Entrepreneurs Actually Can Find Time for Summer Fun in Their Hectic Schedules
Work-life balance is critical, but perhaps even more so in the summer.
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Summer is the perfect time for people to enjoy a little time off and relax -- everyone but entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, it can be challenging to take time off when your work schedule is so hectic. But this doesn't mean you should work straight through the summer without taking any time for yourself.
Research has shown that taking a break -- even a small one -- can increase productivity, boost creativity and improve your mood. This research suggests that taking time off could be beneficial, not only for you personally, but for your business as well. If you're ready to reap these rewards, follow these tips to balance summer time off with your hectic work schedule.
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Don't wait for a "good time" to go.
Many entrepreneurs promise themselves that they will take time off eventually, but they just need to wait for a good time to go. What these entrepreneurs do not realize is there will never be a perfect time to leave work behind. Your inbox will always be flooded with unread emails. Your phone will always be ringing off the hook, and clients will always have last-minute requests that need your attention. If you wait for a good time to go, you will be waiting forever.
Plan a break in advance, and stick to it no matter how busy you may feel as the date begins inching closer and closer. It may never seem like a good time to go, but it's important to pull away from work so you can give yourself the break you need.
Hire outside help.
If you're working for a large corporation, there are countless people who would be able to step in and help with your workload while you're away. But, entrepreneurs are often working on their own or with a very small staff, which makes planning for time off much more difficult.
If you find yourself in this situation, hire temporary help to fill in for you while you're away. For example, a virtual assistant can handle basic administrative tasks and keep the business running while you're not around. You can also provide the virtual assistant with your phone number so he or she can call you in the event of an emergency. It may take a few days to train the virtual assistant before you go, so don't forget to make time for this before you leave.
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Start with a staycation.
The thought of traveling to another city, state or country may give some entrepreneurs palpitations. If this is your first attempt at taking time off since launching your business, start small by planning a staycation, or stay-at-home vacation. Staying home may not be as glamorous as going to a beach in the Caribbean, but it will still provide you with a small break from work. Plus, it may be easier to unwind knowing you will be able to handle any urgent issues that may arise since you are still in town.
Starting with a staycation is a great way to ease yourself into the idea of being away from work for a few days at a time. Once you become more comfortable, you can start traveling during your time off without worrying about your business collapsing in your absence.
Notify key contacts in advance
Don't ever take time off without notifying your key contacts in advance. Make a list of clients, colleagues and vendors who may need to get in touch with you while you are away. Everyone on this list should be notified of your plan to take time off several weeks in advance. Since a lot can happen in a few weeks, it's best to also send a reminder email several days before your time off begins.
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When you notify these key contacts, make sure you tell them who to contact in your absence. You should also make it clear when you are returning so they know when they will be able to get back in touch with you.
Everyone deserves to take a little time off, even entrepreneurs. Summer is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to carve out some "me time" in your schedule. If you start planning now, you will give yourself plenty of time to prepare for being away from work.