Many people aspire to be the boss so that they can control their own schedule and take off as much time as they want. However, the stark reality is that many owners don’t take vacations at all, year after year.
According to a recent survey, half of small business owners take an average of three days off per year, while 70% work on holidays, including Thanksgiving. The main excuse for lack of time off is that business owners don’t feel like their companies can survive or thrive without their presence and input.
However, not taking any time off leads to extreme stress, feeling burnt out, loss in productivity and a creativity block. In fact, lack of vacations can lead to depression, cognitive decline and even heart disease!
There are ways for all business owners to take a vacation with these tips:
It’s probably not the best idea to take a two-week cruise where you will be fully inaccessible if you haven’t taken more than a day off in recent years. Instead, start small and train your staff and yourself to run the business without you little by little.
Start by giving yourself half-day Fridays when work permits, and leave after lunch to see how your staff does without you. If all goes well, take an entire day off, followed by a mini-vacation for just a few days.
Assess how your employees are able to handle responsibilities on their own, and how much they need to contact you to make decisions before taking a week off or more.
Designate a Leader
They say that when the cat’s away, the mice will play. This especially applies to the workplace, where employees feel they can give themselves luxuries they would never dream of when their boss is at the office.
This is why it’s vital to designate a leader in your absence who will be responsible for overseeing the workplace. Choosing a proven and trusted colleague will help you rest easier, and will let your employees know that work will resume as usual.
Limit Checking In
Although you may force yourself to get on a plane and jet to a new destination, you may not be as relaxed as you would expect when you return. That is because the majority of business owners can’t abstain from constantly checking in with their staff while on vacation.
It’s hard to lay on the beach or take an excursion when you’re constantly checking emails or are on the phone. Plus, the more you make yourself available, the more your staff members will feel like they can reach out, even for non-vital matters.
Make it clear to your staff that you will only check in once every 24 hours, and that they can only defer to the leader if an emergency occurs and you need to be contacted sooner.
This will allow you to take true time off, while empowering your employees to make decisions without your input.
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