Everyone needs a little downtime sometimes—especially those who work hard and with very little play. While there are plenty who probably fall into this category, few professions fit so predictably as small business owners.
According to a recent Office Depot survey, a full 39 percent of small business owners had no plans to take a vacation in summer of 2015. Of those who did have vacation plans, 76 percent planned to keep in touch with their workplace in some way during their time off—which is definitely not a real vacation.
The challenge of maintaining a work-life balance is difficult across many professions. Americans tend to struggle strongly with maintaining this balance, often eschewing summer vacations in order to stay on top of financial and professional priorities. Unfortunately, this all work and no play mentality may actually be hurting more than it helps.
According to a Gallup poll, “Microbusiness owners who do not take any vacation days are less satisfied with their standard of living and struggle more to balance their work and personal life.”
The same poll, however, did find that many of those same business owners felt energized by their work. Even so, Gallup’s findings most strongly indicated that the younger the business, the less vacation days owners tended to take–making it possible that the excitement is part of the newness of the venture. As many entrepreneurs can tell you, overworking yourself has a way of wearing on you over time.
With that in mind, maybe it’s time you started planning the next summer vacation. Consider the following reasons:
- For sanity – Too much work can result in higher stress levels and changes in the overall outlook on life.
- To keep yourself fresh, vibrant, and engaged in the work you do – Sometimes, a small step away from the daily grind can help regain perspective.
- Because happiness and health is directly tied to productivity – Studies show a positive outlook on life—the kind you get following a great vacation—can actually improve productivity by as much as 31 percent and increase sales as much as 37 percent.
Now, your first thought is probably something along the lines of, Well, how am I supposed to find the time! I have a business to run.
And you’re right – running a business is very demanding and requires a lot of time and energy.
However, that doesn’t mean it needs to take up every second of every day. Sometimes, it’s about the little things. Take a four-day weekend every once in a while and limit the number of times you’ll check your work phone or email. A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks long on a tropical island.
Managing stress is the key, which means taking small breaks to breathe and do something that inspires pure enjoyment and relaxation. Summer vacations are the perfect excuse to get away for a bit, and they can be integral for business owners who are also balancing a home life that includes children and/or spouses.
A business owner’s life is complicated–no doubt–but they can often forget that a personal life is just as important as a professional one. By taking a moment to stop and smell the flowers every once in a while, not only can entrepreneurs be happier for it, but they might find themselves enjoying other parts of life, being more productive at work and having a little more fun as they realize what they are working so hard for.
About the Author – Ashley Choate is a native of Jacksonville, FL where she lives with her son, dog, and three cats. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Jacksonville University with a BA in English and holds an MAED in Adult Education and Training. She lives for reading and writing, learning and teaching, and figuring out the day-to-day traumas and joys of mommyhood. .
Top Photo Courtesy of Pixabay