Part of having a good work-life balance is being able to take a break from work. However, every entrepreneur knows that taking time off is not as simple as it sounds. Leaving your business even for just a day may cause problems that can quickly aggravate when not promptly addressed. But then again, this worry shouldn’t be reason enough to completely ditch a time off.
The following pointers should be useful in ensuring a worry-free break from work:
No good businessmen would leave their business to take a break knowing that they have not achieved stability in their operations yet. It’s only normal to spend a lot of time and effort in ensuring the stability of a business. Similarly, it’s foolish to take a vacation during instances when critical decisions and actions are to be made. It does not make sense taking time off when the future of the business is at stake. It’s important to ask this question: do you really need the break urgently or can you hold on for a little more while to let things settle down?
You need to be clear on this because you will just end up worrying while on a break if you know that you left a problem. It’s important to realize that escaping from a problem does not constitute good work-life balance. If the business is already stressing you to a point that you think you are already losing your sanity, ask help. A vacation will not solve your problems.
Yes, this sounds old, oft-repeated, and a no-brainer but it’s worth repeating and emphasizing over and over again. It’s always advisable to have a plan even when you decide to spend some time away from your business. This plan should be prepared early, at least a week before the planned break. However, don’t plan too early since you can’t really be sure how circumstances would change as time passes. If you planned your trip months before, you may just get yourself in the dilemma of postponing your break or foregoing a business opportunity because of unexpected turn of events.
The plan should be detailed and must include fallbacks that will, as much as possible, see to it that your time off will not be interrupted. Moreover, you should also inform your subordinates or business partners to come up with their own plans on how to go about with things while you are away. Better yet, set plans for them to guide them on what should be done in case they are not yet fully acquainted with their functions. This is not necessarily a form of excessive worrying. It’s just a way of preventing yourself from worrying because you think you haven’t done enough to set the flow of operations as you leave for a vacation.
A good leader knows how to delegate tasks and every entrepreneur should be a good leader. Learn how to delegate responsibilities so you don’t have to micro-manage everything. However, don’t do it if it’s the first time you will be doing it. Delegation can’t be done all of a sudden. You should have already proven to yourself that your personnel can be trusted to do what is expected of them. Also, only delegate responsibilities if you are sure that those to whom the responsibilities will be delegated are responsible enough. Everything should be made clear when delegating responsibilities. Moreover, those who have been delegated tasks should already know what to do if unexpected things happen so you have to make sure that they have been properly oriented or instructed.
Sometimes, there are things that need your personal attention. If you can’t have them delegated, it would be better to have them postponed if they are not urgent. Instead of worrying that they may not be properly conducted, simply have them scheduled in the future when you can already personally oversee them.
Some would offer the advice of completely disconnecting (not being online or reachable by phone) to have a good or fulfilling break time, but this may not be a good idea for everyone. There are times when you just end up worrying for not worrying. If you are a serious businessman, you will always worry about your business. Instead of completely making yourself unavailable, it shouldn’t be too much of a burden occasionally glancing over how your business is doing. Instead of trying to separate reality and your goal of relaxation, just learn to adapt and balance things. Don’t attempt to escape from reality.
If it’s possible, why not have that break with everyone from your business? You can do team building activities and relax at the same time. It’s most likely that you will not feel any worry related to your business when you are with the same people you are running the business with. If you don’t have anything urgent to work on and somebody can be left to mind the store, you can go out together to unwind and maybe occasionally discuss things about the business in a lighter tone.
If you are a born worrywart, it will not be easy changing your mindset. It will be difficult going on a break without really having anything bugging your mind. It helps if you practice little by little. Start small and scale up. You can, for instance, delegate some tasks for the day and take the time off in the afternoon and observe how things proceed. Eventually, you will learn to trust your personnel while training them to be responsible at the same time. Gradually veer away from micromanagement and learn to trust people. If you are an entrepreneur who dreams of making it big, you will have to come to a point where micromanaging no longer works and may even become a burden. The goal of worrying less is to develop your ability to plan, delegate, and trust people.
Balance is important in everything. There’s nothing wrong in worrying about your business in the same way there’s nothing wrong in wanting to have some time off. You need to keep a good balance of your work and personal life. It’s not necessary to separate them or to learn to focus on one at one time and switch focus to the other on another time. You just have to hone your time management, multitasking, and priority-setting skills, as well as to learn to trust your people and delegate responsibilities.
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