For many business owners they wear it as a badge of honour; the inscription reads; “I haven’t had a real holiday in years!”What a shame! I don’t mean the lack of a holiday. I mean the sad fact that they are proud of this admission. They should instead be deeply concerned because without a balance of work and leisure the business will suffer. A tired business owner is neither productive nor creative; two essential ingredients in growing a successful business.
Hard work is a virtue, but only when balanced with leisure. Leisure time is defined as time spent out of work and away from essential compulsory activities. Experts all agree leisure time is essential. Leisure activities allow you to rejuvenate. It relieves stress and when we are stressed, we don’t think clearly and our creativity is reduced or eliminated. You have a responsibility to yourself, your family and your business. You must make leisure time.
You need to know what leisure represents for you. Think about activities that bring you fun and add variety to your life. You want to relax and recharge. Really think about it. Remember it is time away from compulsory activities. Time to recharge your batteries. What does leisure time or down time look like for you?
Whether it’s a day at an Art Gallery, a weekend reading a romance novel, a week with the kids at the cottage or two weeks in Italy learning how to make the perfect pasta … it must have one compulsory quality, it must be dedicated leisure time. That means:
- no checking business emails
- no calls to or from the office
- no working or taking work with you
- no turning a vacation into a business trip
Here are 5 ways to help you take leisure time:
- Schedule the time – Put it in your calendar well ahead of time and when it is there, honour it just like you would a client meeting. If you need to, buy a non-refundable ticket to wherever you are going.
- Communicate it – Tell your clients, give them lots of notice. Tell your team and let them know you expect them to schedule activities around your leisure time.
- Schedule email news blasts for distribution while you are away so marketing continues.
- Before you go, schedule meetings with prospects for the week you get back in order to minimize the impact on your revenue generating.
- Respect yourself, treat yourself like you would a client – make it your responsibility to take full advantage of your leisure time.
Have a full, fulfilling and fun summer!