Summer is here and that means many people are looking forward to vacations. But taking time away from work, especially if you are a business owner can be cause for a lot of stress and anxiety. In fact, about half of small businesses owners don’t plan to take a vacation at all. But taking time off, whether you are business owner, or an employee has been shown to have some amazing benefits including increased productivity, improved sleep, reduced stress, and improved overall health.
One way to decrease the stress and anxiety related to taking time off is to make sure you are maximizing the benefits. A recent article from Harvard Business Review give some great tips for reaping the benefits of taking time off, without taking a week away from your business:
Plan a Long Weekend: Just because you can’t take a full week or even multiple days off during the week, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the same benefits of a long vacation. Plan a weekend or three-day trip somewhere nearby. Or even play tourist in your own town. Make sure to actually step away during that time and limit access to your business, including email.
Take Half-Day: Taking a half-day off of work to get some items knocked off of your personal to do list can help you be more focused and productive at work. Think of things you have pushed to the back burner because you don’t have the time or the desire to take care of them after work or on the weekends. Even though you didn’t relax on a beach somewhere, you likely decrease your stress level by removing some projects that have been hanging over your head.
Meet Up with a Friend for a Long Lunch: One thing that often gets eliminated when we are stressed for time is socialization outside of work. Choose a day during the week to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Taking an extra couple of hours out of the day will give you a boost without having to take an entire day away. Get even more benefit by trying out a new restaurant. Trying new foods has been shown to boost creativity.
Work Remotely: While you aren’t stepping away from work completely, working remotely for a day can make you feel reenergized. Especially if you are used to a long commute. Working away from the office isn’t for everyone, but you can try it out and see if working outside the office one day a month might be a positive change.
If you are in need of a vacation, but can’t step away from your business completely, try one of these options. They can be a great way to reap some of the rewards of a full vacation, without the stress of being away for a long time. Planning to do at least one of these per month should help you prevent burnout and remain focused.