As a business owner, the idea of a “holiday” or a “break” seems so ideal and yet terrifying. I don’t know why but I tend to feel so guilty whenever I’m taking some time off away from Wyntec. Even when I’m away, my mind is still thinking of my business which makes me believe that even if I’m on a leave, I’m really not able to “switch off.” Perhaps, it’s because there’s a nagging feeling inside of me that something might go wrong when I’m away.
However, there are already several studies that show that overworking yourself is bad for your health. It leads to several health issues such as lack of sleep, impaired memory, and heart disease. More than this, it negatively impacts your focus, productivity, interpersonal skills and judgement calls. As such, I always try to push back that nagging feeling since I know that taking care of myself is taking care of my business. Balance is an important part of building a successful business.
So, when is the best time to take a leave? Sometimes it feels like never, but as I’ve said that’s not really sustainable. So, how? Well, first you need to reflect and define what it means for you to take a “time off”? Everyone has a different level of “off.” An off for you can be just out of the office. For me, my off is being out of the office and away from the house and this year to the Gold Coast with the family. You need to gauge yourself as to what kind of off you like. How long and where?
After you’ve answered these questions, you need to decide to really take that break. What I mean by this is that you need to spend time not thinking about the business for a while. Let yourself have fun. Surrender the reins of your business to your trusted team. This is important because even if you do take a leave but your mind is still wandering off to what’s currently happening to your company, you’re not really taking a break. You’re just working in a different location. You need to talk to yourself that “Hey I’m taking a break. I’m not going to check emails or anything for a while.” And that’s okay. It won’t be the end of the world if you give yourself time.
When you’ve done some reflecting and deciding, you now have to take the time off. When? Well, whenever it suits you and what you want to do! Because the reality is, there will never be a good time in business. There will always be things to be done. There will always be deadlines to follow and clients to satisfy. So the best time is always something that suits you and your plans. In fact, I was away mid-January this year. It wasn’t an ideal time because our clients and business are just starting to ramp up so the emails are active and the phone keeps ringing. But that’s when it suited me and my family this year. So I went for it.
My goal this year is to actually take a bit more leave and really start to give my team the ability to deliver without me. I’m a self-confessed control freak to some extent and I have acknowledged this is harming not only the business and clients but also me. I may be the founder of Wyntec but I can’t and shouldn’t be doing everything. It makes me anxious being away but I still need to take a time out to refresh. I need to have time to reset and take a different perspective on running the business and growing it!
I deserve to take a little break once in a while. And so do you.