There are countless benefits to being a business owner, like being able to do something you are passionate about, plus independence, flexibility, and financial gains. On the flip side, long hours and not enough downtime can lead to burnout, especially when the company is in its early stages, during busier times of the year, and when the economy is in the red or the black. Busy entrepreneurs often don't take a step back to consider how important a work-life balance is, and if they don't, their health, wellness, and business will be in jeopardy.
The Importance of Work-Life Balance
Business News Daily puts it all in perspective; not getting enough rest and relaxation creates a "large potential for fatigue," which can cause business owners to make poor decisions and chip away at motivation. They add that approximately 20 percent of new businesses don't survive past the first year. However, there are more than 31 million companies in the United States, and they are the foundation of the American economy. With enough dedication and resilience, people can build successful businesses and maintain the proper balances in their personal lives.
Juggling a heavy workload, family responsibilities, other relationships, and one's health can be overwhelming, to say the least, and this is why 25 percent of Americans claim to be "super stressed." As Mental Health America puts it, high-stress levels make people feel depressed, unfocused, and irritable, affecting productivity and harming professional and personal relationships. Unrelenting stress can also weaken the immune system, leading to a host of serious medical ailments.
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It's Important to Take Vacations
Taking a vacation day can undoubtedly be beneficial, but business owners often spend that day on the beach or lake checking emails and talking to clients. A real vacation can recharge your batteries in more significant ways because it removes you from the work environment and provides new experiences and perspectives. This kind of time away can be revitalizing and give business owners newfound energy to help them elevate their businesses to new levels.
Since the average business owner puts in much more than 40 hours per week, the amount of vacation time should correspond. Justworks Hours writes that an average business owner should take off four weeks every year, and while this can sound ridiculous at first, you can do it if you hire people you trust and delegate responsibilities to them. Think about it: you opened a business to make money, but what's the point if you cannot entirely enjoy the fruits of your labors?
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How Business Owners Plan Their Vacations
Like other important business decisions, you'll need to strategize ways to take vacations without impacting your company's operations. Think about times when your employees won't need as much supervision, like slow times of year (after Christmas) or after quarterly action plans are completed. Vet your employees carefully and choose one main person as your backup while away. Well ahead of time, slowly delegate responsibilities and be ready to answer questions.
Avoid scheduling any product launches, marketing campaigns and other significant projects while you're out of town, analyze any possible problems that could occur in your absence and design a plan for those. The day before you leave, you should set up your email auto-responder and let everyone know who's temporarily in charge. Do the same on your business phone line and make a concerted effort NOT to do any work while away!
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