Have you ever felt guilty for taking time off as an entrepreneur? I definitely did, and I know I’m not the only one. We often say ‘I’m tired’ or ‘I need a break, but first I need to finish this’ without actually taking that time to recharge our batteries. You can’t operate on a low energy level for long because even though you are trying to push through, it’s very likely you won’t get anything done. Time is precious, and that’s why it’s so important to manage your time the way you get to finish your work but also take time off and set boundaries when you’re available or not. Having your own business might feel like a 24/7 job because we constantly think about it, it’s our baby. Although, not taking time off can cause a lack of creativity, energy, and productivity. In order to have a successful business, we need to take care of our mental and physical health to be at our best when working.
Today, I’m sharing 3 tips on taking guilt-free time off as an entrepreneur, so when you’re taking time off next time, you won’t feel bad about it and you will be able to switch off.
Tip 1 – Talk to Your Clients and Team
One of the first things that you need to do is setting boundaries with your clients and team. Tell them when you’re taking time off whether that’s a week away or just a day when you won’t be available. Set clear boundaries with your clients, so they know you won’t respond right away. Set up a plan, so you both clearly understand how are things running while you’re away. Communicating clearly and letting people know in advance about your plans and work days/hours will ease your mind once you’re off.
You can also delegate tasks to your team (if you have a team, of course). If there are any tasks they can do for you while you’re not available, let them do them. They will feel even more motivated and trusted. Things can still run without you having to be there 24/7. It might be scary to let go, but I’m sure your team can handle it.
Tip 2 – Switch Off
If you want guilt-free time off, you need to switch off notifications on your phone. No incoming emails, messages, or app notifications. Keeping them on will only trigger your attention and prevent you from actually switching off. Try to avoid opening it and especially responding because it will be constantly on your mind and your mind won’t get the break you deserve.
Although, if you’re trying to limit your work hours during the day, it would be beneficial to set strict boundaries like not working after 5 pm. This can really help to switch off as if you would work in the office. You’ve done what needed to be done, and now you can enjoy well-deserved time off with no distractions.
Tip 3 – Schedule Your Content in Advance
Planning and automation is the key to stress-free time off. If you know when you’ll be off, plan out everything that you would normally do if you’re working and do these tasks ahead of time. You can plan your content for social media or blog in advance and set it to be automatically posted while you’re away. You won’t have to think about it when you’re off and it will still get done.
You should also go through your usual daily to-do list and think about all the essentials that you can do in advance. Automate tasks that can be automated, like sending invoices or emails or set one hour a day when you focus only on one task like responding to emails, instead of doing it several times during the day and never getting it done properly. It will help you ease your mind, so you don’t have emails (or any other task) on your mind constantly.
I get it. Being an entrepreneur requires putting in time and work. However, not giving yourself any time off and thinking about work 24/7 won’t make you any more productive or creative. Frankly, it’s quite the opposite. Take care of your mental and physical health by taking guilt-free time off with no distractions. You can achieve that by setting clear boundaries with your clients, delegating tasks to your team, and planning ahead. You don’t need to always be available to run a successful business. Run it smart. Being fully present in business requires regular time off, so switch off those notifications and allow yourself to call it a day.