Why Taking a Break is a Smart Business Move

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How long has it been since you really took time off — just for you? As business owners, we tend to think work has to be go, go, go — on our minds all day, every day. But working long hours can take a serious toll on our health, relationships, and productivity. So, in this article, we’ll outline why it’s important to take a break — not just for you, but for your business, too.

When’s the last time you took a break?

Not the 10 minutes you spent eating a packet of crisps, scrolling on social media at 1:00pm. How long has it been since you really took time off — just for you?

As business owners, we tend to think work has to be go, go, go — on our minds all day, every day. (Thanks, hustle culture.) But working long hours can take a serious toll on our health, relationships, and productivity. So, in this article, we’ll outline why it’s important to take a break — not just for you, but for your business, too.‍

‍Rest, relax and recharge

We’re humans. Not machines. Everyone needs downtime, to rest, relax and recharge.

It’s no surprise that we live in a perpetual state of stress; 39% of business owners work over 60 hours per week. And studies show thatover 800,000 people in the UK experience work-related stress, depression or anxiety.(For tips on overcoming overwhelm, you’ll want to click here.)

Most employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave each year (which may include bank holidays). That gives them plenty of opportunity to switch off.

However, not everybody gets annual leave (self-employed folks raise your hands!). For us, it can be tricky to take time off.‍

What stops people from taking breaks?

Here are 5 common reasons why people don’t take time off work (even if it’s paid!):

  • Being too busy — having a huge workload
  • Worrying about falling behind on projects
  • Not being able to afford a holiday
  • Feeling guilty about not being available to clients or colleagues
  • Fear of missing out on new leads or important projects and meetings.

For small business owners, money is one of the most significant factors that prevents us from taking time off. You might not feel as though you can afford it — or you fear that your business won’t make any money while you’re gone.

Entrepreneurs need to plan to take time off somehow. We recommend budgeting for your own paid time off. Sure, it might feel scary (forced, even) to begin with. Yet, as soon as we see how much of a better business owner (and person) they make us, breaks soon become a necessity.‍

Rest is productive

At first, it can seem counter-intuitive: rest actually improves our performance at work.

Research shows that, when people have predictable and consistent time off work, they’re more mentally rested — which increases motivation and enjoyment. This means you’ll be more productive overall. (For more tips on how to stay motivated in your business, you’ll want to read this blog post.)

As well as being refreshed, taking time off gives you the opportunity to strategise. You could spend some time evaluating your systems — figuring out what’s working well and what isn’t.

Gain a fresh perspective

You’ll also have the chance to see your business from the outside in — gaining a new perspective, and coming up with new ideas. From taking a step back, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the bigger picture.

Time off allows you to remember or re-consider your ‘why’. Check in on the progress you’re making with your goals (both professional and personal). And, once you’re rested, you can return to striving to achieve them. (For more tips on setting goals, you’ll want to read this blog post.)‍

Taking time off to avoid burnout

Your business is only as good as you are. If you don’t make time to rest and recharge, then your business will suffer, too — because you won’t have the energy or focus to do what matters.

Burnout is a type of work-related stress that involves exhaustion, reduced accomplishment, and even loss of personal identity.

To avoid burnout, we need to understand that our brains function much better when we take a break from work. When being intentional about taking time off, you might just find that you’ll come back to work completely energised, and even excited.

Find balance

It’s easy to let the work-life balance slip. Especially if you run a business.

So, taking time off is a good excuse to rekindle relationships with loved ones that might have been pushed aside.

It might not feel like it, but life is much, much more than our jobs. Use your time off to meet new people, experience new things, and find enjoyment in life — outside of work.

Show confidence in your team

If you have employees or freelancers working for you, taking a break is a great opportunity to show confidence in them.

Let them take the wheel — showcasing their skills, talent and leadership. It’s your chance to see whether your business will be just fine without you (chances are, it will be).‍

Step back and enjoy what you’ve built

You’ve put in a lot of hard work to get to where you are today. Your business can feel like your actual baby. And babies can’t be left alone.

We get that. Here’s your reminder, though: your business will not go anywhere if you take some time off.

You don’t need to feel guilty. It’s in safe hands.‍

Give yourself more time

Taking time away from work might not mean booking a flight and returning to the hustle and bustle 10 days later.

You might want to start small: take an hour of actual break at lunch. That might look like going for a walk and switching off your phone. Or, perhaps ensuring you finish work at a sensible time so you can relax and enjoy your evening.

If you fear you won’t have time to do this or you feel you’ll be neglecting your work , it might be time to consider hiring a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants do everything from tedious admin tasks to social media management, and can be hired on an hourly or project basis.

For more information on what virtual assistants can take off your hand, we’ve got a blog post all about it.

Originally published at https://www.ashwoodva.co.uk.