For most people, Labor Day is a time to kick back, relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. But for many entrepreneurs, it is just another work day.
While burning the midnight oil is often an necessity to get your startup launched and keep it trucking along, a little R&R can not only help recharge your batteries but research has shown it can help boost your productivity.
One internal study conducted by accounting firm Ernst & Young in 2006 showed for every ten hours of vacation an employee took, their end-of-the-year job performance rating got boosted 8 percent. In 2011, travel site Expedia found 52 percent of employees feel better about their jobs and more productive after vacation. Another study conducted by Harvard stated sleep deprivation cost U.S. businesses $63.2 billion a year due to loss in productivity.
So, before you decided to skip a friend's BBQ or nix the idea of getting away for the day, here are four reasons you give yourself a break on Labor Day.
Reconnect with people.
There are more people in your life besides work colleagues. Yet, being an entrepreneur makes it much tougher to maintain friendships outside your startup. The busier you are, the easier it gets to tell yourself you'll call someone later.
Let Labor Day be a time to reclaim friendships you have pushed to the backburner and an occasion to surround yourself with loved ones. Just make sure you do it completely detached from work.
Set an example.
Labor Day is the best time to hop on the bandwagon and turn off your phone, switch on the grill and enjoy a day disconnected from the instant access and connectivity that powers your startup.
If anyone calls you with business on the brain, the straight to voicemail hint might just remind them that it's actually Labor Day.
As an entrepreneur, you should try build the Labor Day brand. Encourage others entrepreneurs to remove themselves from work and enjoy their surroundings.
You'll remember what carefree feels like.
Remember when you were a kid zipping around your neighborhood on a bike without a care in the world? Let this Labor Day be a time to reclaim your sense of adventure.
Having fun not only helps you relax, but it can help clear your head, which can help ignite creativity. Who knows, maybe you'll come back to work with a whole new approach to a problem that has been bothering you.
Need to hit reset.
Building your business or brainstorming something new is great, but the only way to recharge after a few 12-hour days is to dedicate some time to refocusing your perspective. Any entrepreneur will suffer from tunnel vision after they've been crunching on a project for a week, and you'll probably notice a giant dip in your productivity. The only way to fix it is to save yourself some eyestrain and go to a quiet, disconnected place. Doing so, you'll return refreshed and ready to tackle issues.
As an entrepreneur, how will you be spending Labor Day? Let us know in the comments below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.