Holidays: I’m a business leader, should I take a holiday? Yes, you should



I’m a business leader, should I take a holiday? Yes, you should

It’s essential to your mental and physical wellbeing – and to your performance – to take regular breaks. No matter how hard it is to walk away.

Running a business takes everything you’ve got. You throw yourself into the task of building something special and successful – and over time that takes an inevitable toll.

One of the most challenging aspects of running and building a business is striking the right balance between the time you spend in it and out of it. This is particularly tricky in an era when more of us are working from home than ever. Having an area at home dedicated solely to work, that you can walk away from, is incredibly important.

Many business owners find it difficult to spend time away from the business at weekends and in evenings during the week, and the concept of taking a complete break and relaxing fully for a short while is a distant mirage.

However, we all need to take a break. If you commit every waking hour to your business, you will gradually suffer – and so will the enterprise you are leading. You will become physically and mentally exhausted, and run the risk of burn-out.

The benefits of taking a break are fairly obvious for all to see. But is it possible, or even desirable, to take an actual holiday and unplug completely from the day-to-day grind towards success?

No matter how hard it is, give yourself a proper break.  You may want to head for the beach, the ski slopes, or a new country you can explore in your hiking boots. Maybe just want to sit in the garden in a deck chair, or flop on the couch and binge-watch that box set you’ve been wanting to catch for months. Could you also enjoy the anticipation as you count down the weeks and days to your departure from the daily routine.

Holidays. It doesn’t actually matter what you do and where you go. What counts is the fact that you are leaving your business behind.

Now, this is easier if you have a team to whom you can hand the reins for a week or two. It is a lot harder if you are a sole trader or a founder in the early stages of getting a business off the ground. And the degree to which you can walk away temporarily will depend on the nature of your business and the products it delivers.

Before I took my first real holiday after launching my business, and again when my family and I went away for our first proper post-pandemic vacation in three years, I agonised over the precise extent to which I could leave work temporarily behind.

Do you take your mobile with you? In the end, it comes down to a simple equation. Which is greater, the degree of stress you might suffer from fearing you are missing important calls, or the ongoing pressure of having your phone next to you?

I came to the compromise of taking the phone along but locking it in the hotel room safe and taking it out just twice a day, at 7 am and 7 pm.

The laptop? No, that stayed at home. Though I did take a notebook just in case any important thoughts popped up while I was on the sunbed.

The main benefit of going on holiday is that you return to the coalface feeling physically rested and mentally refreshed.

I’d argue that it’s a good sign if it takes you a while to return to full speed after you get home – that is reassuring evidence that you have really relaxed and enjoyed a much-needed reprieve from the drip-feed of the pressure of running a business.

In conclusion, take that holiday. You deserve it, and your future self, your colleagues, and your customers will thank you for it.

Written by Martin BoothLEBOO MEDIA

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