“Time off? What's that?”
All joking aside, I see this mindset all the time in entrepreneurs, no matter what kind of business they're running. There's way too much hustle and burnout and not enough rest, rejuvenation, and strategy.
Yes, you need time off.
Your brain needs time to recharge, to make space for new ideas, and to get reenergized.
Otherwise, you run the very real risk of burning out and having no choice but to take time off (often more time than you would have needed had you taken a break in the first place!).
I probably don't need to tell you this—or maybe I do, just so you really understand—but burnout is horrible for your business and your health.
Instead of getting to that point, it's much more efficient to fit targeted, well-timed breaks into your schedule.
Are you convinced that time off is good for you and your business? Good.
Here's how to use your time off so you can come back strong.
Unplug as much as you can.
This is a flexible rule, of course.
Maybe you want to use this week to work on that novel you've been meaning to write (using a computer), or maybe you want to binge watch a season (or three) of Friends. It's pretty hard to completely avoid technology, but try to at least unplug from email, social media, and any business related stuff.
If this freaks you out too much, just schedule a very limited window to check on your team and operations.
You probably spend a lot of time inside in front of your computer, so refresh your brain by getting a change of scenery! Go for a hike or a bike ride. Take your kids to the park. Maybe try kayaking or paddle boarding if you feel adventurous!
Outdoor adventures are great for your body and mind. The fresh air and physical activity can do wonderful things for your creativity and energy levels.
This is a great week to take that Barre or antigravity yoga class you've been wanting to try.
If you're not an exercise buff, still make sure to get out for a walk or something. Your body and mind need movement, and you probably don't get enough of it when you're kicking butt in your business.
Make a little time for movement on your week off for the mental boost. You'll probably see a difference in your energy too!
Spend time with friends.
Entrepreneurship can be lonely, so use this week to spend time with friends, especially some you haven't seen in a while.
A lot of us tend to lock ourselves away when we're in hustle mode, so make sure to do the opposite and get some actual, in-person, face-to-face social interaction.
Write in a journal.
This is a great time to get your thoughts out on paper. Thoughts, dreams, ideas, these things often get shoved aside when we're busy DOING. If you don't have a journal, this is the perfect week to pick out a notebook and fun pen that you love and get started.
Try a new hobby.
Do something creative. Paint a picture. Learn a few chords on the ukulele. Cross stitch adorable swear words to hang in your office. Using your brain in creative pursuits is exactly like cross-training for your muscles. By working your brain in different ways, you build problem solving skills, imagination, and prevent burnout. All great things for business!
Been putting off that massage or pedicure? Now's the time! Even if you don't want to spend the money, you can do an at home spa day and give yourself a mani-pedi, face mask (don't forget the cucumbers), and steamy bath. You deserve some pampering.
Keep a notebook or something nearby.
Changing our routine and unplugging from work has a way of stirring up new ideas, so make sure you have a way to record those ideas when they come up!
Get yourself a cute notebook and when you get a flash of inspiration, write it down.
If it's a big idea with a lot of parts, set a timer and do a good brain dump, then set it aside so you can work on it when you get back to work. You don’t want to spend your time off doing work, but make sure you record enough to work with when the vacation is over.
Take a nap. Sit on the couch and stare out the window. Lie in bed and listen to the birds.
Sometimes our brains just need to veg out and shut off for awhile. It's the mental equivalent of “turning it off and on again.”
The idea here is to give your mind, body, and spirit something invigorating and different. You might be thinking “but I can't take time off! My entire business will collapse!”
I get it. It takes structure and planning to build a business that can run without you for a little while, but that's what my team and I are here for!