The festive season is upon us, and we know that the end of the year is absolute chaos. Wrapping up work deadlines, the holiday season rush, and trying to juggle your work-life balance may make taking time off seem impossible.

We tend to think that taking time off is selfish, especially when we have a business to run. But in reality, it’s vital for our mental and physical well-being, along with a multitude of other reasons. If you don’t believe us, carry on reading.

How to step away and take time off

 

A man and son sitting in the snow

 

Plan

Take a moment to plan the rest of the year. Write down everything that you hoped to accomplish and attach a realistic timeline to your goals. If you haven’t thought that far, read this blog (insert blog) to find out what every entrepreneur should be doing in November.

Prioritise

Are all your goals achievable in the last month and a half of the year? If not, figure out what is most urgent and what can be pushed out to the new year.

Prioritising your tasks, and conquering the most important ones first, will give you a sense of accomplishment when you’re ready to activate that out-of-office setting.

Get cover

Just because you’re planning on taking time off doesn’t mean your business has to. From digital marketing to general admin, you can outsource a team to cover all your business needs while you’re busy burning the gammon for your in-laws.

Delegate

Repeat after us: you don’t have to do it all.

Stop wasting time on tedious tasks that require a lot of attention. Delegate them to another team member so you’re not left feeling overwhelmed by your never-ending to-do list.

We know what you’re thinking, what tasks could I possibly delegate? Well, here are 17 to get you going.

Communicate

Be upfront with your clients, suppliers, and employees and tell them when you plan to take a break. Give them enough warning so that any outstanding tasks can be attended to before you switch off. Managing expectations will help alleviate any problems that could arise during your holiday.

Be strict with yourself

You haven’t come this far to only come this far. Be strict with yourself and delete any work communication channels on your mobile device. Close that laptop and tuck it away in your work desk drawer. This will prevent any temptation to check “just one” email. Trust us, someone will pick up the phone if your business is really burning to the ground.

 

Reasons why you should take time off

 

A woman in a yellow top looking relaxed on a couch

 

Health is wealth

Did you know that 1 in every 14 people in the UK say they feel stressed every day? Stress is also directly linked to the 6 leading causes of death including heart disease and suicide. Taking time off helps reduce the impact of stress and anxiety both physically and mentally. So, ask yourself, is a career more important than your health?

“When you find yourself stressed, ask yourself one question: Will this matter in 5 years from now? If yes, then do something about the situation. If no, then let it go.”

―Catherine Pulsifer

Reconnect

There’s no time more apt than the festive season to be able to reconnect with your loved ones. Last year, many of us were forced to spend Christmas alone due to COVID. So, this year it’s important to find the value in reconnecting with those around you.

“A vacation helps to relieve stress and boredom, gives us a change of scenery, provides us with adventure, and helps to bring us closer to the people in our lives.” – E. S. Woods

It sparks creativity and motivation

We tend to underestimate what taking a break can do for our creativity. Stepping back and giving yourself time to do the things you love helps clear your mind, ignites creative thinking, and allows more room for focus and productivity.

“Some of your best ideas come when you’re on vacation.” – Gautam Singhania

It changes your perspective

How big are your problems, really? Are you making mountains out of molehills? As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get fixated on one task. That is a huge time vampire.

Taking some time off can help you distance yourself from your work, re-evaluate what is really important and adjust your perspective. Whether it’s work or your personal life, sometimes a change in mindset can help you feel like a brand new person. Once you return, you’ll be able to eliminate some non-crucial tasks from your list to allow more time to focus on other areas of your business.

“Think about it; how do you feel when you are planning a vacation? You feel excited and happy. Your stress level is diminished, and this also affects your work in a positive way.” – John Morgan

It encourages gratitude

It’s easy to get sucked into a day-to-day routine where you are robotically ticking things off checklists and making sure work gets done. But is that fulfilling? Taking a moment to stop and reflect on your year and how far you’ve come will make you more grateful for what you have achieved.

 

“I think it’s important to try to be present with whatever it is you’re doing. And if you can’t be present, take a break.” – Emily Giffin

There’s joy to be found

Remember, life is short. Although it’s important to have ambition and set goals, taking time off doesn’t have to be an urban legend. It’s important for productivity, growth and helps to achieve a greater work-life balance.

So, finalise your plans for that overseas holiday, read that book gathering dust on the shelf, pursue a hobby, and enjoy time with the people who matter most. The rest can wait.

 

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