Our family is starting to plan our summer vacation. We go to Canada to renew our immigration, see family, catch up with friends, and visit Canadian clients. It’s a rushed time with lots of demands for me. We enjoy the mild temperatures, eat pounds of lobster and try to get a day or two for a family activity. And, later in the summer we try to get away to the beach.
This is the true vacation. No clients, no work. Just sun, surf, family and relaxation.
What do you do to relax? Do you really need to? We live in a day that business owners work an average of 12-14 hours a day. And we only sleep 6-7 hours a night. That doesn’t leave a lot of extra hours for anything. And that’s why burnout is so prevalent in business owners.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. I love the hours I spend at work. I wouldn’t want it any other way. And I hope you agree too!
But in order to protect ourselves from burnout, I recommend these 4 things:
- Friends. Develop a true friendship with at least one person (outside of work). Be able to share unconditionally with them — your dreams and your frustrations. My wife is a wonderful friend who I share these with. I’m not great at friends that are guys (it’s always been a source of constant frustration for me — but that’s a totally different issue). But I would encourage you to have someone of the same sex to share with too. They’ll understand your psyche, challenge you and sharpen you.
- Relax. Learn how to get away. We don’t have a lot of extra time on a regular basis, but it’s necessary to learn how to separate yourself from your work. Even if it’s a couple hours of mindless TV, reading, or meditation. Vacations are often days of trying to stop thinking about business, but it’s hard. But you need to get away. As much as we think we’re necessary, your job can survive without you. You may have to work on the next point…
- Delegation. Learn to rely on someone else. Try it. If it fails, choose a different person or train/educate the person to be better. Part of delegation is giving responsibility and then holding the person to it. Reward or punish. When you have the right people, like I do, it’s a huge weight off your shoulders.
- Get some Sleep. Experts say we need 7-9 hours of good sleep. And I’ve heard that the more time asleep before midnight, the better. I also recommend going to bed and getting up around the same time each day. It’ll add to the habit of it and make it easier to get to sleep. Invest in a great mattress and pillow. It’s that important! Try some extra sleep for 2-3 weeks and you’ll see that your daytime hours will become more productive. And you’ll feel better too!
One thing that every business needs, is an entrepreneur. That’s you! Someone with dreams, goals and a vision. You can only do that if you’re rested and have energy. So, go ahead, and plan a vacation. It’s part of your business!