There are numerous benefits to owning a small business, like being able to run your own show and enjoy personal financial success when your venture is profitable. But being in charge of a small business is not an easy thing. And it can often lead to a poor work-life balance.
It’s hard to get away from the grind when you’re the person who’s ultimately in charge of every decision. And you might have a hard time booking travel due to the constant worry that something will inevitably go wrong the moment you board your plane.
A recent Incfile survey found that 33% of small business owners long for more time off and relaxation. So if you feel similarly, it’s important to do what you can to take time off — for the sake of your mental health as well as your business.
If you don’t ever allow yourself to get the breaks you need, you might quickly burn out. That could have negative consequences for your company’s bottom line. If you’ve been struggling to take time away, here are some tips to employ.
1. Focus on short breaks, rather than extended ones
When you’re in charge of running a business, escaping for seven or 10 days at a time may not always be feasible, or even desirable. A lengthy vacation may not even be worth the stress you experience in the weeks leading up to and following it.
But just because taking longer breaks isn’t doable doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a day or two off here and there. So rather than take an all-or-nothing approach to time off, embrace opportunities to take time off when you can.
If it’s a slower week at work, bail on your afternoon tasks and enjoy some downtime. Or schedule a full day off when you anticipate a quiet stretch. You may be surprised at how much those shorter breaks allow you to recharge.
2. Train employees to take over some of your key tasks
It’s hard to hand over control when you’re a business owner who’s used to being in charge all the time. But if you want to make it easier to take time off, train trustworthy employees to take over some of your essential tasks.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hand over every password to every financial account in your company’s name. But you may be able to hand off some administrative work so it becomes easier for you to escape when you need to.
3. Don’t be afraid to hire temporary help
There may come a time when you do need to take that week-long vacation — for your own sake and for the sake of your family members, who also deserve a real break. If that’s the case, there’s nothing wrong with hiring temporary help to make up for your absence.
Clearly, you’re not going to assign a temp worker your most essential tasks. And you certainly aren’t going to hand over key information, like your bank account password.
But you may be able to find someone to handle specific aspects of your job. For example, if you tend to inspect and manage inventory when it arrives at your storefront, you may be able to train someone else to do that work for a week while you’re gone.
Also, the temporary help you hire doesn’t necessarily have to be for your usual tasks. You may want to bring in reinforcements so that one of your permanent employees can abandon their usual post for the week and take over some of your duties instead.
It’s not an easy thing to take time off when you own your own business. But it’s an important thing nonetheless. So if you can’t remember the last time you didn’t show up for work, take the opportunity to escape, even if only for a short amount of time.
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