up a contingency plan. Who can customers call if they need urgent help?
- Prepare staff to take on more responsibility. Make sure they understand what is expected, empower them to make decisions and compensate them properly if you’re expecting them to take on a much bigger role for a short period of time.
- If you run a smaller business, build trusted relationships with external partners to help support clients during your absence.
- Decide how often you’ll check emails – and stick to it. It could be once a week or once every two days, but make sure you limit your time and only address important issues. Even better, turn your phone off or leave it at home.