As an entrepreneur and a small business owner, it’s never easy to take time off. It is no surprise that the term entrepreneur is associated with working excruciatingly long hours, getting minimal sleep, taking big risks and making some huge sacrifices and hard decisions on a regular basis. Because even when you aren’t in the office, you are most likely still thinking about work, or talking about work or simply working from home.
Getting away from work and taking time off, although heavily advised, just does not seem like a viable option for anyone who is starting a business. You convince yourself that it would be too costly to the business and you would end up feeling too guilty to actually enjoy the time spent away from the office. However, when working around the clock becomes your daily routine, the toll it ends up taking on you can be detrimental to your personal health as well as to the health and success of the business.
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As an entrepreneur, you learn very quickly how to constantly juggle several high-priority tasks at once. Utilize this skill more than ever this time of year, and apply it all of the holiday happenings to ensure you get your work done, enjoy your time off and do not miss out on spending time with your friends and family. Here is my advice to every entrepreneur who is already feeling overwhelmed this holiday season:
- Get Up Early and Exercise
I like to start my day by going on a run in the early morning, before the rest of the city wakes up. This short, intimate moment helps me relieve stress by dumping everything out from the day before and resetting my mind. This is crucial, especially during this time of year when the number of deadlines seem to multiply by the second. In order to keep your sanity, try giving yourself some “me time” in the mornings. Even if you do not consider yourself a runner, try some other form of exercise or activity you feel the most comfortable with, like lifting, yoga or even meditating. You will notice a huge difference in the amount of energy and motivation you will have to take on the rest of your day, without worrying about making time later to stay in shape. Waking up early and working out will also create a positive mindset that will keep your keep your stress level down, not only during the holidays, but throughout the entire year.
- Do Not Feel Guilty About Spending Time with Family
Taking a break from work is something most entrepreneurs struggle with because their company is like their baby. They’ve dedicated all of their time and efforts building it from the ground up, so letting go, even for just a couple of days, can be pretty terrifying. However, there is nothing like spending time with your loved ones and enjoying all of the traditions and festivities that come with this time of year. And besides, your mind and body deserve a break, too.
Communication is key when it comes to balancing family and business properly during the holiday season. Give your employees, clients and other business contacts a heads-up about your vacation plans to allow them to plan ahead and meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns regarding certain projects and deadlines. This will show everyone at work that you care about their needs before leaving, which should help prevent you from feeling any guilt while you are away. If a complete break from work is impossible, take a few minutes every day to check work emails or make calls, but be strict with these time limits to give yourself a chance to relax and reboot for the upcoming year.
- Think & Reflect
The holiday season is also the perfect time to reflect on where your business is now and where it is headed. Think about what you and your team were able to accomplish in the last 12 months and what changes you want to make for the new year. If you feel like you are currently biting off more than you can chew, do not stress. Instead, reassess your goals and figure out what is necessary to accomplish before the end of the year and what can wait.
Most importantly, make sure you are not missing the big picture. Do not only reflect on your business. Spend this time to also think about how things are going in your life in general, and set goals that will help you to continue to be the best version of yourself.